By Eileen Persike
Ashlee Martinson appeared in Oneida County Court this morning and agreed to plead guilty to two counts of second degree intentional homicide in the deaths of her mother and step-father a year ago. Today’s court appearance was initially scheduled as a status conference to determine Martinson’s mental state, but instead a plea hearing proceeded.
The 18-year old was originally charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide. Three counts of false imprisonment of her sisters were dismissed. The guilty plea means no trial will take place.
Killed March 7, 2015 were Jennifer Ayers, 41 and Thomas Ayers, 40. The Oneida County Sheriff’s office was alerted to the deaths when one of the young sisters made a 911 call. Martinson was arrested the next day in Indiana as she fled with friend Ryan Sisco. She has been behind bars in Oneida County since mid-April last year.
Defense attorneys provided the media with a 26-page history of Martinson’s life. The document describes Jennifer Ayers’ relationships with abusive men, some of whom reportedly physically and mentally abused Martinson. It also outlines investigations into abuse allegations against Thomas Ayers that include domestic and child abuse as well as animal abuse.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 17. District Attorney Michael Schiek is asking for a sentence of 20 years for each murder, a total of 40 years initial confinement. Martinson’s attorneys are asking for 8 years, four years for each.