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Woman Sentenced for Slaying In Which Son Picked Out Victim

September 12, 1989 GMT

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (AP) _ A woman was sentenced to up to life in prison for killing a ranchman during a shooting spree in which victims were selected by a 9-year-old boy who said they were possessed by demons.

Sharon Lee Halstead, 36, received a mandatory life term with a minimum of 30 years after pleading guilty to aggravated murder in the Nov. 2 shooting death of Marston Lemke, a 59-year-old wrangler on a Newberg ranch. She is awaiting sentencing in a second killing.

According to court documents, Halstead was acting on the instructions of her 9-year-old son, Leo Shively, when she killed Lemke and Lynnann Green.

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Green was killed and her husband and 2-year-old son were wounded in a shooting in Grants Pass three days after the Lemke killing. The boy was shot as he sat in his high chair and is paralyzed from the chest down.

Halstead was accompanied by her sons, Leo and 12-year-old Harry Shively, and her sister, Deborah Halstead, when the killings occurred.

Deborah Halstead has been sentenced to prison for conspiracy. The children are in state custody, but have not been charged with any criminal offense.

Court documents showed Halstead believed Leo spoke for God. The killer believed her victims were ″totaled,″ a term used to describe someone whose body was occupied by evil spirits or demons.

Halstead feared she, her sons and her sister would be ″totaled″ if she failed to carry out the killings.

At Monday’s sentencing hearing, Halstead told Circuit Judge Donald Blensly she had nothing to say.

She is to be sentenced for the Green shootings on Sept. 26. She has pleaded guilty to a charge of murder and two charges of attempted murder.