The Life and Loss of Ashley Scott

Ashley Scott
Ashley Scott

Peers called her an inspiring colleague. Her students called her a role model.

Now more than two months after her death, childhood friends of Bolton High School teacher Ashley Scott opened up about her relationship with the man charged with killing her.

Action News Five's Andrew Douglas traveled from Memphis to Ashley Scott's hometown of Bossier City, Louisiana to find out more about the couple's relationship.

At the time of her death, Ashley Scott was considered one of the most popular teachers at Bolton High School.

Her hometown friends in Bossier City say she was the same way as a student and they remember the first time Ashley met the man now charged with her death.

"She would just instantly make friends with anyone," said best friend Lori Machen.

Home video shows Ashley Scott as a teenager, dancing in the kitchen.

She was Ashley Pittman then. "She loved people. She was really, really funny," said Machen.

Lori Machen and Erin May were two of Ashley's closest friends.

Machen went on to become Ashley's roommate at Ouachita Baptist University. Both Machen and May were there the first time Ashley met her future husband, Jeffrey Scott. "They went on an outing. We had social clubs at OBU. You would take your date and you would go out of town somewhere and you would pay and the whole group would go. I think they had gone to St Louis," Machen recounted.

"He was very kind of shy and I know he didn't know us so he was very kind of stand-offish," said May.

The couple clicked instantly and a few years later, married and moved to Cordova.

Machen once visited the couple in their new home. She says the relationship appeared normal. "Nothing, no yelling, no crying," she said.

But when Ashley would return to Bossier City. Friends say it was a different story.

"I could hear him speaking to her over the phone, he wasn't being very nice," said May. "There was some implications that he deserved more than her, that he was above her."

"I would consider it verbal abuse," she said.

Court documents show the couple was fighting on Thanksgiving last year when their argument turned into a "physical altercation."

Ashley Scott was pronounced dead at Baptist East that night.

The medical examiner ruled the cause of death, "multiple injuries as a result of a beating."

Police charged her husband Jeffrey Scott with murder. "He didn't just take Ashley's life, he took part of a lot of people," said May.

Those people are now determined to find justice for the friend they lost too soon.

The state plans to aggressively pursue the first degree murder case against Jeffrey Scott.

Scott's attorney, Leslie Ballin, told us the charge doesn't fit the crime. He says his client committed an assault, but that he didn't mean to kill his wife.

Jeffrey Scott, his family, and friends declined to be interviewed for this story.

Court records show the argument that lead to the physical altercation that killed Ashley Scott started over a text message on Ashley's phone.

Tonight on Action News Five at ten, find out what Ashley's sister knows about that message, and what her father has to say about his daughter's death.

Her family and the mysterious text message:

For the first time, Ashley Scott's family talked openly about Jeffrey Scott, his relationship with his wife, and that text message police documents show started the argument that ultimately led to Ashley Scott's death.

Pictures tell the story of Ashley Pittman, a vivacious little girl who grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana, surrounded by family and friends.

"She was very popular and very social. She was probably the most social person I knew," said Scott's sister Kecia Vekovius, who describes Ashley as smart, well-liked, and full of life.

Her father, Jim Pittman, adopted Ashley before she started kindergarten.  He was married to her mom.

"They said she came from a broken home. She come from people who loved her. Her husband and family up there is the one who screwed her up," he said.

Ashley Pittman met Jeffrey Scott as a student at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas.

Shortly after their first date, friends say Jeffrey became Ashley's world and she soon cut off all ties with her family.

"She just said she was starting a new life and felt like that's what she needed to do she was an adult," said Vekovius.

The couple eventually married and moved to Cordova.  Ashley's family wasn't invited to the wedding.  "Everything was good until she met him he had some sort of control over her mind," said Vekovius.

Police say on the early morning of November 23rd, the Scotts began arguing.

Jeffery Scott told investigators the argument was "about a text message Ashley received on her phone."

Court documents show the fight turned physical with Jeffery Scott striking Ashley.

He told investigators he then "made her sleep in the garage."  More than 12-hours later he called 911.

Ashley Scott was pronounced dead at Baptist East.  The cause of death was "multiple injuries as a result of a beating."

Police charged Jeffrey Scott with murder.

"You know what I think about him leaving her on the concrete floor in the cold...that's what I think about everyday," said her father.

In the days after Ashley's death, investigators asked Kecia Vekovius to gather her sister's belongings.

She took Ashley's cell phone and looked for the text message that Jeffrey Scott said started the fight that led to Ashley's death.  "There was no mysterious person who text messaged her," she told Action News 5's Andrew Douglas.

Vekovius says her sister's cell phone records only show text messages from Jeffery Scott around the time the couple began fighting.

"I don't know of any text message that was received from anybody that could have set him off in a rage," she said.

"My heart's broken...I'm angry. I'm full of hate right now. That's the way I am," said Pittman.

Jim Pittman will remember his daughter the way she was and is waiting for justice to come for the man police say killed her.

Jeffrey Scott is out on bond while he awaits trial on murder charges.

His former father-in-law says he'll be there when the case goes to court.

Jeffrey Scott, his family and friends all declined to be a part of this story.