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Marshalltown volleyball player facing charges for Indiana murder

Hannah-Knapke
Hannah Knapke
ESTHER-STEPHEN-AND-SHELBY-HIESTAND-collage
Esther Stephen and Shelby Hiestand

JAY COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21/KWWL) - A Marshalltown Community College volleyball player is in custody facing charges connected to the killing of a Jay County, Indiana man earlier this month.

18-year-old Hannah Knapke of Fort Recovery, Ohio was arrested for the murder of Shea Briar, whose autopsy determined he had been shot in the back.

A spokesperson for Marshalltown Community College on Friday told our sister station WPTA21:

"News of the charges against Hannah Knapke has come as a great surprise to our campus and athletic department. We can confirm that Ms. Knapke has been released from her athletic participation, and is no longer enrolled at the college. We have no other comments at this time."

Marshalltown Community College

Knapke's arrest follows the arrests of Esther J. Stephen and Shelby N. Hiestand -- former coaches of the Fort Recovery High School softball team -- on similar counts.

Prosecutors in Indiana believe a child custody dispute involving Briar and Stephen led to the murder.

They said Stephen and Hiestand have admitted to setting up and shooting Briar.

A probable cause affidavit indicates Knapke was with the other two women when the shooting took place.

Prosecutors say she provided a vehicle to co-defendants Esther Stephen and Shelby Hiestand, then accompanied them as they allegedly lured the victim to a bridge and shot him in the back.

Knapke -- investigators claim -- loaned the women her vehicle because it would not be recognized if someone observed it during the commission of the crime.

Knapke, Stephen and Hiestand are all scheduled for a court hearing on March 30.

Online rosters show Knapke played volleyball and softball for Fort Recovery High School in 2019. Until her arrest, Esther Stephen served as the head coach of the Fort Recovery High School softball team.

All three suspects are being held without bond.

KWWL Staff

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