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Florida Man Convicted of Murder After He Claimed Ex-Girlfriend Shot Herself in Head During Struggle


A Florida man was convicted on Thursday of murdering his ex-girlfriend. Chad Olan Absher, 37, testified it was Christina Ashlee Rucker, 30, who shot and injured her sister Lisa Danielle Rucker and then killed herself by accident. However, the jury ultimately agreed with testimony from survivor Lisa and the slain woman’s young son that Absher was the aggressor.

Absher apparently smiled after the verdict, as Judge Tatiana Salvador discussed polling the jurors on their decision (after 3:40 in the video above).

Prosecutor Cameron French reportedly quoted the young boy in his opening statement.

“‘He won’t let her go. He won’t let my mommy go. He’s beating her,'” French told the jury, according to WJAX. “Those are the words uttered almost five years ago to the day. He sees his mom deceased, bleeding, not breathing.”

The youth, who was 9 during the Halloween 2017 incident, said his mother and Absher argued before the shooting. The sister, who survived, also told her tale.

“I didn’t think he was going to shoot me,” Lisa Rucker testified. “I thought he was trying to scare me. As soon as I went to turn, everything went black. My ears started ringing. All I could hear was the ringing. I couldn’t see anything. I was in and out of consciousness.”

She found herself in critical condition after being struck in the head. Lisa Rucker testified that Absher had his hand on the trigger.

At the time of the incident, the women’s uncle Doug Freeman said he was not surprised at what happened, according to The Florida Times-Union. His slain niece, who went by her middle name Ashlee, was in an abusive relationship with Absher, he said.

She said the Absher even put up photos of Rucker having black eyes and knife slashes: “showing his trophies off.”

“We always referred to him as a wanna-be gangster,” he said. “… He and I had it out a few weeks ago because of the pictures he posted.”

Defense lawyer Amanda Edwards maintained that there was more to it than met the eye.

“The evidence is going to show you some people had motivation to lie,” she said, according to WJAX. “The evidence will show you no people saw Ashlee get shot. And Lisa was the only witness to her own shooting. Make sure you’re examining everything for what you’re not hearing as well. Because not everything is what it seems.”

During cross-examination of Absher, however, the prosecutor pointed out that the defendant left the women for dead.

“Yes, ma’am,” Absher said. He acknowledged that he thought both women were dead.

The prosecutor asserted he believed he was going to leave no witnesses.

“I don’t understand what you’re trying to say,” he said.

He acknowledged fleeing and taking the murder weapon. He never called the police or rescue. He slept in the woods.

“And it was cold that night, wasn’t it?” the prosecutor said.

Absher acknowledged he was hiding from the police.

He went to a man’s home. The man left to call police. Absher surrendered only after being spotted possessing his rifle in a door frame, the prosecutor asserted.

Absher maintained only Ashlee had the weapon — and that Ashlee shot her sister and herself.

“Neither one was intentional,” he claimed.

[Screenshot via WJAX]

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