Former Kailua resident fatally shot in Indiana, ex-fiancee charged in connection

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two of the women connected to the murder of a former Kailua resident have been charged with one count of murder on Jan. 16.

Officials say that they are both being held without bond and are expected to be in court on March 30, 2020.

To support the Hovel family, visit the fund here.

Shock and tragedy for a Kailua family, whose son was shot to death in Indiana.

Two female suspects are in custody and the victim’s mother says one of them was his ex-fiancee.

Shea Briar grew up in Kailua and moved to Indiana after serving in the military. His mother says the family still cannot wrap their head around what happened.

Thirty-one-year-old Shea Briar moved to Kailua with his mother from Indiana when he was five years old. He graduated from the Academy of the Pacific in 2006 with honors. He served in the Navy from 2008-2012 as a canine handler because he loved animals. His mother says he moved to Indiana after serving in the military because he also loved the farm life.

“My family turned him on to tractors and he loved tractors, dirt, and farming. Actually he liked farm life, I liked the island life,” said Tracy Hoevel.

It was there where he met and got engaged to 31-year-old Esther Stephen, who is now in custody along with 18-year-old Shelby Hiestand. Both are charged with Briar’s murder. Briar and Stephen have a one-year-old daughter. His mother says he was trying to get partial custody of the child, who he has not seen since Stephen broke the engagement in September.

“And the only thing he wanted was visitation to see his daughter and his name on the birth certificate, that’s all he wanted. He wanted a family, he wanted them to all be a family, so for this to happen is just heartbreaking,” said Hoevel.

Court records say Stephen, his ex-fiancee, distracted Briar while Hiestand shot him in the back with a 22-caliber rifle. His mother says Briar was also active with the church and had been volunteering there Saturday, the day before he was killed.

“He had all day helped this church basically serving the Lord and then that night a little bit after 12:00 is when our lives changed forever,” said Hoevel.

Court records show that the two suspects are softball coaches at a school. They’ve been placed on administrative leave. They’re being held without bond.

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