The Union Recorder

Local News

February 5, 2012

Murder suspect seeking severance

MILLEDGEVILLE — Murder suspect Ashleigh Elaine Ricks appeared in Baldwin County Superior Court Friday to ask the court to sever her from co-defendant Andre Brown before the pair go to trial for murder of her stepfather.

Criminal defense attorney Tom O'Donnell presented numerous instances in case law to back his argument that trying the two together would infringe on Ricks' right to a fair trial — a trial tentatively scheduled for the first week in May.

Mandle Charlie “M.C.” Waters was killed after someone shot him twice in the back from the rear seat of his compact car as it was parked at the secluded intersection of Kemp Avenue and Lewis Court in Hardwick. He was then robbed of thousands of dollars on his person.

Ricks, Waters' stepdaughter, and Brown, Ricks' boyfriend, were jailed at the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center both charged with malice murder and armed robbery.

Investigators believe Ricks set up the robbery and murder leading Waters to his death as Waters stopped to pick up Brown while taking Ricks home.

In statements made following their arrests Ricks and Brown both blame the other. O'Donnell says this alone indicates a need for the pair to be tried separately. Citing potential conflicts and deductions that may be drawn by jurors examining those statements, O'Donnell asked Superior Court Judge William A. Prior to consider either separating the defendants or suppressing the statements.

Prior said he will issue a ruling on the matter ahead of the trial tentatively set to happen in May.

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