Oxygen’s Snapped chronicles the life of a woman who has been charged with murder. These shocking but true stories turn common assumptions about crime and criminals upside down, and prove that even the most unlikely suspects can be capable of murder. This week – Fed up with her math professor husband, Shayne Lovera did some calculations of her own and decided his insurance policy was worth more than a divorce settlement.
Snapped airs every Sunday at 10/9C on Oxygen. For more information please visit:
Smart, pretty, and fun-loving Shayne Mills was the heiress of a local banking fortune in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In 1985, while at college in Missouri, she met and married fellow student Kelly Lovera. Five years and two children later, she persuaded Kelly to move back to her hometown at the foot of the Smoky Mountains National Park. Shayne worked a series of jobs, while Kelly finished his Master’s degree and took a teaching job at a local college. The couple often hung out with neighbors at their apartment complex, holding barbecues and playing poker on weekends. The fun came to an end the morning of November 6, 1994, when a park ranger found Kelly’s car crashed into a tree, and Kelly dead at the wheel. An autopsy revealed that Kelly hadn’t died from the crash — he’d been beaten to death. The Loveras’ neighbors quickly pointed police to Brett Rae, the son of a local newspaper publisher. Brett’s friends told police he had confided in them that he and Shayne were having an affair, and that Shayne had promised him more sex and a lot of money to get rid of her husband. Using luminol, investigators found a trail of blood in the Loveras’ apartment. They also discovered Shayne had yet another lover. This lover told police Shayne had confided that Kelly was cramping her lifestyle, and had asked about undetectable poisons. Both Shayne and Brett were arrested and charged with first-degree murder. At trial, friends of both Shayne and Brett testified that both had admitted to beating Kelly to death with a baseball bat, then staging the car crash. On the stand, Shayne denied the accusations. She told the jury that Brett had a case of fatal attraction for her, and that she’d slept through the whole thing. Shayne’s denials didn’t hold up for the jury, who convicted her of first-degree murder in March of 1996. Before her sentencing, to avoid life without parole, she pleaded guilty; in exchange, she was given life, but with the possibility of parole in 25 years.