In a new interview with Crime Watch Daily, 18-year-old Ashlee Martinson said “I know this sounds crazy, because I'm in prison, but I feel like I'm free.” Known on the horror blog she kept as “VampChick,” Martinson is serving 23 years for shooting and killing her stepfather Thomas Ayers with a shotgun and fatally stabbing her mother Jennifer Ayers more than 30 times. She says that years of abuse drove her to her breaking point, but that now, “I can wake up every day and know that I'm safe.”
Martinson says her mother had a series of abusive boyfriends who abused her and her three younger sisters, including one who raped her when she was nine. Ayers would never hit Ashlee, but would beat her mother and sisters to punish her. Ayers had a history of run-ins with the law on a litany of different charges, at one point serving two years in jail for misdemeanor assault and menacing with domestic violence enhancers.
After being grounded for seeing an older boyfriend in May 2015, Ashlee says she took Ayers' shotgun and considered committing suicide. But when she heard her stepfather approaching, she panicked and shot him. While running away, she says her mother attacked her and stabbed her in the leg with a small knife. Ashlee says she blacked out and has no memory of stabbing her mother multiple times to her death. She then locked her sisters in a bedroom for their own safety according to her, and fled town with her boyfriend.
Police caught up with her in Indiana after a multi-state manhunt. Mental health professionals who interviewed her in the lead up to the trial determined she suffered severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Her sisters backed up her claims of abuse at the hands of their mother and Ayers, and in March she pleaded guilty to second-degree homicide. Martinson maintains she did it all for the safety of herself and her sisters and hopes one day they can forgive her. "I hope that one day that they can come to me and I can tell them what really happened,” she told Crime Watch Daily, “The truth.”
Photo: Oneida County Sheriff's Office