23 Enero 2017 16:38
She shot her stepfather and stabbed her mother. Now she’s telling her grisly tale from prison.
‘I’m happy’ Ashlee Martinson said during an interview with Crime Watch Daily which aired last Tuesday. ‘I know that sounds crazy, because I’m in prison, but I feel like I’m free. I can wake up every day and know that I am safe.’
Martinson says she feels freer in prison than she did at home in Piehl, a small town in northern Wisconsin. It was there that a lifetime of physical, sexual and psychological abuse culminated in the horrific crime that shook the US last year.
Ashlee shot dead her stepfather, Thomas Ayers, 37, and stabbed her mother, Jennifer Ayers, 40, more than 30 times. She then locked her three younger siblings in a bedroom and fled.
Following a manhunt across various states, police finally arrested her in Indiana, where she was hiding out with her boyfriend. In March, she pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was condemned to 23 years in prison.
‘I’m not a monster,’ she told Crime Watch Daily. ‘I never meant for any of this to happen. It doesn’t make it right, what happened. But I was just a girl, an abused girl, who was forced to make a really bad decision. I’m not the monster that they portrayed me to be.’
Professionals who interviewed Martinson after the incident described her as a teenage girl who, after years of alleged abuse, was suffering from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The darkness of her mental state was clear from her blog.
Martinson had a horror blog titled Nightmare, in which she wrote under the pseudonym ‘Vampchick’. She’d published a poem, just days before the incident, about torturing and killing people. The blog has since been taken offline.
On 7 March 2015 – one day after her 17th birthday – Martinson got into a row with her parents. ‘I was supposed to move out, in with one of my friends. I was all packed up and ready to go that day. But my stepdad stopped me. I was going to be 100% imprisoned in that house.’
That was when she took her stepfather’s shotgun with the idea of killing herself. ‘I was sitting on my bed. I even had the end of it in my mouth, playing with the trigger. Then I heard my stepdad.’
‘I was scared of him. I am messing with his gun – one of his precious belongings. And I thought he was going to snap on me. And I just reacted. I raised the gun and I pulled the trigger.’
Martinson ran down the stairs, where she found her mother, who she stabbed more than 30 times before shooting her stepdad again. ‘And in that moment, I felt the chains break around me. I was free. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was free.’
‘He couldn’t hurt my sisters anymore. He couldn’t hurt me anymore. He couldn’t hurt anyone.’
Over the years, Thomas Ayers had been accused of assault, kidnapping, grooming minors and being party to the sexual assault of a child younger than 15. According to court documents, ‘he had numerous prior arrests and convictions.’
Martinson’s sisters told authorities that Thomas Ayers would hit them ‘very hard’ with ‘a thick belt and his hands’, that he had choked them and given one of them a black eye. He also abused Martinson’s mother, they said.
Martinson told Crime Watch Daily that she hoped one day her sisters could forgive her for what she’s done. ‘I hope that one day they can come to me and I can tell them what really happened. The truth. Because I do want a relationship with them. I miss them so much.’