The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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July 29, 2012

McDonald County woman seeks new trial following 1995 murder conviction

JOPLIN, Mo. — Lisa Blevins smiles as she looks at a photograph of her young daughter making faces in the back seat of a car at their home in Stella. In another photo, she sees Sheena, her only child, in a wedding dress with the man who would become her husband, Tim Eastburn.

Her smile gives way to an expression of sadness.

“She was only 15 then. She was just a kid,’’ said Blevins. “Sheena was wild. I will admit that. For her and Tim, life was one big party.

“She got herself in situations that got her into a lot of trouble. There were a lot of things that happened to her as a child that she never told me.

“I just wish I could have done more for her when I had the chance. Maybe things would have turned out differently.’’

About two years after the wedding photo was taken, Tim Eastburn was dead. Prosecutors claimed that Sheena, who turned 17 just 50 days before Tim was killed, was the mastermind of a plot in which she enlisted the aid of two accomplices to shoot Tim, then 22, for his money and drugs.

The Eastburns had divorced two months before the shooting, which occurred on Nov. 19, 1992, at Eastburn’s rural home at Rocky Comfort. But they were still seeing each other.

Prosecutors told jurors during her trial on July 20, 1995, that Sheena had lured her ex-husband into the kitchen of his home.

On the back porch, Terry Banks, Sheena’s new boyfriend of two weeks, and his friend, Matthew Myers, waited for an opportunity to shoot Tim through a kitchen window with a rifle the men had stolen two days before in a burglary of Tim’s home.

With Sheena standing beside him and just after he kissed her, Tim was shot in the head by Banks. Myers came inside with the rifle and shot him again to “finish him off.’’

During the trial, prosecutors introduced nearly 60 items of physical evidence, including the rifle, bullet fragments taken from Tim’s body, and dozens of photographs of the murder scene as well as his autopsy.

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