The Truth About Shayna Hubers And Ryan Poston's Relationship

This article contains content of a violent nature and allegations of domestic violence.

On October 12, 2012, emergency services in the Kentucky town of Highland Heights received a call from Shayna Hubers, a 21-year-old graduate student, who promptly informed officials that she had shot her boyfriend, 29-year-old Ryan Poston, in order to defend herself in a violent altercation. Insisting that she was "not a murderer," according to A&E's coverage of the fatal altercation — and despite admitting to shooting him multiple times after he fell onto the ground due to him "twitching" — she told the responder on the call that the incident at hand had been one borne of a domestic abuse situation, wherein Hubers was the victimized party. But as law enforcement would shortly begin to discover, there was more to the crime than met the eye.

Though Hubers claimed from the beginning that she had shot Poston a total of six times in self-defense, details about their courtship soon suggested a much different story. If anything, Hubers' behavior as told by others who knew her and Poston, along with a series of damning text messages and forensics taken at the scene of the crime, seemed to state the very opposite. 

So, what was the relationship like between Shayna Hubers and Ryan Poston? And how did it affect the outcome of the murder trial? Read on after the jump to find out.

Shayna Hubers' phone played a huge role in her relationship with Ryan Poston

Shayna Hubers and Ryan Poston's tumultuous relationship lasted for 18 months before Poston's death. As CBS News reported in December 2020, Hubers would reportedly stalk Poston during their off-periods. Shortly before the murder, Poston confided in his cousin, Carissa Carlisle, that Hubers had repeatedly shown up at his residence demanding to see him despite stating he was unwilling to and sent him over 70 text messages in a one-hour time period. 

"He said to me, this is getting to be restraining order level crazy. I'm not kidding," Carlisle stated while testifying at Hubers' trial. "You need to talk to her. She sent me 75 texts in the last hour. She's shown up at my condo like three times and refuses to leave each time."

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Hubers also at one point used another phone to send Poston insulting and demeaning texts while pretending to be an unknown, unnamed harasser, among which included calling him a failure in his career and mocking his appearance. Poston's father, Jay Poston, also recalled an incident during his own testimony in which his son arrived at his house because Hubers, who had arrived unannounced to his condo, refused to leave. "Throughout the entire night all I heard, over and over and over again, was the pinging of his phone with text messages," he told the court.

Messages Shayna Hubers sent to friends foreshadowed her crime

As the Cincinnati Enquirer reported during Shayna Hubers' second trial in 2018, texts the then 21-year-old sent to her friends before she murdered Ryan Poston seemed to display an escalation in violent ideation — one that, by all appearances, went virtually unnoticed at the time. Per the newspaper, messages admitted as evidence into trial composed by Huber referenced guns and gun violence, with one of them purportedly sent while Huber was preparing to go with Poston to an actual gun range.  

"When I go to the shooting range with Ryan tonight I want to turn around, shoot and kill him and play like it's an accident," read the text, which was received by Huber's friend Christie Oyler. Another one described Hubers' growing rage at Poston, with Hubers stating her belief in "a thin line between love and hate," and that her "love" for Poston had "turned into hate."

Per the Enquirer, Hubers also used her friends to contact Poston on her behalf. Oyler herself stated she had once sent Poston a message urging him to speak with her, describing Hubers as "more upset than usual" in August, only two months before the murder took place.

Ryan Poston died before beginning a new chapter

Toward the end of their relationship — one tenuous at best — Shayna Hubers conducted numerous Internet searches for a woman Ryan Poston had friended on Facebook in January 2012 named Audrey Bolte. Bolte, who was named Miss Ohio U.S.A. the same year, eventually agreed to meet up for a date with Poston, who had ended things with Hubers at the time. Per the Cincinnati Enquirer, Huber also added Bolte on Facebook, presumably to access more details about her.

In an interview with a local Kentucky station (via CBS), Bolte recalled her impression of Poston. "He was very funny and very smart and I found him very entertaining and that led me to accept an invite to go on a date with him," she recalled. Poston, it seemed, was also as excited and enthusiastic about the proposed date. But he reportedly told his stepfather, Peter Carter, that he was struggling over how to tell Hubers about it, effectively putting the final nail in the coffin to their year-and-a-half-long relationship. 

"I told him to make sure that he was kind to Shayna and that he told her honestly what was going on," said Carter at Hubers' second trial in 2018, per CBS, before recounting how Poston had also expressed worry that Hubers would ultimately sabotage it, describing her as "always around." Tragically, Poston would be murdered by Hubers only hours before he was due to meet Bolte in person.