Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Death of Innocence - The Murder of Young Shanda Sharer

Shanda's Mother Speaks Out

Hope Ann Rippey
Hope Ann Rippey

As Tackett tried to map out her own road to freedom, Rippey was busy packing her bags, and on April 28, 2006, 29-year-old Hope Ann Rippey walked out of Indiana Women's Prison on parole after serving 14 years of her original 50-year sentence. "She tortured her," Sharer's mother, Jacque Vaught, told The Courier-Journal. "She tortured her for 10 hours . . . I do not accept this," she said. "She murdered my daughter . . . I'm just incensed by [the release]," Vaught said. Vaught then reminded reporters how Rippey lured Sharer out of the house, held her down while she was stabbed and strangled, sprayed window cleaner into her wounds and poured gasoline on her so the group could burn her alive.

According to Sharer's mother, Rippey's early release was made possible because the St. Joseph County prosecutor failed to do his job. Vaught was adamant that they could have prevented Rippey's sentence reduction if they had chosen to oppose the sentence-modification motion back in 2004. "She poured gasoline on my 12-year-old child and burned her alive, but she is an asset to society and has strong convictions and is ethical? I don't get it," Vaught said. "I just don't get it."

Regardless of who's right and who's wrong, once again a brutal killer was free to roam the streets of Jefferson County, Ind. Hope Rippey will be required to report to probation officials there; however, she will be under supervision for only the next five years.