Ryan Poston was a promising young attorney from Kentucky with an obsessive girlfriend named Shayna Hubers — and on October 12, 2012, she shot him dead.
Ryan Poston, a Fort Mitchell, Kentucky-born lawyer, received his law degree from Northern Kentucky University. Situated in Highland Heights, Kentucky, the city of Poston’s alma mater would also be where he would die at the hands of Shayna Hubers, his on–and-off-again girlfriend.
The murder took place on Oct. 12, 2012. Indicted in December of the same year, Hubers did not meet bail and would not be convicted of the crime until late April 2015. In the period following Poston’s slaying, his murder and ensuing trial recieved national media coverage. Hubers would initially claim self-defense, but would ultimately be sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of Poston — in part, thanks to her bizarre behavior right in front of police.
The Life Of Ryan Poston
Attorney Ryan Poston was a son, grandson, and older brother. In his career, he was said to help others with limited resources. His grandfather, James Poston Sr., was an attorney for 54 years. Poston’s uncle, James Poston Jr., also practiced law.
In his younger years, Poston’s studies allowed him to see many new places, according to his obituary. During high school, Poston had the privilege of studying in the Philippines and Switzerland, at the International School Manila and the International School of Geneva, respectively.
The lawyer completed his undergraduate studies from Indiana University, where he took on a triple major in political science, history, and geography. After receiving his Juris Doctor degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at NKU, Poston began to work as an attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 2011, already an established lawyer at age 28, Poston met his soon-to-be girlfriend Shayna Hubers on Facebook. Hubers, who was 19 at the time, was a friend of Poston’s step-cousin.
Poston “liked” images of a bikini-clad Hubers before engaging further. When they met, Hubers had been pursuing a psychology degree at the University of Kentucky.
The couple dated for a year and a half. Throughout, Hubers exhibited an obsession with Poston that verged on disturbing at times, according to his friends and family. Hubers reportedly took up routines such as visiting Poston’s condo unannounced — and sending between a 12 and 100 texts per day.
Poston’s Relationship With Shayna Hubers
Similar to Ryan Poston, Shayna Hubers was a gifted student who took to her studies with pride and prowess. Said to be “obsessed” with her schooling, Hubers frequently took AP classes and excelled academically.
In college, she graduated cum laude from the University of Kentucky after only three years, and quickly moved on to pursue her masters thereafter. Her friends and schoolmates considered her intellect as genius level, and so did Hubers.
Many of Poston’s close friends defended the late lawyer after his death, claiming Poston had wanted to break things off with Hubers, but never could. “He was too nice. Didn’t want to hurt her feelings,” friend Tom Awadalla said.
Another friend, Matt Herren, echoed the claims in conversation with CBS News. Herren called Poston the “type of person that you want in your life.” These accounts would become major pieces in Hubers’ murder case.
One report from Nikki Carnes, a neighbor of Poston’s, claimed the older boyfriend was abusive during the relationship, and shamed Hubers’ weight and physical appearance often. Carnes reported that Hubers did Poston’s chores — including laundry and petcare.
In uncovered texts and messages, it was revealed that Poston had begun telling friends that Hubers worried him, explaining to one friend that she “almost scared” him. Poston’s friends began to share the sentiment, and additional messages showed that Hubers had once imagined shooting Poston once when the couple visited a firing range.
In the days leading up to his murder, Poston began to express strong dissatisfaction with the relationship. Things did not change much, however — until the night Hubers pulled the trigger.
Ryan Poston’s Girlfriend Sang ‘Amazing Grace’ After Killing Him
Ryan Poston’s cause of death was six consecutive gunshots. On the night of his death, Poston reportedly had a date with Audrey Bolte, 2012’s Miss Ohio USA. He never made the date, however, as Hubers showed up at his door — and was the last person he ever saw.
After firing six times into her boyfriend, Hubers dialed 911 herself. Appearing excitable at the police station, Hubers had trouble remaining silent despite her voiced wishes to do so. Through her stream-of-consciousness rant, Hubers delivered an account that deviated from what she first told 911 operators.
Her account quickly became unclear, claiming she both wrestled the gun out of Poston’s hand and retrieved the firearm from a table. Shortly after, she danced about, sang “Amazing Grace,” and talked about how a murder conviction would make it hard for her to find a husband, according to CBS News. And all of these outbursts were caught on camera.
During her trial, Hubers maintained her self-defense claim and offered a detailed account of her relationship with Poston from her perspective. Prosecutors insisted that Hubers killed Poston because he was hellbent on ending their relationship.
The defense, meanwhile, brought forward text messages written by Poston, like, “There’s nothing I want more than to just scorch the f–king earth and leave this entire city in a pile of burnt rubble.” A friend of Poston, Allie Wagner, claimed Poston was going through emotional turmoil at the time, and had begun using Adderall and Xanax to cope with poor sleep.
Poston’s gun-ownership came into question after the event. Hubers claimed Poston saw no issue in shooting his firearms indoors, and Snodgrass would later confirm a book with piercings resembling bullet holes was in his condo. Hubers once claimed he fired at a book, but friends of Ryan Poston have argued he was a responsible gun owner.
The Re-Trial Of Shayna Hubers And The Hole Left Behind By Ryan Poston
Despite being convicted in 2015 after just five hours of jury deliberation, in 2016, Hubers had her conviction overturned on account that one juror in her original trial being a convicted felon, according to ABC News. During the second trial, Katie Carter, one of Poston’s sisters, took the stand.
Carter stated that Ryan Poston made the family complete, and that without him “there’s always the chair that is gonna be empty … He will never be able to have all the things he deserved to have in his life.” In 2018, Hubers’ second trial ended in another murder conviction and a life sentence.
At the time of his death, Poston was survived by his parents Lisa Carter and Jay Poston, stepfather Peter Carter, sisters Alison, Katherine and Elizabeth Carter, and several grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Following his passing, friend and challenger in chess, attorney Ken Hawley, had trouble digesting the situation. Between the two lawyers, chess games could take some time to conclude. In some cases, the games could span days.
Some years later, Hawley told CBS News he had been unable to clear the board he and Poston were last playing on, and instead transported it to his office. In the years that had then passed since his death, the board remained unchanged. Hawley called it a metaphor for a life unfinished.