Valentine's Day killer seeks relief

Friday, March 23, 2012

By Brian Mosely

Special to the Tribune

SHELBYVILLE - A Bedford County woman found guilty of the 2007 shooting death of a Shelbyville auto salesman will return in July for a post-conviction hearing.

Ashley Mai Cook made a brief appearance in Bedford County Circuit Court on Monday, and will come back on July 6 for a hearing on post-conviction relief. Her victim was a former resident of Lewisburg and Cornersville.

Life sentence

She was convicted for the Feb. 14, 2007, murder of Bill Ross and sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler to life imprisonment for first-degree murder, as well as a consecutive sentence of 20 years for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Cook is currently being held at the Mark Luttrell Correctional Center in Memphis.

She claims in court papers that she was refused a mental evaluation, had ineffective assistance of council, that her court-appointed attorneys coerced her to stand trial, and that her lawyers failed to bring to the court's attention that a witness against her "was not credible."

Appeal denied

Last July, Tennessee's Supreme Court refused to hear Cook's appeal, which claimed that ..for the rest of this special story pick up a copy of the Marshall County Tribune