LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A woman connected to one of Kentuckiana's most notorious murder cases is now out of prison.

The Indiana Department of Corrections confirms Melinda Loveless has been released.

In 1992, Loveless and three others beat, tortured and burned 12-year-old Shanda Sharer in the area of Madison, Indiana. Loveless organized the crime after she came to believe Sharer had stolen her girlfriend.

"The horror of it all. The child that died and the children that killed her," said Guy Townsend, the lead prosecutor of the case in 1992. 

It's an image many in Kentuckiana remember: young girls being walked into the courthouse in Madison, Indiana.

Through the years Shanda’s parents told WHAS11 they had trouble wrapping their heads around how four teens--Loveless, Laurie Tackett, Toni Lawrence and Hope Rippey--could commit such a savage act as kidnapping, torturing for hours and eventually killing their daughter.

"It was one of the hardest, I guess the hardest year of my life as a prosecuting attorney was the year that I had to deal with this. and it was a year, it was one year, I was basically full time trying to make sure the people that killed Shanda received a just sentence for what they had done," Townsend explained. 

A deal took the death penalty off the table for Loveless and Tacket, as long as they pleaded guilty. 

Both were given the max sentence of 60 years, which, under Indiana statute, can be cut in half with good behavior.

"If you get a 60 year sentence and you stay out of trouble, you get credit for good time, so you end up serving half the time," Townsend explained. 

Loveless is the last of the four women to be released. Laurie Tacket was let out in 2018. Hope Rippey was released in 2006, and Toni Lawrence in 2000. 

Loveless is being supervised by Kentucky Probation and Parole.

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