Michelle Ashley has been found not guilty of being involved in the murder of a marine 25 years ago.
The jury deliberated for close to two hours before reading out that Ashley was not guilty.
“I told you I was innocent,” were Ashley’s first words to reporters after hearing the verdict, changing the course of her life forever.
It didn’t take long for Ashley to get to her second point after hearing the verdict. “You guys didn’t ask me. You didn’t ask me. You put on the news that I shot somebody you didn’t ask me. So now y’all can kiss my a** period,” Ashley stated.
“I’m very pleased with the jury’s verdict,” Robert Harris, Ashley’s attorney, said. “And I cannot thank the jury enough for looking through this. And I can’t thank the judge enough for giving us a fair trial.”
Michelle Ashley was arrested in 2019 for the murder of Marine Corps veteran and police academy graduate Keith Jones.
Both sides went at the jury during their closing arguments. The state believes Ashley helped plot the robbery of Jones, getting four men into the Tides Motel where those men beat and killed Jones.
Harris said that she truly was the victim of a robbery. Harris stated she didn’t need to rob Jones because she had money from working at the club Lookers in Fort Myers.
The defensa\e said she had known Jones for a long time and that they were friends, but why would she want to kill him?
And their argument as to why her story changed to police is simply because she was scared of the men who did the robbery.
“Detective Lawson told you how scared she was. She wasn’t conniving, she wasn’t thinking of what to do, she wasn’t planning to lie and to tell stories,” Harris said. “At first she said the story that the four men told her to say because those four men scared the bejesus out of her.”
Jones’ three siblings were in the courtroom on Friday. WINK News briefly had the chance to speak with them and they said it’s been a whirlwind just to get this far, but all they want is justice for their brother.