Inside the Lindsay Shiver case: an alleged murder plot to kill her husband in the Bahamas

Inside the Lindsay Shiver case: an alleged murder plot to kill her husband in the Bahamas

Cybele Mayes-Osterman

When a Bahamas beachside hangout popular with American tourists was broken into, the trail led to what police have called a murder-for-hire plot between a former Georgia beauty queen, the bartender who was her lover, and another Bahamian native targeting her husband.

Lindsay Shiver stands accused of conspiring to murder her husband Robert with the help of 28-year-old Terrance Adrien Bethel, with whom she was allegedly engaged in an extramarital affair, and Faron “Faylo” Newbold Jr., a 29-year-old local music producer, who prosecutors say Shiver tried to hire as a hitman during the couple’s summer vacation to the Bahamas.

The case, a sprawling story that reaches from Georgia to the Caribbean and includes a messy divorce, has drawn intense online attention, from dedicated Facebook groups to true crime TikTok discussions.

Shiver, 36, has been out of jail on $100,000 bail since August, when she was released along with Bethel and Newbold, the Thomasville Times-Enterprise reported. According to the terms of her release, Shiver must wear a monitoring device and cannot leave her Bahamian home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Shiver was scheduled for a court appearance before a magistrate court in the Bahamas on Thursday, but the hearing was postponed, Lindsay Shiver’s attorney Ian Cargill confirmed to USA TODAY. Cargill declined to comment on Shiver’s behalf. Other attorneys listed in a news release for the defendants did not return repeated requests for comment.

During the investigation into the break-in at the bar, police discovered Whatsapp messages they said were sent from Shiver to Newbold that reportedly included her husband’s picture with the words, “Kill him,” according to an arrest report viewed by ABC-7.

But those who know Bethel and Newbold say the accusations are wildly out of character.

“All of this murder plot, Faylo doesn’t know anything of that,” said Raoul Simms, a friend of Newbold since 2009.

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Simms said the wealth and status of the Shivers could have played a role in the police investigation. Robert Shiver, a former college football player, and his wife, a former cheerleader and beauty queen crowned Miss Houston County in 2005, lived an “expensive life” that included a private jet, boat, and a mansion in Thomasville, Georgia, according to divorce filings obtained by USA TODAY.

“It is just something that was blown out of proportion,” Simms said. “And it only got this kind of attention, not even because of Americans, but because of the status of these Americans.”

Achara Wallace, the manager at Grabbers Bar and Grill where Bethel worked, declined to comment to USA TODAY about the case. “We’re just trying to put that behind us,” he said.

A spokesperson for Robert Shiver declined to comment on the alleged murder-for-hire plot.

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Decision to delay

Although it could take months or even years for Shiver’s case to move to trial, there was enough evidence to forego a preliminary inquiry and send it straight to the Supreme Court, said Kevin Farrington, a tutor at the Eugene Dupuch Law School Legal Aid Clinic in the Bahamas. “They’ve made the determination that the quality of the evidence is such that they would want it accelerated to the Supreme Court.”

The Registrar of the Bahamas Supreme Court, Office of The Director of Public Prosecutions, and Royal Bahamas Police Force did not return requests for comment made by USA TODAY or release any documents in the case.

“They may be waiting on some additional evidence to add in the voluntary bill of indictment,” Farrington said, referring to the criminal file that compiles evidence in the case that could include police reports, witness statements and police interview of the three defendants. “That’s usually the cause of the delay.”

If convicted, all three defendants face sentences of up to 60 years in prison. “Because it’s conspiracy to commit murder, because the alleged murder was not carried out, then any possible sentence may attract the lower end of the sentencing scale of 35 years,” Farrington said. “In this case, maybe somewhere in the range of 15 to 20 years if convicted, in my opinion.”

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Marriage on the rocks

Tension in the Shiver marriage was revealed three months before the arrests, when the couple filed for divorce in a Thomasville, Georgia, court one day apart from each other.

In a filing obtained by USA TODAY, Robert Shiver blamed the divorce on his wife’s “adulterous conduct.” She countered in a pleading that “any extramarital relationship” occurred while the couple was separate and was “legally condoned by the husband.”

Lindsay Shiver asked the court to grant her a restraining order to shield her from “abuse” that allegedly occured in front of their children and compelled her to install locks on inside doors. Robert Shiver also asked the court to grant him a restraining order against his wife to keep her from “molesting or harassing” him.

In his filing, Robert Shiver sought to take the couple’s house, furniture, and car in the course of the divorce. He asserted his wife is not entitled to alimony, since she is “able-bodied and able to work.”

But, Lindsay Shiver countered that she is entitled to the couple’s mansion, and that because she is dependent on her husband’s support he should pay alimony, her divorce filing said. She also asked the court to compel her husband to pay incurred debts “far beyond her means to pay.”

The mother of three also alleged her husband moved $98,000 out of their joint account into his private account and blocked her use of the couples’ private jet as a means of “punishing” her by removing her from their “overall expensive lifestyle.” She asserted he willfully cut off internet access in their mansion by stopping his automatic utility payments.

Divorce lawyers for both parties did not return a request for comment.

Shiver’s appearance before a court in the Bahamas was postponed until next week, Cargill said.

Cybele Mayes-Osterman is a breaking news reporter for USA Today. Reach her on email at [email protected]. Follow her on X @CybeleMO.

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