Attorneys for a Florida woman accused of killing her husband claim the couple’s 14-year-old daughter wants to confess to the fatal shooting.
The bomb allegations were made in court filings by Laurie Shaver’s defense on Monday (15 May), more than seven years after her 40-year-old husband Michael Shaver was shot to death.
The saga began in 2015 when Shaver was last seen by family members, but he was not reported missing until 2018 after loved ones became suspicious because they only communicated with him through text messages and social media.
Laurie Shaver, now 40, claims that her husband quit his job, abandoned their family and left for Georgia – or New York, California and even Afghanistan in his various accounts – in a Black SUV.
He allegedly used his debit and credit cards, sold his firearms and “married” his new girlfriend without reporting Shaver missing.
Her body was eventually found buried in a fire pit behind the family’s rural Lake County home in March 2018. Ms Shaver was charged with second-degree murder with a firearm and accessory after the fact, with his case being delayed by the pandemic.
Ms Shaver, who has pleaded not guilty to both counts, now claims through her lawyers that her 14-year-old daughter wants to testify in the case and admits that she and not her mother the one who pulled the trigger at the age of just one year.
The court previously denied defense motions to have the boy evaluated by a forensic psychologist — a necessary step before the court can determine whether he can take the stand.
Ms Shaver’s lawyers accused the prosecution of “bur[ying] their heads on what the evidence would be to actually find and ensure that justice is served,” per records reviewed by The Independent. According to the defense, the minor met with his legal guardian and “continues to be willing to testify.”
The Independent has reached Ms Shaver’s lawyers and Shaver’s family for comment.
According to the affidavit for her arrest, Ms. Shaver told sheriff’s deputies that her husband left the family home in 2014 after he was released for a domestic violence arrest.
The record shows that Shaver was taken into custody after his wife allegedly hit him in the head with her pink .38 caliber gun and said he was drunk.
He then admitted that the last time he saw her was during the court hearing for their custody case in 2015.
Ms Shaver cooperated with an initial search of the home after a request for a wellness check by a friend of Shaver’s in February 2018. But when deputies asked to bring the dogs to the carcass to the place where a fire pit was built, he reportedly asked the investigators to leave.
Ms Shaver’s boyfriend, Travis Filmer, told authorities during the investigation that his boyfriend said, “That’s not [Michael] lost, because he no longer walks on this earth.”
He also tells her that something bad happened on the property and Michael’s body was buried there.
After obtaining a search warrant, investigators returned to the home and discovered Shaver’s body buried three feet under the fire pit. He was covered with a tarp and sheets.
An autopsy determined he had been killed by a single gunshot to the back of the head. Authorities determined that Shaver was killed between 7 November 2015, when he quit his job via text message, and 10 November 2015.
Three days after Shaver’s body was found but before it was positively identified, a postcard was sent from Orlando to the Shavers’ home. It read: “Tell the kids I love them see you soon, Mike.”
Shaver’s boss told investigators that he had never missed a day of work without calling in, and that he would not have left his work equipment. One message, believed to have been sent by Ms Shaver, said her husband’s employer could keep his belongings. A co-worker visited the home to check on Shaver but was told by Ms Shaver that she had left Georgia, although her husband’s car was still on the property.
Shaver’s family and friends began receiving strange texts. One of them addressed to his sister, read: “Everyone should start leaving me alone as they have done all my life.”
A text from his nephew said: “Who are you? … I don’t have a family anymore. I don’t know who you are. Now stop messaging me”
Other co-workers told police that Shaver would sometimes come to work with bruises on his face, chest and arms, and on one occasion claimed Ms Shaver had punched him with closed fists.
About 10 days after he was presumed dead, Shaver’s debit card was used to buy lingerie that was delivered to his wife at the family home.
Loans sent to Shaver’s property and purchases of up to $5,000 were also allegedly cashed by Ms Shaver, police said.
Several witnesses interviewed by investigators claimed that Ms Shaver began selling her husband’s firearms, allegedly telling potential sellers that she was also selling his truck and the house for $150,000.
Authorities believe that the fire pit was built between March 2016 and the cement slab was completed in September of that year. Ms Shaver and her boyfriend allegedly continued to work on the fire pit in the summer of 2016 and posted pictures on Facebook of their progress.
Police have accused Ms Shaver of impersonating him before and after his death. Investigators believe Ms Shaver posed as her husband in an attempt to convince the wife of a man she was having an affair with to file for divorce.
The man told investigators he did not think his relationship with Ms Shaver, which is believed to have taken place several months after Shaver was killed, was serious and went on to break it off after Ms Shaver reportedly got a tattoo of his name near her door.
A woman Shaver dated while he and his wife were separated also told authorities she remembered a time when Shaver warned her that Ms Shaver had a gun and was upset about their relationship.
The woman claimed Ms Shaver threatened to tell her family she was a “homewrecker,” and called her grandmother at 3am.
Investigators alleged in court filings that Ms Shaver had access to four guns at the time she was accused of killing her husband.