Suspected killer in 1999 murder arrested again

Published: Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM.

According to current Gulf County Sheriff Joe Nugent, drugs were involved and there were allegations made by Ash that Sewell had raped her, charges that were never substantiated.

Ash has spent time at Chattahoochee and another state mental health facility since the murder, but Nugent indicated that, working with the family, investigators had developed sufficient evidence to re-charge Ash with murder.

“We think she is competent,” Nugent said.

The arrest was necessary to taking the next step in proving Ash is competent.

Nugent said her defense attorney would likely raise the issue again, forcing the court to direct Ash to undergo a competency exam.

If she is again found incompetent, that would be the end of the case, Nugent said. Charges could no longer be brought.

However, if Ash is found competent to understand the charges and assist in her defense, Nugent said the State Attorney would resume to press the case forward to trial.

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