Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Death of Innocence - The Murder of Young Shanda Sharer

Tackett Interview

During the first week of December 1992, Laurie Tackett gave an exclusive interview to Chris Yaw, a reporter from WKRC-TV in Cincinnati. During the five-minute interview, Tackett repeatedly blamed Melinda Loveless for Shanda's death.

"I didn't think she was going to go that far," Tackett said. "It wasn't really the fact that I can't believe I'm doing this. It was the fact that I can't believe this is happening. I told her it was stupid.

"Shanda hugged me. She asked me not to let Melinda do it. She was crying...there wasn't anything I could do."

Tackett went on to say that she expected to beat the charges against her and that she planned on pursuing a degree in child psychology.

On December 10, 1992, Judge Todd accepted Toni Lawrence's plea agreement in exchange for her full cooperation. Reporters from all over the United States were already making their way to Madison in anticipation of the girls sentencing hearings.

"The age of innocence here ended about 10:45 a.m.. last January 11 on a dirt road fifteen miles out of town," wrote Chicago Tribune reporter Ron Grossman. "It's like you look at the Leopold and Loeb case, recast it for girls, and set it in Main Street, USA," he added.

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