Sharer memorial collage

A photo collage shows Shanda Sharer during different stages of her lifetime in this file photo. (Photo by Trisha Dunn)

SOUTHERN INDIANA — The third of four then-teenagers convicted in the 1992 torture, burning and killing of a Southern Indiana teenager has been released from prison.

Laurie Tackett, 43, was released from Rockville Correctional Facility in the early morning hours Thursday, the Indiana Department of Corrections confirmed. Her release was 26 years to the date from when 12-year-old Shanda Sharer was killed.

Tackett was sentenced in January 1993 to a 60-year-sentence for the murder and a related charge of criminal confinement, labeled a class B felony at the time, according to online court records.

She will be serving two years of parole with the Indianapolis Parole District, according to IDOC.

Tackett, 17 when the slaying occurred, was the oldest of four girls involved. All were charged as adults. Hope Rippey and Toni Lawrence, both 15 at the time, already have been released from prison. Melinda Loveless, the ringleader of the group, according to News and Tribune archives, was given the same sentence as Tackett and would be eligible for release in 2019.

On Jan. 10, 1992, the four girls lured Sharer from her father's house in Jeffersonville on the pretense that her girlfriend, a fellow student in New Albany, would be meeting her later. Loveless had dated the other girl prior to Sharer and had planned to scare her. Sharer was bound, beaten and burned.

In 2008, a judge denied Loveless' motion to have her conviction overturned, based on the assertion that as a minor, she was too young to understand the plea agreement and was coerced into it by exaggerated threats of the death penalty by the prosecution, her attorney said in a previous News and Tribune story.

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.

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