By GARY POPP
NEW ALBANY —
A New Albany woman apologized in a Floyd County courtroom Wednesday moments before she was sentenced to 45 years in prison for fatally shooting a man last year during sexual role play .
Lisa M. Shuler, 32, Wabash Avenue, was permitted by presiding Floyd County Superior Court No. 3 Judge Maria Granger to address the court, which was crowded with loved ones of Shuler and the man she is convicted of killing — Charles Pierce, 49, Louisville.
“I apologize to the family,” Shuler spoke into a microphone while dressed in a green and white-striped jumpsuit. “I know I can’t take away their hurt or pain.”
During her brief statement, Shuler also said that she was sorry that her actions had caused her own family shame.
Pierce’s mother Mildred Pierce attended the sentencing hearing, and said afterward that she felt Shuler’s apology was not sincere and that the 45-year sentence was not enough justice for the loss of her son.
Mildred Pierce asked Floyd County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steven Owen to read a statement on her behalf during the hearing.
“I lost my youngest son,” Owen read to the court. “The hole that has been left can not ever be filled.”
Through tears, Mildred Pierce said her son visited her daily, and she still expects him to open the back door of her home yelling, “Momma.”
Charles Pierce’s family members are not the only ones who expressed their loss immediately after the hearing.
Shuler’s grandmother, Iretta Michael, said her family has experienced a loss that can never be replaced, adding the murder should not have taken place.
“If it hadn’t been for drugs, alcohol and perverse sex, neither one of them would be lost,” Michael said.
She said her granddaughter was raised in a supportive home, but had somehow lost her way.
“[Shuler] was raised in a Christian family, but, I don’t know, she chose to go the other way, but she is repentant of it,” Michael said. “She is going to pay 45 years, and we have lost her.”
Owen admitted that the murder and the subsequent court proceedings were difficult for both the Shuler and Pierce families.
“The facts in this case were very overwhelming,” Owen said. “The facts in this case showed an intentional act on Ms. Shuler’s part and a premeditated act.”
He said evidence taken from the crime scene support that the murder was planned and added that the state believed Shuler intended to kill Pierce before he arrived at her home May 6.
It has been reported that Shuler called 911 after the shooting and originally told authorities that Pierce was a home intruder.
She later told investigators, however, that after Pierce entered her home and the two engaged in “rape fantasy” role play.
According to the affidavit, once Pierce was in the home, Shuler began to perform a sex act on him, and when she had completed the act, she pulled a firearm from a holster on her belt and fired the gun until it was empty.
Pierce was found about 9 p.m. lying on the home’s living room floor and shot multiple times with a .40-caliber handgun at close range.
His pants and underwear were pulled down to his knees when emergency officials responded.
Pierce was taken to Floyd Memorial Hospital for treatment, but died a short time later.
Shuler has told investigators that Pierce had photographs of her from a previous sexual encounter that she did not want her husband to see, which Owen said Wednesday was a motive for her to carry out the murder.
It is not believed Shuler and Pierce had a long-term relationship.