Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Ashley Scott murder trial in Memphis, TN...another domestic violence case

I would not normally attempt to blog about a murder trial that involves domestic violence. First and foremost, having been a victim of domestic violence, I may find it difficult to be objective in my writings. Then again, this blog is about parental alienation, to which I am the target parent and I may find it hard to be objective in my writings pertaining to this as well. I do my best and attempt to be objective, but that is not always easy to do. I am writing this today because I was sent a link by a friend who asked that I make a post about this. Little did I know that this would be a labored task. I have read the blogs about the trial and also did a bit of research as well and will now attempt to write about this case.

Let me state some facts and at the end of this I will have links I used in my research for this entry. Memphis is a city in the southwest corner of the state of Tennessee and it is the county seat of Shelby County. As of 2008, Memphis had an estimated population of 677,272, making it the largest city in the state of Tennessee , the second largest in the Southeastern United States, and the 18th largest in the United States. According to an article published April 13, 2008: 63,000: Domestic violence calls received in 2007 by law enforcement agencies in Memphis and Shelby County;

24,000: Domestic violence cases investigated; 4,014: Criminal domestic violence cases handled by the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit in 2007 -- 3,295 misdemeanors and 719 felonies; 52: Percentage of crimes against persons in Shelby County that involve domestic violence; 50: Average number of aggravated domestic violence calls to the Memphis Police Department daily, or more than 18,000 a year; 22, 27, 23, 14: Number of of domestic homicides in Memphis in 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004, respectively. According to another article published Sunday, September 7, 2008, a death that was being written about was the 27th homicide linked to domestic violence in 2008, nearly double the number (14) at this time last year. According to another article: A woman is battered every 8 to 10 seconds in the United States (3-4 million times per year); A man is battered every 16 minutes in the United States (143,000 times per year); On average, Us medical schools require only two hours of training in adult domestic violence and less than half of family practice residencies require education about Intimate Partner Abuse. Thirty-one percent of female physicians and 14% of male physicians have personally experienced domestic violence. Thirty-one percent of nurses report that they or someone in their immediate families have experienced domestic violence.

These are alarming statistics! Domestic violence happens everyday somewhere to someone you know or know of. Domestic violence knows no bounds, knows no racial lines, knows no religious affiliations and knows no gender. Although statistics seem to have a higher percentage of female victims, I believe that the male percentage may be understated.

Now onto the story about Ashley Scott.
Ashley Scott, a teacher in Memphis, was 28 years old when she was beaten to death by her husband, Jeffrey Scott. On November 23, 2006 after an evening of drinking and arguments, Jeffrey beat his wife and left her in the garage. He claims that he brought her back inside and laid her on the floor by the fireplace at approximately 9am. At approximately noon, he attempted to move her to the bed. Around 2:30pm, he called a friend, who was a medical doctor, and asked that he come to his house alone. Since it was Thanksgiving Day, Jeff knew that his friend was most likely with his family. According to documents contained in the blogs, the paramedics received the 911 call at 3:13pm. At 7:52pm, Ashley was pronounced dead due to blunt force trauma to the head.
If this link works, you can hear the 911 call. In my opinion, Jeffrey Scott sounded too calm, cold and calculating. Shock? Decide for yourself if you listen to the tape.
"Uh, my wife is unconscious," said Scott on the tape.
McGee told the jury he believed Jeffrey to be in shock. He was calm as McGee started CPR.
"How's she breathing now, is it normal," asked a 911 dispatcher.
"Yes," said Scott.
"She's dead," McGee can be heard saying in the background.
"Sir, did I hear him say she was dead," asked the dispatcher.
"Yes. That's what he said," said Scott.
"You said she was breathing," the dispatcher said.
"She was. She was just a second ago," said Scott.
The jury got to hear all the dirty laundry of the couple. They drank, perhaps even too much. Ashley had a DUI. They both had affairs. This was all done to discredit Ashley and to place the sympathy factor into the minds of the jurors. The use of alcohol was presented to discredit Ashley as she drank too much and had received a DUI. The victim is dead and cannot defend themselves, so the best thing a defense can do is to discredit them. Then the use of alcohol was brought up again, as the reason that the fight got out of control. The alcohol played a part, but it was Jeffrey's conscious decision to beat his wife and not to stop. The use of alcohol did not make him beat his wife, nor did it make him beat her to death. It became the crutch that the defense wished to use. Ashley drank, Ashely had a DUI, Ashely had a level above legal limit. All these portrayed the evils of alcohol. The defense went as far as having another doctor testify that perhaps Ashley's death was alcohol related. Then the defense raised the issue that Jeffrey had been drinking, almost saying that he was influenced by the alcohol and perhaps things got out of hand.
If you check any of the links I used to write this post, you can read the jury trial. The one thing I noticed was how familiar this story sounded. I could relate. Jeffrey was mean and abusive. He called his wife names, told her she was not a good teacher, told her she would not be a good mother, but they were supposedly attempting to have a baby. I read somewhere that Jeffrey said she would do right if she gave him a son. News flash for you! The man determines the sex of the child, the woman carries the baby until birth. He monitored her expenses, monitored her calls, monitored her friends, he was always checking up on her. Perhaps when these means of intimidation and coercion did not control his wife as he thought they should, he started in on the physical abuse. It was reported that Ashely went to school many times with heavy makeup and long sleeves, even when it was hot outside. This was done to hide the bruises.
This what abusers do. They control by any means they can and when those means stop working they up the tactics. There is a difference between constructive criticism and outright offending and demeaning remarks. I was told I could not do certain things correctly, such as wash his shirts. Therefore, his shirt had to go to the dry cleaners. Therefore, I had to allow in the budget this expense. If I tried a new recipe for dinner that did not work out, instead of a comment of this one does not work, I was told I did not know how to cook. My home was clean or so I am told by people that have visited my home several times, but I was told by my ex that I did not know how to keep a home. Never mind that he did not offer to do it the way it was supposed to be. If I did not get a joke, I was told I was stupid. If I went to the store and took longer than he thought, I was accused of having an affair and was prohibited from going to the store alone. I did not handle the finances correctly and he would take care of them, but his bills would be paid first and then if I was good, he would allow for my bills to be paid. When I started standing up for myself, the physical control started. I was one of the lucky ones and got out before he placed me in a hospital or worse.
Little did I know that the abuse would continue after our divorce by the means of parental alienation. Now he controls our son's mind, like he did me at one time.
Please if you are a victim of domestic abuse, please seek some assistance. Tell your story. I feel this is important for the male victims as I believe they are silent. Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers will use these excuses for their violence.
The jury found Jeffrey Scott guilty of second-degree murder for the beating death of his wife, and he had the same reserved manner that he displayed on a 911 call played during his trial. He faces 15 to 25 years in prison when Judge James Lammey Jr. sentences him Feb. 19. There is no parole for second-degree murder, but he could earn a time reduction of up to 15 percent for good behavior. UPDATE: Jeffrey Scott received 25 years in prison without parole.


  1. he had to monitor her calls , she had umteen affairs . of course if my wife had an affair i'd just divorce her and tell her to not let the door hit her on the ass on her way out of the house . bottom line , an affair means divorce ...period . no second chances or ignorant and naive forgiving and forgetting .

    1. So I see you did not give your name. That speaks volumes! My name is Betty Pittman and Ashley was my niece. I agree, being unfaithful is a reason for divorce, not murder. Ashley had one affair.
      Just had to correct you - whoever you are ------ BPittman

    2. Having an affair is never an excuse for abuse, or, murder, you stupid, cowardly misogynistic pig.

    3. From the time stamp of your post, I would not expect anything any different. Any person, man or woman, who abuses their spouse is a coward and deserves to be in jail for 25 years. And while an affair is not a good thing, you better believe the affair didn't happen 100% because the spouse, who had the affair, just wanted to do it. The other spouse had something to do with it as well. As soon as people stop jumping to divorce and getting to the real underlying problem, then we can all forgive, like the Bible tells us to. But I can tell you this, no woman, or man for that matter, deserves to be abused. Abuse is what a weak, coward with absolutely zero self-esteem resorts too. Ms. BPitman, I didn't know your niece but I am so sorry that this happened to her. I will keep you and your family in my prayers, as well as any other person who is privately or publicly suffering from spousal abuse. God Bless you.

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