NEWPORT, Ky. -- Was it murder or self-defense? Shayna Hubers' retrial will ask jurors to answer that question once more as they hear her account and others of Ryan Poston's 2012 shooting death.
Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Burns called Poston's shooting an execution in Tuesday's opening arguments. Defense attorney David Eldridge countered that Hubers shot her former boyfriend out of fear he'd hurt her.
Jurors will have to sort through dozens of witnesses and evidence, including Hubers' own statement to police.
"Shayna Hubers herself told the police that she kept shooting Ryan Poston as he lay twitching and made noise until she, in her own words, finished him off, 'put him out of his misery' with one final blow," Burns said.
Hubers' motive, according to Burns, was that Poston wanted to end their relationship. She didn't. The two met that night -- Oct. 12, 2012 -- at Poston's Highland Heights condo.
"There were only two ways he was leaving his condo that night -- either Shayna's boyfriend or in a body bag," Burns said.
Eldridge laid the groundwork for the defense's argument for self-protection, saying Hubers had sexual abuse, drug abuse and PTSD in her background. He said that Poston was abusive to her the night he was killed.
"He bursts out the door and physically attacks her," Eldridge said. "First, slams her into the door, physically attacks her. This is not an attack where he's taking his hand and -- hit, hit, hit. This is an attack with him throwing her around to a couch and a carpeted floor."
There was a gun sitting on the dining room table. Eldridge said Hubers thought Poston was reaching for it, so she picked it up and fired six shots.
"We believe the evidence will show that Miss Hubers is not guilty of this crime (and) that she was privileged to have self-protection where she was acting under extreme emotional distress," Eldridge said.
The statement Hubers made to police shortly after the shooting could derail that argument.
"I killed him and it was self-defense. I shot in, like, self-defense and I knew he was going to die, so I put him out of his misery, whether it was going to be in 20 seconds or five minutes, you know," she said. "He died immediately on that last blow, like immediately. He didn't have to suffer."
Eldridge called that a stream-of-consciousness statement. Burns said it was part of an act put on by a young woman who couldn't face a breakup.
Jurors watched the entire two-and-a-half-hour video of Hubers' interview with investigators during the retrial's first day Tuesday. In the video, she tells an officer that Poston was "whacked on drugs" and that he threw her "out of the room like a rag doll."
Hubers goes on to say, "He talked about getting a nose job and I shot him right here," pointing at her nose. "I gave him his nose job."
She then adds that she doesn't want to go to prison.
"I don't think I deserve to," Hubers tells an officer on the video. "I feel like my character should be looked as as by people who know him and and know me and be able to say, 'Shayna is a good person.'"
The officer later leaves Hubers alone in the room. Hubers hums and sings "Amazing Grace," paces around the room and says, "Yep, I did it."
Police and medical testimony will take up several days of the new trial before the defense gets its turn.
The trial will continue Wednesday.