Man sentenced in airman's death

Judge says Hinshaw shows limited prospects for rehabilitation

Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2007

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man who fired into a car killing a U.S. Air Force airman was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

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Steven Hinshaw, 23, who was convicted of manslaughter and assault, as well as tampering with evidence, was sentenced Friday to the maximum term for firing into a car and killing Crystal St. Auburn, a 22-year-old airman, on Nov. 25, 2003.

During sentencing in Anchorage, Superior Court Judge Philip Volland said that Hinshaw shows limited prospects for rehabilitation.

Hinshaw said he didn't mean to hurt St. Auburn.

"At no time when this happened did I ever think that I wanted to cause that girl any harm," he said.

Hinshaw had originally been charged with first-degree murder but the charges were reduced to manslaughter.

According to court papers, in the hours before the shooting, St. Auburn and her boyfriend, Levar Macon, got into a heated argument on the telephone with Macon's ex-girlfriend, Regina Bibbs.

Macon told police that the day before the shooting, Bibbs, 23, kept calling and quarreling with him about his relationship with St. Auburn. Court papers say the phone calls continued throughout the day with Bibbs challenging St. Auburn to a fight.

Around 3 a.m. on the morning of the shooting, St. Auburn, Macon and two other people drove to Bibbs' house and challenged her to come out and fight, bail papers say. The lights in the apartment went off but, Bibbs did not exit. Macon pulled into a nearby cul-de-sac and waited, bail papers say.

Macon spotted a familiar car driving by and followed it, the papers say.

Four people were in the car, according to police: Hinshaw; his girlfriend, Dorian R. Dixon; Bibbs; and another person.

Macon pulled up alongside the car on one of the city's main streets. Hinshaw, the driver of the car, told his girlfriend to roll down her window and lean back in her seat, at which time he fired five to six shots at the other vehicle, the court papers say.

St. Auburn, a front-seat passenger in Macon's car, was struck in the neck. Macon drove her to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Hinshaw and Dixon, 17, fled to Maryland after the shooting, where they stayed with a relative of Dixon's, the court papers say.

Anchorage police teamed up with Maryland officers and Hinshaw was arrested on Dec. 16 on an Anchorage warrant stemming from a cocaine bust. He was extradited to Alaska.

Three and a half years after the killing, Hinshaw's anger was still very much on the surface Friday.

"I don't agree with the DA when she says Crystal didn't deserve to die because I don't think Crystal deserved to die. I think Levar Macon should be dead," Hinshaw said.

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