Melinda Loveless, 1 of 4 teens charged with brutal 1992 murder, released from prison

Melinda Loveless, 1 of 4 teens charged with brutal 1992 murder, released from prison
Melinda Loveless was released from the Indiana Women's Prison in Indianapolis on Thursday, after serving 23 years and eight months of a 60-year sentence for the murder of 12-year-old Shanda Sharer in 1992.
Shanda Sharer was just 12 years old when she was kidnapped, brutally beaten, sexually attacked and then burned alive in 1992. (Source: WAVE 3 News file photo)
Shanda Sharer was just 12 years old when she was kidnapped, brutally beaten, sexually attacked and then burned alive in 1992. (Source: WAVE 3 News file photo)

(WAVE) - The last of four women charged with the murder, torture and burning of a New Albany girl more than 25 years ago was released from prison Thursday.

Melinda Loveless, now 43, left the Indiana Women’s Prison in Indianapolis after serving nearly 24 years of a 60-year sentence for the brutal murder of 12-year-old Shanda Sharer in 1992.

Sharer’s mother, Jacque Vaught, told WAVE 3 News in 2007, when Loveless sought an early release, that Loveless was the mastermind of the crime.

“Melinda is, of the four girls, she is just evil," Vaught said then. “If it wasn’t for her, Shanda would still be alive. She was the one that started it all ... she brutally murdered my child, and when I say brutal, it was brutal. There was 10 hours of torture.”

FROM 2007

Loveless’ motive was believed to have been jealousy, so she recruited three other girls to join in the crime because she thought Sharer stole her girlfriend.

One of the teens, Toni Lawrence, was released from prison in 2002, and another, Hope Rippey, was released four years later. Both women are now 43 years old.

Laurie Tackett, now 45, was the only of the four women who did not seek early release. Still, she served only 25 years of a 60-year sentence and was released just last year. Tackett is the only one of the killers Vaught said showed any remorse.

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