Alexis Shear anchors ABC21 weeknights at 5, 6 and 11. She also helped launch the ABC21 Digging Deeper investigative team.
Alexis joined ABC21 in 2016, and quickly exposed safety concerns with the Fort Wayne Police Department using children to translate officers interviews with non-English-speaking victims and suspects in domestic violence cases. She also investigated claims by relatives of two children murdered by their mother, and by a caseworker, that red flags went unheeded for years by the Department of Child Services. Records later released to the media confirmed the department closed several investigations over failure to reach the victims’ mother – now a convicted murderer.
In a three-part series, Alexis shed light on significant public health concerns from Southern Indiana communities near the Rockport coal plant – a plant listed as one of the largest and most polluting plants in the nation and one that serves as a major source of power for Fort Wayne-based utility company Indiana Michigan Power. Her reporting led to public outcry of a proposed $275 million plan to upgrade the coal plant.
In April 2017, a Huntington doctor arrested for raping an employee and who pleaded guilty to two counts of felony sexual battery, received no jail time. Alexis’ investigations into the doctor, his former employer, and the judge who sentenced him prompted a lawsuit filed by ABC21 (and supported by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association) against the judge for the right to broadcast a public record – court-recorded audio from the doctor’s sentencing hearing. Protesters gathered outside the courthouse and sex assault victims and advocates called for the public broadcast of the audio. The Indiana Court of Appeals sided with the Huntington judge. Two months after the ruling, a court probation officer accused the judge of sexual harassment, and he resigned about a year before the end of his term. The lead prosecutor in the doctor case replaced the judge, and the Indiana Supreme Court is now studying Indiana’s long-standing prohibition of news cameras in its courtrooms.
In other investigations, Alexis confronted then-Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller for accepting campaign contributions from companies he was tasked with taking to court – a practice he freely admitted to in his interview. She exposed a grossly understaffed public defender system for criminal misdemeanors in Allen County (and a loophole for the county to bypass state caseload guidelines), and revealed the financial burden of unpaid child support on families and the justice system – and a systematic courtroom practice that allows deadbeat parents to avoid jail time.
A year after Alexis joined the ABC21 team, the Indiana Broadcasters Association awarded ABC21 as the Indiana Television Station of the Year.
Before her move to Fort Wayne, Alexis worked as a weekend anchor and reporter for FOX28 in South Bend. There she investigated Notre Dame’s handling of student sexual assault reports, churches paying to teach sex education in public schools and Ivy Tech giving state lawmakers plum jobs in exchange for political favors.
Alexis is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Art History from the University of Miami.
Alexis’ first language was Spanish. She was born and raised in Miami. Her mother is Colombian (now a naturalized U.S. citizen) and her father is Caucasian (born in South Carolina and raised in Boston). Her family still lives in Florida – where Alexis enjoys visiting them every winter.
In January 2018, Alexis married Fort Wayne’s NBC Morning Anchor Adam Shear (her maiden name was Alexis Gray).
When she’s not reporting, you can catch Alexis and Adam checking out the city’s food and beer scene, drowning a bucket of popcorn in butter at the movie theater, or (occasionally) trying to work off all those calories at the Y – make sure to say hi!