DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. — The family of Ashton Brown, the 26-year-old who was killed alongside her two young children in an April murder-suicide in Davie County, spoke Tuesday wanting more information from the Davie County Sheriff's Office
Brown's mother, Christina Stuckey, spoke alongside the family's attorney Marwan Porter of The Porter Firm in Davie County. Brown's stepfather, two brothers, and sister also attended.
On April 20, the Davie County Sheriff's Office said 26-year-old Aschod Ewing-Meeks shot and killed Ashton Brown and their two children - a 4-year-old girl and an 8-month-old boy - before lighting the family's home on fire and turning the gun on himself. Investigators said the gun was still in his hand when they found his body.
The sheriff's office released a recording from a non-emergency line call from Brown earlier that day. Thirty minutes before the call, surveillance video showed the family walking into the sheriff's office. They asked to speak with an officer but didn't say why.
Stuckey said she knew something was wrong in the surveillance video.
"As soon as they walked in the door, she never left the rug, until he told her to come to the window. Bella never left her side. And then the other thing was, Brix was sound asleep. Why would (Ashton) even get out of the car with a sleeping baby? And everything she said to the receptionist, she was told to say. So, and then, what she did say, she gave them my address. She knew I was at home...I felt like she knew they would get to me and I would know something was wrong. But they never came to our house. But I could just tell – just her body language – she was just very standoffish and she never said a word," Stuckey said.
Stuckey said her daughter had been with Ewing-Meeks since 2014. The two met while at Shaw University. Brown played softball and Ewing-Meeks played football. When Brown moved back home to Davie County, Ewing-Meeks followed.
"Aschod was basically like another member of our family. We were together all day on Easter Sunday. He was at our house all day with the kids and Ashton, and all of our other children, and it was just a normal Easter Sunday," Stuckey said.
Stuckey described Brown as "amazing."
"She was a teacher and most importantly she was a mama that loved her babies. They were her everything," Stuckey said.
Stuckey described 4-year-old Bella as very intelligent with 8-month-old Brixtyn not too far behind.
The Porter Firm said it will be conducting its own independent investigation into what happened. They believe the Davie County Sheriff's Office should have intervened. The family's lawyers said so far, the sheriff's office has given answers that are "inconsistent and unacceptable."
"It’s very clear to everybody that the ball was dropped so we want to know why was that ball dropped? How is that ball dropped you dropped it? Who dropped it? Did personnel not follow policies and procedures? Do the policies and procedures that are currently in place need to be updated," asked Porter. Something went wrong and it ended in complete and utter tragedy and unimaginable crisis and when you have something like this you can’t just move on with life and forget about."
Tiffany Meeks, the mother of Ewing-Meeks, held a press conference in Raleigh on May 5. She said her son was hospitalized last year due to issues like extreme paranoia, nightmares, and other trauma. She also said he had several concussions from playing football and she has requested a CTE scan of his brain.
Meeks said there was "neglect" on the part of the Davie County Sheriff's Office.
"If one officer or one receptionist had taken the time to listen or call an officer off the street, (...Ashton's) mom wouldn’t be suffering the loss that I am suffering. Her family is suffering the same entire loss that I am suffering. Bella was my first grandbaby, Brixx was my only grandson. I loved Ashton Brown with my whole entire heart I loved Aschod with my whole entire heart," Meeks said.