What First Seemed Like A Fairytale Romance Ended In Homicide For A Tennessee Teacher

Ashley Scott was ecstatic when her college sweetheart proposed on Christmas 2000, but her newfound love was not what it seemed.

Ashley Scott [left] and Jeffrey Scott [right] on their wedding day.

On November 23, 2006, Ashley Scott was beaten to death. That same day her husband, Scott, was arrested and is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence for second degree murder.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

While families were sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner in 2006, a beloved high school English teacher was taking her last breaths on her bedroom floor in Cordova, Tennessee.

Jeffrey Scott called 911 on the afternoon of Nov. 23, 2006 to report that his 28-year-old wife, Ashley, was unconscious in their suburban home. Scott’s friend, a physician named Roger McGee was at the home, and the 911 dispatcher heard McGee tell the man that his wife was dead.

When emergency medical personnel arrived, they found Ashley unconscious on the floor with swollen, split lips while blood streamed from her mouth, ears, and nose. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital, but she succumbed to the injuries.

Police asked Scott what had happened to his wife of five years, and he told them that the pair had been drinking heavily and that she fell to the floor and got hurt when he pushed her.

It was not the first time that Scott had laid hands on his wife.

The Signs Were There

Ashley’s best friend, Lori, was devastated when she heard that her friend was dead.

The pair had been inseparable since the fifth grade when they bonded over their love for New Kids on the Block. They cheered on the middle school cheerleading squad — Ashley was the captain — and after high school, they decided to attend the same Christian college in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

When Ashley met Jeffrey, Lori noticed subtle changes. As Ashley fell in love with the handsome business major, she began to distance herself from her friends and immerse herself fully in Jeffrey’s upper-middle-class life. Jeffrey came from a traditional family — his parents were still married, his father worked a white-collar job, and they lived in a wealthy Memphis, Tennessee, suburb. It was a far cry from Ashley’s upbringing — her mother walked out on her 12th birthday, leaving her with her adoptive father, Jimmy, and her older step sister, Kecia, to fend for themselves on a blue-collar salary.

Jimmy, who spoke to Ashley by phone several times a week while she was at college, noticed she was harder and harder to reach as she fell more and more in love with Jeffrey. Finally, Ashley sent him and Kecia both a letter asking them not to contact her again. They were not invited to her and Jeffrey’s summer 2001 wedding.

The distance between Ashley and her family made sense as the horror of Ashley’s marriage and death became clear — Jeffrey had used Ashley’s working class background against her, making her feel ashamed of her roots. Once she was isolated from her family and friends, she felt she had nowhere to go as Jeffrey’s physical abuse escalated.

Jeffrey was arrested the day he called 911, and he is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence for second degree murder.

Get the whole story on American Monster premiering on ID May 29 at 9/8c. Other episodes are available now on discovery+.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence or abuse from a romantic partner, you can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, call 1.800.799.SAFE, or text START to 88788 for help. Advocates are available 24/7 to help callers talk through their situation and connect them with local resources. There is no charge to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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