A juror who helped convict Shayna Hubers in the 2012 shooting death of her on-again, off-again boyfriend Ryan Carter Poston says she never believed Hubers shot him in self-defense.
“At no point did I buy the battered girlfriend defense. There was no evidence presented,” Laura Kirkwood told ABC News’ “20/20.” “She took the key for the house to get back in. She was free to leave and did not. I did not see any evidence of physical abuse.”
Kirkwood and the rest of the jury found Hubers, now 24, guilty last month of murdering Poston on Oct. 12, 2012. The jury also recommended she spend 40 years in prison.
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“[A] life [sentence] was too long that possibly, maybe if she is rehabilitated she could do some good when she gets out. She will be a different person when she gets out,” Kirkwood said of the jury’s recommendation.
At her trial, prosecutors said Hubers, a University of Kentucky graduate, killed Poston out of anger after he tried to break up with her. At the time of the murder and throughout her trial, however, Hubers maintained that she shot Poston in self-defense.
Audio of her 911 call and video of her interview with police after the shooting were played in court for the jury. When she called 911 to report the shooting, Hubers said the 29-year-old attorney from Highland Heights, Kentucky, was frequently violent and had been attacking her when she grabbed his gun. She shot Poston six times.
“He was right in front of me and he reached down and grabbed the gun, and I grabbed it out of his hands and pulled the trigger,” Hubers is heard saying on the call.
Police interview video, recorded the same night, showed Hubers displaying a wide range of emotion: crying, pacing and talking to herself.
“I knew he was going to die a very slow and painful death,” she is heard saying on the video. “He was twitching and moaning, but I knew he was already dead.”
At times, Hubers was even seen laughing in the police video, seemingly joking about the victim’s gunshot wounds.
“I gave him a nose job,” she said.
It took jurors less than five hours to reach their verdict.
“I did think that after at least the first bullet -- when she didn’t call for help, didn’t call for 911, kept shooting him -- that definitely it was murder,” Kirkwood said.
A judge has yet to make a final ruling on Hubers’ sentence. Hubers must serve at least 20 years in prison and will be eligible for parole after that time is served. A court date has been set for June 15.
“That was a good feeling to know that Ryan Poston's family felt somewhat vindicated by our decision,” juror Kirkwood said. “I was happy to give them that.”