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Shayna Hubers, Ryan Poston: Admitted killer shed no tears after shooting boyfriend, police testify

Posted at 3:56 PM, Apr 16, 2015
and last updated 2018-08-07 16:34:29-04

NEWPORT, Ky. – New testimony Thursday night called the relationship between Shayna Hubers and Ryan Poston a "tumultuous" one.

Carissa Carlisle is Poston's step-cousin, and also a friend of Hubers. She said she introduced the two, but in her testimony, Carlisle said Hubers wanted more from the relationship than Poston was willing to give.

"She would not let the relationship end," Carlisle said. "He was trying to end the relationship many times. He was too nice about it. He never wanted to hurt her feelings."

Carlisle said the situation became more intense over time, and that Hubers would show up to Poston's condo and refuse to leave.

"He said to me, 'This is getting to be restraining order level crazy. I'm not kidding, you need to talk to her, she sent me 75 texts in the last hour.'"

Also testifying Thursday night was Cisily Miller, who was in jail with Hubers.

Miller said she came forward with what Hubers told her because she felt sorry for Poston's family.

Miller said she was bothered when Hubers would laugh about the shooting death.

"She said she was going to plead insanity," Miller said. "Then she said she was too smart because she has an IQ of Einstein. And so she was going to plead the wife-battered syndrome."

Miller said she did not receive a plea deal for her testimony, or any other benefit.

Several other witnesses came forward Thursday to raise doubts about Hubers' claim that she shot Poston six times in self-defense.

Jurors might even have wondered if Hubers killed Poston so he couldn't have a date with a beauty queen.

After Poston's father testified that his son wanted to break up with Hubers, Peter Carter, the 29-year-old attorney's stepfather, told the jury that his stepson had lined up a date with a Miss Ohio contestant.

"He said to me, 'My biggest issue is I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this date because Shayna is always around and I don't know what to do,'" Carter said.

"He said, 'I don't know what to do to get her to leave.'"

A downstairs neighbor of Poston testified that she heard a woman crying outside on Poston's deck and then go inside, followed by the sound of gunshots.

"She hadn't been in there but for just a few seconds and we heard two shots at the beginning," said Doris West.  "I thought they were firecrackers, but I learned later they were not. And then there was four more shots like boom, boom, boom, boom."

A forensic pathologist testified that Poston was sitting at a table when the first shot struck him in the head and and that his killer was advancing toward him – not retreating or standing still - while firing five more shots.

After the first three shots, Poston had fallen to the floor, the pathologist said. 

"From the first shot fired, the suspect delivered incapacitating gunfire allowing her the opportunity to reengage and deliver additional gunshots," Ryan said.

"The victim was alive for all of his shots, so I believe the first three shots in and of themselves were very damaging, but he remained alive until the last shot was given," the pathologist said.

Hubers didn't cry and appeared happy after shooting her boyfriend to death, two police officers testified Thursday morning.

Highland Heights Lt. David Fornash was the first officer on the scene the night Ryan Poston was killed in his condo on Oct. 12, 2012. Hubers says she shot Poston six times in self-defense.

Fornash testified that Hubers, then 21, didn't shed any tears.

"Did she should any tears? No, it was more like a quick burst of 'I don't know how to explain it,' almost like she was trying to cry but then stopped all of a sudden," Fornash said.

"No tears were ever seen by me."

An officer from Northern Kentucky University who drove Hubers to the police department said she remembers that Hubers was happy.

Campbell County Commonwealth Attorney Michelle Snodgrass also showed the jury the clothing Poston was wearing when he was shot.

Snodgrass is trying to convince the jury that Hubers' reaction around police, together with her statements to police in a recorded interview and thousands of text messages from Hubers, contradict her claim of self-defense.

In a pre-trial hearing, Highland Heights Det. Bill Birkenhauer, who led the investigation into Poston’s death, said  Hubers told police she shot the 29-year-old attorney in the face to give "him the nose job he always wanted."

The prosecution played a police interview with Hubers on Tuesday. In the video, Hubers said she didn't go to his Meadow Lane condo in Highland Heights to kill him, but they got into an argument and she picked up a handgun off the table.

"I just picked up the gun and, in the middle of him doing something with his arms or saying something crazy, shot him," she said.

"I thought, 'Oh my god, what have I done?'" she said.

Hubers is also heard in the video admitting to shooting Poston multiple times. "I shot him enough times to kill him," she said, "so that he wouldn't suffer... He was laying there, twitching and making noises, and I shot him in the head."

"I was watching him die. It was painful to watch him die and to know that I had done that," she said.

At least one of those shots was to Poston's face because "he was vain," Huber told detectives.

Hubers also said in the police interview that Poston had a history of violent behavior toward her, including in the moments leading up to the shooting.

"He's hit me before with his arm," she said. "He was reaching across the table motioning with fist movements and pushed me down against the arm of the couch or throw me against a chair, throw me against the bookshelf, throw me on the floor," she said.

"When he was rushing with the arm movements, it was gut instinct (to shoot), you know," she said.

On Wednesday, the prosecution attempted to paint Hubers as a killer who shot her boyfriend because he wanted to break up with her. Birkenhauer read from thousands of documented text messages from Hubers. 

"She says she's going to go to the shooting range with him. ... she wants to turn around, shoot, kill him and play like it's an accident,” Birkenhauer said.

The chief said that text was sent on Oct. 1, 2012 – 11 days before she killed him.

In another text, Hubers claimed that Poston was an “evil person,” Birkenhauer said.

Birkenhauer said among the text messages was a note from Poston, saying he wanted to end the relationship.

"He told Shayna Hubers, 'If you want to tell people you broke up with me, go ahead and do that. I won't contradict the story,'" Birkenhauer said.

Another text message, Birkenhauer said, indicated that Hubers was cheating on her boyfriend.

"He was very indifferent about it ... said he didn't have the energy to think about it. He didn't want to bring it up to her because she'd show up and have to talk to her about it. He said that his only concern at that time was his family, career and his friends," Birkenhauer said of Poston.

Birkenhauer said there was no evidence that the two had fought prior to the killing. He said a picture shows nothing on the kitchen table was disturbed.

"The statement that the gun was on the table and there was some sort of a struggle on that table is ... clearly, there's nothing disturbed on that table as in being knocked over, or thrown off the table, or anything of that nature," he said.

Hubers has been in the Campbell County Detention Center since her 2012 arrest.