(5-5-21) Yesterday Jay County (Indiana) Circuit Court Judge Brian Hutchison handed down his sentencing on Esther Stephen (30). Stephen was sentenced to 55 years in prison, a jury in March convicted her in the murder of Shea Briar, the father of her child. She has already served 14 months since her arrest in January, 2020 in the Jay Count Jail.

Judge Hutchinson could have sentenced her to 65 years, presently the maximum number of years for a murder conviction in Indiana.

Hutchison who addressed Stephen during her sentencing –

“I have not seen the first bit of remorse out of you from the initial hearing until now.

The only emotion I have seen is fear’

“There are so many victims in this case. “There are victims you have created on each side of the courtroom.”

“You denied your child an opportunity to know her father, and in doing so, denied her an opportunity to know her mother.”

Knapke and Hiestand

This was the first of three trials to be held in Briar’s murder. Shelby Hiestand (19) is scheduled for a jury trial the week of August 9-12 in Jay County Circuit Court, while Hannah Knapke (19) is scheduled for a jury trial the week of November 15-19.

All three women knew each via the Ft. Recovery High School softball team.

Did you know —

Stephen’s first defense attorney Jill Gonzalez passed away on April 11th. Attorney Brandon Murphy represented her during the sentencing.