A Dead Disney World Worker. A Wife on Trial for Murder. And a Girl, 7, That Defense Says Fired Fatal Bullet.

Laurie and Michael Shaver

Laurie Shaver has long maintained her innocence, and now the defense is claiming a then-7-year-old girl killed Michael Shaver by shooting him in the back of the head.

Michael Shaver disappeared on Nov. 15, 2015, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Lake County, Florida.

The affidavit says that three days later, the monorail technician at Disney World messaged his employer and suddenly quit his job. At the same time, his wife, Laurie, told friends and family that Michael had abandoned her and their children to start a new life with a new woman.

Two years later, a friend of Michael alerted police to the situation according to the affidavit, saying that no one had seen or heard from Michael since the day he went missing. That same friend also said that he believed Laurie may be impersonating her husband on Facebook and had built a giant concrete fire pit in the backyard shortly after Michael went missing.

On Feb.16, 2018, deputies with the Lake County Sheriff's Office say they arrived at the home of Michael and Laurie Shaver to perform a welfare check. Laurie welcomed the men in and cooperated with the search efforts according to the affidavit, until they inquired about checking the firepit with a cadaver dog.

Laurie instructed the deputies to leave her home says the affidavit, and they stopped their search. Those deputies then returned on March 9 and found the body of Michael buried three feet below the fire pit.

The affidavit says he died as the result of a single bullet to the back of the head, fired from a .38 caliber gun.


The couple owned multiple firearms according to the affidavit, and Laurie kept a pink .38 caliber handgun on her nightstand.

Laurie never once called her husband after Nov.15 according to the affidavit, or ever once sought child support payments. She also never filed for divorce, and began selling off Michael's guns and tools.

The affidavit also notes that Laurie married again less than a year after her husband's death, and had once allegedly told her new husband of Michael: "It's not that he's missing, it's that he's no longer walking this Earth."

She also told her new husband about a body buried on the property, suggesting to him that something bad happened according to the affidavit.

Laurie did keep up the illusion of Michael being alive according to the affidavit, sending sporadic messages on social media and allegedly telling stories about encounters between the two to her friends.

She even texted the wife of a man she dated for a few months after Michael's disappearance according to deputies, who interviewed that man. He informed deputies that he broke things off when Laurie allegedly showed him that she had gotten his nickname tattooed on her vagina.

The affidavit says that Laurie responded by sending screengrabs from their conversations to his wife while claiming to be Michael, telling the wife that the conversations between the couple were obtained after installing a spyware app on his wife's phone.


On Sept. 17, 2020, deputies arrested Lauire Shaver and charged her with second-degree murder, domestic violence and accessory after the fact.

She entered a plea of not guilty to all three charges, posted $50,000 bail and returned home to her two children with Michael according to court records. A trial date has been set for September.

Then, earlier this month, the defense filed a motion that contained a shocking new claim.

Laurie's attorney informed the court of "having received testimony from a minor child, who confessed to having committed the respective murder in this matter," according to a motion filed by the defense.

The minor child, now 14, would have been 7 when Michael's died from a single bullet fired to the head.

She met with her own court-appointed attorney, the defense says in the motion, and "represented her desire to testify in this case." She expressed this desire even after being "apprised of the rights she would be waving, and the possibility [sic] penalties she would be facing," notes the motion.

The defense sought to have the child evaluated by a professional in order to argue against any claims of witness tampering or fabrication during the trial, but both the initial motion and a motion for reconsideration were rejected by the court.

Prosecutors meanwhile continue to focus of Laurie, and her one-time high school sweetheart Michael.


Laurie had a tempestuous relationship with her husband says the affidavit, and court records show that in September 2014, a fight between the couple resulted in Michael being charged with battery. Those records also show that Michael agreed to a plea deal that allowed him to enter a 12-month pre-trial intervention program, which he successfully completed in just six months.

Both Michael and Laurie provided conflicting stories about the incident, with each accusing the other of brandishing a gun that they had to wrestle away during the skirmish. 

Michael went to live in an airplane hangar at work after that incident and even began dating a co-worker according to the affidavit. That relationship soured after Laurie began reporting the couple's actions to the human resources department at Disney World, according to the affidavit.

In May 2015, Michael and the co-worker split and he returned home to Laurie and their two children, according to the affidavit. Six months later, he was shot dead.

Now a jury will have to decide if it was his wife, or a child, who pulled the trigger.


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