Suspect cleared of murder charge after woman killed at Ashland Walmart

Published: May. 24, 2017 at 11:20 AM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2017 at 4:02 PM EDT
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Ashley Fricke was found murdered inside a car in a Walmart parking lot in Ashland. (Source:...
Ashley Fricke was found murdered inside a car in a Walmart parking lot in Ashland. (Source: Facebook/T. Law)

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - A judge has cleared a woman of a first-degree murder charge and use of firearm to commit murder in the shooting death of another woman in Ashland.

Brittany Wiggins was arrested in February after Ashley Fricke was found shot dead inside a car in the Walmart parking lot in the 100 block of South Hill Carter Parkway around 11 p.m. Feb. 18.

Police said at the time that a verbal fight between Wiggins and Fricke may have led to the shooting.

Attorney Joe Morrissey says Wiggins was confronted by two people upon exiting the store on South Hill Carter Parkway. Morrissey claims Wiggins, who is gay, was trying to get away but was followed by the two people who harassed her about her sexual orientation.

Wiggins, who Morrissey says has a concealed carry permit, then shot her gun in the air. Morrissey says Wiggins then left unaware the bullet struck Fricke.

Morrissey's law firm said in February that it intends to argue Wiggins did not intend to shoot Fricke and should not be charged with murder.

Wiggins also faces charges of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

The Grand Jury will still consider use of a firearm in the direction of people. The hearing will be on June 20 at 9 a.m.


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