Hawkinsville Family Seeks Justice
A family in Hawkinsville seeks justice for Ashton Bartlett, murdered last June. Bartlett's accused killer Birago Blackshear has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Not the life without parole the Pulaski County District Attorney told Ashton's family to expect.
"He was hiding and waiting for her to come over there. When she got there he pulled her out of the vehicle and jumped on her and was beating on her. Pretty soon after that he was dragging her down the road with a gun in his hand and somehow the gun shot her in the back is what he's telling," says Beth Bridges, Ashton's grandmother.
Last June, 18 year-old Ashton Bartlett was killed on McDuffie Dr. in Hawkinsville. In April the Pulaski County District Attorney's office gave her accused killer, Briago Blackshear, a deal for voluntary manslaughter. That leaves Ashton's family looking for justice.
"I was told that everything was going goo, that we had a good case, and were going to trial. Then all of a sudden the Friday before we go to court on Monday they tell us that they are going to offer him a deal because they're afraid he may not get convicted and then he would get away with nothing," says Bridges.
"I felt betrayed. It just goes against everything you thought America was about. They should have not been afraid, you know, to go for the throat. Because that's what they're there for. They're supposed to be there for that. Not for the easy way out, just to get a conviction so they can put it on their resume. It's not about personal gain. It's about bringing justice to the people," says John Bartlett, Ashton's father.
"What we're trying to do is just get somebody to look at the case and see if it was handled the way that it should have been. If it was investigated properly. And see if there's something that can be done because we just don't feel like we got justice for her. 25 years? She was only 18 years-old, she didn't even live 25 years," says Bridges.
"I just want people to stand up, not put up with this crap any more. You know, you can't go around giving murderers an easy way out," says Bartlett.
NewsCentral reached out to the Pulaski County District Attorney's office but they had no comment on this story.
If you would like to support the Bartlett's pursuit for justice you can sign a petition asking for further investigation into Ashton's murder. It's available under our News Links tab.