By Eileen Persike
Ashlee Martinson was sentenced Friday evening to 23-years in prison for the murders of her mother and step-father in their town of Piehl home in March, 2015. Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom also ordered 17 years extended supervision.
According to the criminal complaint, and confirmed by a medical examiner, the 18-year old Martinson shot 37-year old Thomas Ayers twice with a 12-gauge shotgun, and stabbed 40-year old Jennifer Ayers more than 35 times. In a plea agreement, Martinson was found guilty in March of two counts of second degree intentional homicide.
The sentencing hearing lasted nearly 10 hours June 10. Almost immediately upon beginning the hearing, the judge called a recess to hear statements from two of Martinson’s step-sisters, now ages nine and 10 in chambers. District Attorney Michael Schiek called only one witness, Ayers’ estranged sister Sandy Rumore.
Martinson’s attorneys played a video featuring people who knew Ashlee, her mother and step-father. They called to the stand psychologist Sheryl Dolezal. The years of abuse the teen suffered was a key part of the defense.
The state asked for two 40-year prison sentences. The defense, stating that if Martinson had committed the murders 40 hours earlier, she would have been age 16 and could be tried as a child, requested the judge sentence Martinson to eight years.
Ultimately, in handing down the sentence, Bloom stated that while Martinson’s “quality of life was threatened” by her situation, her life itself was not threatened, and she “did have a choice.”