Woman convicted in brutal slaying of 12-year-old girl in 1992 to be released from prison

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jan 11, 2018

MADISON, Ind. – An Indiana woman convicted in the brutal slaying of a 12-year-old girl 26 years ago will be released from prison Thursday.

Laurie Tackett, now 43, was one of four teens convicted in the 1992 death of Shanda Sharer. She was sentenced to 60 years in prison but has served the required time for her release. She’ll remain on parole for a year once she's free.

The 1992 attack gained national attention. Tackett, then 17, was one of four girls involved in the murder, which investigators believed was masterminded by then-16-year-old Melinda Loveless. Loveless told the others that she wanted to scare Sharer because she’d stolen her girlfriend.

On the night of Jan. 10, 1992, Loveless and Tackett, along with 15-year-old Toni Lawrence and 15-year-old Hope Rippey, arrived at Sharer’s house in an effort to lure her out. Sharer told them she couldn’t leave until later when her parents went to sleep.

The quartet returned to the home, and Sharer, although reluctant, went with them. Loveless, who was hiding in the back seat of the car, put a knife to the 12-year-old’s throat and asked her about her relationship with her girlfriend.

They then took Sharer to a local spot known as the “Witch’s Castle,” where they bound her arms and legs. They taunted and tortured her, eventually ending up at a garbage dump where they beat her, stabbed her, and strangled her with a rope until she lost consciousness. They put her in the trunk, believing she was dead.

Later, they heard Sharer screaming from the trunk. Tackett stabbed her several more times. She and Loveless then left with Sharer in the trunk. They again heard her making noises and stopped the car. Tackett beat her with a tire iron until she was silent.

The girls later took her north of Madison, poured gasoline on her body and set her on fire. Investigators said Sharer was still alive at the time despite her many injuries. Her body was found on the morning of Jan. 11, 1992.

All four teens were charged as adults. Lawrence served 9 years of her sentence and was released in 2000. Rippey served 14 years and was released in 2006.

Loveless is scheduled to be released in September 2019.