A Florida woman stands accused of committing the heinous act of murdering her husband and clandestinely burying his body beneath a fire pit in their yard back in 2015. Now, she has taken a startling new approach, claiming that a 7-year-old girl, who has since grown to 14 years of age, is the one responsible for the fatal shooting. This young girl has expressed her willingness to testify on the woman’s behalf, as revealed in a recent court filing.
In September 2020, Laurie Shaver, a 40-year-old resident of Clermont, faced charges of second-degree murder, domestic violence, and accessory after the fact in connection with the disappearance and death of her husband, Michael Staver, aged 33. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office was involved in this investigation.
In February 2018, a friend of Michael’s raised concern and urged the police to inquire about his well-being. Michael, a monorail technician at Disney World Resort in Orlando, had last been seen in November 2015, and there was no indication that he would abandon his family, as per court records.
On March 9, 2018, investigators executed a search warrant that led them to discover Michael’s body concealed beneath a concrete slab and a fire pit in the couple’s five-acre property. It appeared that Laurie had strategically placed these objects to conceal the burial site, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Laurie has pleaded not guilty and was released on a $50,000 bond, awaiting trial scheduled for September.
However, nearly three years after Laurie’s arrest, her attorney filed a motion claiming that the actual perpetrator of the crime was a 7-year-old girl who has now grown into a 14-year-old. This motion requested the court to reevaluate the case, particularly the confession made by the minor child. The child, despite being aware of the rights she would waive and the potential penalties she might face, remained steadfast in her desire to testify.
Attorney Jeffrey Wiggs emphasized that these details were disclosed by the attorney representing the minor child. On the other hand, the Lake County prosecutor contradicted the claims, stating that no credible evidence supporting the child’s involvement existed, and the child had not made any statements to law enforcement agencies.
However, Wiggs countered the prosecutor’s stance, arguing that the State was overlooking crucial evidence that could potentially secure justice.
The relationship between Michael and Laurie had been tumultuous, characterized by frequent arguments and previous separations, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel. Court records revealed that the high school sweethearts were known to threaten each other with guns, and the Daily Commercial provided additional details.
Following Michael’s disappearance, Laurie allegedly assumed her husband’s identity on Facebook Messenger, leading his family and friends to believe he was still alive, as indicated by court records.
Subsequently, Laurie entered into a relationship with another man, who also happened to be the father of her two youngest children. The couple got married in 2016, as reported by Fox 35 Orlando.
In 2018, deputies from the sheriff’s office visited Laurie’s property to inquire about Michael, who had been reported missing. Laurie claimed that her husband had deserted the family and allowed the deputies to search her home. However, when they requested permission to bring in dogs for a property search, she asked them to return with a warrant, according to the affidavit.
The police returned on March 9, 2018, with a warrant, cadaver dogs, and ground-penetrating radar. By the end of the day, they discovered Michael’s body buried three feet under a concrete fire pit in the backyard, wrapped in a fitted sheet and secured with straps. An autopsy revealed that he had been shot once in the back of the head with a .38 caliber handgun, several months to several years before his discovery.
Amidst the shocking turn of events, Wilma Nicholas, the Shavers’ next-door neighbor, expressed her disbelief at the loss of Michael.
Throughout this ordeal, Laurie has steadfastly maintained her innocence. In a YouTube video from March 2020, where she sought donations for her legal defense, she asserted that she would never harm the father of her children. She described herself as a loving and caring person with a heart of servitude, nonjudgmental, and always striving to see the good in others.