DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The family of the mother killed in a murder-suicide last month spoke about their intention to investigate the policies and procedures that they believe may have failed their family.
Christine and Thomas Stucky, the mother and stepfather of Ashton Brown, were joined by Ashton’s brothers and sister and their legal representation, Marwan Porter, on Tuesday, speaking for the first time about the murder-suicide that claimed the lives of Ashton and her two children, when Aschod Ewing-Meeks allegedly shot and killed them and then himself after setting their home on fire.
“There was a tragic incident that rocked this community and the family has hired me and my law firm to investigate how this happened, why this happened and how to prevent something tragic like this from ever happening again,” Porter said. “When someone is crying out as loud as they can for help, those cries have to be listened to and they cannot be ignored.”
Ashton Brown, Aschod Ewing-Meeks and their children went to the Davie County Sheriff’s Office two hours before the tragedy, speaking to the receptionist before leaving and then speaking to deputies over the phone in multiple calls.
“The authorities and the agencies for responsible for listening to those cries have to pick up on those cues otherwise those things happen,” Porter said. “It cannot be addressed in a lackadaisical manner.”
“Ashton’s from this community. Born and raised in this community, went off to school and came back to the community,” he said.
“She was amazing,” Stucky said of her daughter. “She went off to college to play softball.” She initially attended Shaw University but then finished her education at Winston-Salem State University, getting a degree in education in 2019 and working as a teacher at the same school as her mother.
“Most importantly she was a mama who loved her babies,” Stucky said of her grandchildren, Bella and Brixton Ewing-Meeks, four years and eight months respectively. “They were her everything. They were the best part of her.”
She talked about how intelligent and well-spoken Bella was, and how much Brix looked up to her. “He was gonna be just like his big sister and she was proud to be his big sister,” she said. “I saw them every day, so it’s hard not doing that now.”
Stucky said that when Ashton returned to Davie County from Raleigh, Aschod came with her, and she described him as a member of the family. They had spent Easter Sunday together.
“Unfortunately, in some ways, portions of this community failed her and we don’t want that to happen again,” Porter said. “We’re here to investigate. We don’t want to cast aspersions or point fingers,” he explained. “When you do wrong, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for people to cover up their mistakes, but you can’t do that, you have to take accountability when you screw up so that it doesn’t happen again.”
Porter said that the family was given “conflicting” information after the tragedy, particularly about what address the family gave to the receptionist at the sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s department has said that Ashton gave them a Mocksville address that belonged to her parents.
“She knew I was at home. Because I was still home from surgery. I felt like she knew that they would get to me and I’d know something was wrong but they never came to our house,” Stucky said.
“It’s clear to everybody that the ball was dropped. We wanna know how that ball was dropped, why that ball was dropped,” Porter said. “Something went wrong. It ended in complete and utter tragedy.”
Porter said that the possibility of litigation does exist, but it isn’t the intent of the investigation. “We’re going to ask certain questions and hopefully they’ll be cooperative,” he said. “If not, we will initiate litigation to get this information. But the first step is to reach out and for there to be an acknowledgment of someone screwing up and figuring out what went wrong.”
“This family and this community deserve to know what went wrong,” he said. “We have agencies that we pay taxes to, to hear our screams whether they’re loud or silent.”
On May 5, the mother of Aschod Ewing-Meeks spoke about the case. She also stated that she believed the sheriff’s office did not respond properly to the phone calls and appearance at the sheriff’s office. She also stated she believes Aschod Ewing-Meeks was suffering from CTE due to concussions he sustained playing football through high school and college. He had been hospitalized in 2021 for suicidal ideations and paranoia.
Porter explained that they intend to have an independent investigation but would work with anyone who was seeking answers, including Aschod’s family. “His family is suffering as well.”
Their intention is not to level blame, according to Porter. “We want to see what Davie County Sheriff’s Department did, right wrong or indifferent we wanna know.”