Ashlee Martinson murdered her mother and her stepfather. But unlike many incarcerated killers, Ashlee sheds no crocodile tears and expresses no remorse. In fact, she says she’s happier in jail than she ever was when her folks were alive.
Ashlee was 17 years old when she shot her stepdad, Thomas Ayers, twice with a shotgun. She stabbed her mother, Jennifer Ayers, over 30 times. Then, she ushered her younger sisters into a room, complete with provisions like food and juice, and took off with her boyfriend, 22-year-old Ryan Sisco. After the two were caught, investigators determined that Ashlee’s boyfriend had nothing to do with the murder. Young Ashlee had acted alone in the brutal crimes.
The case, however, was a convoluted one, complicated by allegations of years of abuse suffered by Ashlee and her siblings. Now, from prison, she tells Crime Watch Daily that she is happy there and feels safe.
“My sisters are safe, and I know that sounds crazy because I’m in prison, but I feel like I’m free,” she said.
Ashlee told investigators that Thomas frequently beat her mother. It was like something out of a Lifetime Original movie. If her mom burnt dinner, she’d get a beating. If she didn’t clean up to Thomas’ likings, she’d get a beating. Others corroborated the abuse, and advocated leniency for Ashlee.
“You know how people say that I’m a monster? I wish people could have met Thomas Ayers. The way he was — the way he really was. Then people would know that he was the monster,” she said.
Ashlee’s sisters testified that Thomas was a mean stepdad. He whipped them roughly with belts, they said. And once, he strangled their dog, smashed it against a wall, shot it and fed its body to a bear. Ashlee said that wasn’t the only animal he murdered in front of them, and that she grew up listening to her mother begging Thomas not to hurt or kill her. Thomas also had a long rap sheet, indicating a violent past.
But if one could empathize with the teen for killing her allegedly abusive stepdad, why did she stab her mom 30 times? It would appear that Ashlee’s mom had a history of going steady with men who abused her and her children. Ashlee said that when she was 9, she was raped and burned with cigarettes by another one of her mother’s boyfriends.
On the day of the murders, Ashlee got in a fight with her parents, who forbid her from talking to her boyfriend. One might call that the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. A fed-up Ashlee retrieved her stepdad’s shotgun with the intention of killing herself. However, she had an epiphany when her stepdad knocked on her door. He should die. Not her. So, she gave him the ol’ zombie double shot: once in the neck, and again in the head to make sure he was dead.
Ashlee testified that she had not intended to kill her mother, but her mom didn’t take kindly to her blasting her stepdad’s head off. Ashlee grabbed a knife and plunged it into her mother’s body, again and again.
The crime was sensationalized by the fact that Ashlee had retreated into her own world online. Using the screen name Vampchick, she wrote many horror stories about bloodthirsty vampires and deranged serial killers, perhaps living out her fantasies for revenge against the men that had abused her. Ashlee, however, has said her blogs were just fiction.