Hope A. Rippey, 29, was sentenced to 40 years for felony murder and 20 years for criminal confinement for the murder of Shanda Sharer. Also convicted in the case were three other teenagers, Toni Lawrence, Lori Tackett and Melinda Loveless. Lawrence was released from prison in 2000.
The four teens lured Sharer into their vehicle on Jan. 11, 1992. Loveless, then 16, was jealous of the 12-year-old because she was involved in a lesbian love triangle with another girl, according to court records. Sharer was beaten and sodomized with a tire iron and her legs were cut with a knife.
The four teens drove around with Sharer in the trunk of their car and then burned her alive near a rural road about 40 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky in Indiana.
Rippey's sentence was reduced because Indiana allows inmates to earn one day credit for each day served for good behavior. Her sentence was further reduced when she obtained an associate degree and a bachelor's degree while in prison.
Lawrence served only nine years of her sentence. It was Lawrence who reported the crime to authorities and the first to work out a plea bargain.
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