Trial begins in alleged love-triangle murder

Published: May. 10, 2017 at 6:19 PM CDT
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An Omaha woman is on trial for murder. Prosecutors allege a love triangle turned fatal but the defense is arguing a murder might not have even happened.

Even though this is a murder trial, investigators never found a body or any remains of the victim -- and that is a key element to the defense’s case. The prosecution argues body or not, this is a case of bizarre fatal attraction.

In November, 2012, Nancy Raney reported that her daughter, Cari Farver was missing. Her family feared something was terribly wrong when she didn't show up for her father's funeral. The case went cold until 2016 when Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office detectives and the Omaha Police Department’s Cold Case Unit detectives joined forces and an arrested was made.

Shanna Golyar, 42, was arrested for the murder of Cari Farver. Golyar's trial began Wednesday. Chief Deputy Douglas County Attorney Brenda Beadle said, "There isn't any question, your honor, that Cari's dead. I wish it wasn't the case for this family."

Prosecutors said Golyar's motive to kill Farver was jealousy. They were both dating the same man. Prosecutors painted Golyar as an obsessive woman who went through a “web of deceit” to get what she wanted. And what she wanted, according to prosecutors, was a man named Dave Kroupa.

Both women met Kroupa on the same dating website. On October 29, 2012 Kroupa had his first date with Farver. Prosecutors said during their date, Golyar called and texted Kroupa. Prosecutors said Golyar followed the couple home. She was upset and told Kroupa she wanted to get her things from inside the home. Farver laughed it off and said she was going home, prosecutors said.

The women met only once face-tot-face, prosecutors said. Over the next two weeks, prosecutors allege, Golyar called Farver's home six times and blocked her number using *67. They said Golyar drove to Farver's home in Macedonia and vandalized her car. Prosecutors said Golyar created a fake Facebook profile and tried to friend request Farver - she never accepted the request. Using the fake profile she also tried the friend request Farver's son. Prosecutors said it wasn't the only fake profile Golyar used to try and get to Farver.

On the morning of November 13, Kroupa and Farver were getting ready for work together in his Omaha apartment. Kroupa left for work first, but Farver never showed up to work that day. Prosecutors said later that morning Kroupa began getting strange texts from Farver. First she asked if they could move in together and then a text that said, " I hate you."

Finally Kroupa received a text from Farver saying "I'm done with you. I'm moving to Kansas." Prosecutors allege it wasn't Farver who was sending the messages, it was Golyar.

On November 15, Farver's employers received texts from Farver's cell phone saying she's quitting her job and moving to Kansas. The texts went on to say she was sending someone to fill her position and that person was Shanna Golyer. Later that day Goyler sent her application to the company.

The next day, Farver was reported missing by her mother. Once Farver went missing, investigators traced her cell phone to within a half mile of Golyar's home. They also found blood in Farver's SUV and mints inside the vehicle with Golyar's fingerprints on the package. Another piece of evidence mentioned Wednesday included a digital photo found of a foot. Prosecutors say the photo was of a decomposing foot -- and that foot had a tattoo -- the same tattoo Farver had on her foot.

In her opening statement, prosecutor Brenda Beadle told the court Golyar confessed to Farver's murder in an email -- written under an alias -- saying she stabbed Farver inside Farver's SUV and then burned her body. But that's not all. Prosecutors also allege Golyar digitally posed as Farver -- posting on Farver's Facebook page and sending text messages to her mother.

"She spent her days her weeks, her months, her years, tormenting many lives during this, spinning a web of deception keeping Cari alive so she wouldn't get caught," said Beadle.

In his opening statement, Defense Attorney James Martin Davis argued there isn't enough evidence to prove a murder even happened.

"Where is the body of Cari Farver? Was there a homicide? Where did the homicide take place? Where is the murder weapon? Where are the eyewitnesses? What evidence is there of premeditation? he asked.

"You've heard a lot of evidence about what an awful person she is -- how crazy she is -- but that isn't enough to convict," Davis said.

This is a bench trial, there isn't a jury. The defendant, Shanna Golyar, didn't want one. so the judge will decide if Golyar is guilty of murder.