Full Episode: When a woman covered in blood shows up on her neighbor’s doorstep, Georgia police commence a home invasion investigation that leads them to uncover more twists than they could have ever imagined. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)
On July 25, 2009 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Ashley Schutt called the police and told them a black man raped her and killed her husband Gregg Schutt. Gregg was a described by friends and family as a gentle giant and very sweet mannered. Gregg met Ashley at his place of employment; she was a customer. Ashley was described as quiet, timid, withdrawn, and scared to talk. But for some reason, Gregg drew Ashley out of her shell and they started dating. And in the spring of 2000, Ashley and Gregg decided to get married. Ashley graduated from high school and the two got married within a week of her graduation. Gregg wanted to provide for his family so he decided to enlist in the Army in the winter of 2001. After graduating basic, he went to San Antonio for training as a veterinary tech. He loved his job and Ashley liked being an Army wife. Over the next few years, his job would take them all over the world. They were stationed in Nebraska, Kansas, and Japan. Gregg did really well in the military and was looking forward to a great future in the military. But then Ashley’s health took a turn for the worse.
Ashley was diagnosed with diabetes and it was hard to control so she had to take insulin shots. She also gained a significant amount of weight and was having problems with her heart. She was literally on the verge of having a heart attack. Ashley’s was sent to Hawaii for specialized care and the doctors were concerned about her long term medical well-being. They thought she would be better off if she stayed in the United States where she could get treatment. Ashley moved to Atlanta, Georgia in July 2004 and after Gregg was discharged from the Army in December 2004, he moved to Atlanta to be with Ashley. The couple used their savings and purchased a home in Lawrenceville, Georgia. But Gregg struggled to find steady civilian work and Ashley’s medical bills were piling up. Gregg was depressed because he couldn’t provide for his family the way he wanted to. In order to make ends meet, the couple rented out one of their rooms to a young woman named Deidre. The rent money helped stabilize their money problems. Then in 2008, Gregg found work at a nearby veterinary clinic and a few months later Gregg received a small inheritance after his grandmother passed.
The money came just in time for Ashley because doctors said she needed radical weight loss surgery to solve some of her healthcare issues. Gregg didn’t hesitate to pay for the surgery and Ashley lost a lot of weight. Ashley literally transformed and was half the size she was before. She felt more confident and outgoing. Over the next several months, Ashley and Gregg’s life appeared to improve. Gregg still loved his job and Ashley’s health finally stabilized. After Ashley found a steady job at a call center, the pair was ready for their roommate to move out. They saved some more money and Ashley was ready to have a child. But on July 25, 2009, Gregg was murdered. When police arrived, they found Ashley covered in blood. She was able to give a brief statement but it appeared she had just gone through a traumatic event. Ashley told the police the attack began shortly after 3 a.m. and the suspect was an unknown black male. She said Gregg told her someone was in the house. And then a black male entered their bedroom and immediately started stabbing Gregg. Ashley also said the man raped her and made her watch as he killed her husband.
The police’s primary concern was Ashley’s safety and medical status. While Ashley was being treated, police intensified their search for the attacker and examined the crime scene. Gregg was stabbed multiple times and beat in the head with a hammer. His wrists and throat were also cut. This was a prolonged, sustained attack on him and his body was in horrible condition. There was a lot about the crime scene that didn’t make sense. There was no ransacking of drawers or evidence that anyone was looking for anything of value. The entire room was also drenched in water. They found the cell phones hidden in the microwave so if Gregg did escape, he wouldn’t be able to find his cell phone. This was not a normal crime for this particular neighborhood. There were no witnesses to the events and nobody saw anything unusual. Meanwhile, Ashley’s condition improved and she wanted to amend her initial statement. This time, she said there were two black men who entered the home. The two men were wearing yellow hoodies and grabbed knives from the kitchen. Gregg started fighting with the guys to protect Ashley.
Ashley began to provide more detail in her second statement. She said two black men stormed the house and brutally murdered her husband and raped her. She claimed the two black men used Gregg’s sex toys to rape her and they kept stabbing Gregg while they were raping her. She said the attackers asked Gregg how he wanted to die. Then they made her fill a bucket of water and forced her to dump it down Greg’s throat in an attempt to drown him. Ashley says after hours of painful torture, they decided to finish Gregg off with a claw hammer. Ashley said she had to witness Gregg die and described in detail what she observed as he was dying. She thought they were going to kill her next but they spared her life because they didn’t murder women. The police had to ask themselves why were Ashley and Gregg targeted to begin with? They know crime can happen anywhere but it didn’t make sense why the suspects chose this house, this time of day, and this family to terrorize. The detectives know they always have to consider alternative theories because if you get stuck on one theory and don’t give possibility to the others, you may be doing an injustice.
Police theorized this crime could have been drug-related if they were looking for cash and it also could have been some marital strife where an outside party is involved. Detectives started looking into Gregg and Ashley’s inner circle to see if they could find some leads. They started with the roommate and found out the roommate did drugs but Gregg and Ashley weren’t happy about having drugs in their home. Ashley and Gregg together decided Deidre needed to move out and Deidre wasn’t happy about it. She felt betrayed because her and Ashley were friends. Deidre admitted leaving the house on bad terms but after a few months Deidre and Ashley made up and became friends again. Deidre told detectives if they were looking for answers, they needed to look at Gregg. She said Gregg was physically and verbally abusive to Ashley when she was living with them. He was also very aggressive and impatient. Detectives checked the records to see if there were any domestic disputes on file but found no documented physical abuse. Although fear of the abuser and what it will do to the family often prevents victims from reporting.
When police spoke to Ashley’s parents, they confirmed there was trouble in the relationship from the beginning. They said Gregg was controlling and didn’t want Ashley to do her hair or make up or even leave the house. They said Ashley told them he said she was fat and ugly and no one wanted her. As the years went on, the abuse seemed to get worse. Ashley was having frequent suspicious “accidents” and they felt a lot of her health problems were because of Gregg. They said she lost hair because of the stress and gained the weight because of the way he treated her. According to Ashley’s parents, two weeks before Gregg died, Ashley said she wanted to leave Gregg but was afraid of what he would to do her. Ashley claimed Gregg told her if she tried to leave, he would slit her throat before she cleared the garage door. Ashley’s dad told her to call a divorce attorney and make sure she didn’t say anything to him. Ashley’s dad didn’t want her to pay the price because he wasn’t sure what that price may be. The police had to ponder was Gregg’s death a result of Ashley’s growing fear of Gregg and this somehow pushed her over the edge.
Ashley told one of her friends that she was definitely afraid and felt like she couldn’t leave. The detectives knew from experience that married couples sometimes don’t get along and there was a good possibility that Ashley was the suspect. Less than 24 hours after Greg was found dead, the detective’s focus was beginning to change. Ashley was changing her story, there was no forced entrance, the doors were locked from the inside, the crime scene was confined to the master bedroom, and there were no valuables taken. The crime scene didn’t match the story. They also found wedding bands and a torn picture of the couple on the floor. They thought maybe they found their motive so they went to the hospital and met with the trauma nurse who treated Ashley. Here they learned that there was no trauma and Ashley wasn’t raped. The detectives wanted to meet with Ashley again and this time she admitted her initial statements were fabricated. She told the detectives she was a battered wife and she killed Gregg. She said after she returned home from work, he was going to hit her and she told him if you hit me, this is going to be the last time.
Ashley said she threw her rings on the floor and started packing her bags. She said Gregg came at her with a knife in hand so she grabbed a claw hammer sitting on the dresser and fought back. She said she hit him on the head until he dropped the knife. She then grabbed the knife and ran, and when he came at her, she accidently stabbed him. She then admitted after years of pent of rage, she lost control and stabbed him multiple times. Now police were tasked with investigating if this was a justified act of self defense. They checked the cellphone records to see if they could learn more. They learned that moments before the attack, Gregg was online with one of his friends. The friend said Gregg told him Ashley was home so he had to go. Everything appeared normal. Gregg’s friend also said if anyone was abusive, it was Ashley. He said after Ashley lost her weight, she was pushy and overbearing with Gregg. She also controlled his time and what he was allowed to do. Greg’s friend said she was not a very pleasant person. The police theorized boredom rather than abuse may be what was driving her away from Gregg.
The police learned that Ashley had been dating Gregg since high school. They thought maybe she wanted to start over with her new body and be single. Honestly, the cops were not sure what the real motive was. When the autopsy results were released, it showed that Gregg didn’t have any defensive wounds, therefore Gregg was most likely asleep at the time of the attack. Gregg also had a high dose of Ambien in his system but Ashley was the one with the prescription, not Gregg. Police theorized that after Gregg passed out, she killed him while he was most vulnerable and unable to defend himself. The autopsy results revealed that Gregg was stabbed almost 40 times and beaten about the head with a hammer. The police now had evidence of a premeditated attack and as a result, Ashley was charged with first degree murder. News of the arrest was polarizing. Some knew immediately she did it. Her parents weren’t shocked by the news but didn’t believe she was guilty of murder. On April 25, 2011, Ashley Schutt’s trial for the death of her husband in 2009 started in a Gwinnett County courtroom. Ashley was facing life in prison.
In their opening statements, prosecutors asserted after Ashley’s life changing weight loss surgery, she yearned to start a new life without Gregg. But instead of filing for divorce, Ashley drugged him and killed him to be free of him forever. Ashley testified in her own defense and said she was a battered wife who killed in self defense. She said she went through years of hell with a controlling and domineering man who would rather see her dead than leave him. On cross examination, prosecutors asked Ashley about the sleeping pills found in Gregg’s system and the lack of defensive wounds. Ashley’s demeanor began to change while she was on the stand and all of a sudden she was snapping back. The jury agreed that Ashley killed Gregg with cold hearted premeditation and she was found guilty on all counts. Ashley Schutt received a life sentence with parole after thirty years. She was also given an additional 35 years for aggravated assault, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, and false statements. As of 2018, Ashley’s appeal for a new trial has been denied twice. She is currently appealing her case to the Georgia Superior Court for the third and final time.
Source: ‘Ashley Schutt’ Snapped
Ashley and Gregg Schutt shared a seemingly happy life until a brutal murder exposed the dark underside of their relationship. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)
Gwinnett police officers describe the events of July 25, 2009, when Gregg Schutt was found dead in his own home. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)
During interrogation, murder suspect Ashley Schutt claimed that her late husband Greg was an abusive spouse. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)
Murder in Georgia: Former Sterling woman’s trial begins
Journals, friends paint marital contrasts in Schutt murder trial
Mother: Daughter was emotional mess from marriage
Lawrenceville woman convicted in husband’s murder
Life sentence for Sterling native
Ashley Schutt v. State of Georgia (2013)
Wife’s murder conviction upheld
Life sentence upheld against woman who stabbed husband 38 times while he slept
Snapped: Preview – Secrets And Lies (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – A Horrendous Crime (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Interrogating Ashley (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Ashley Schutt | Snapped | Oxygen (S23, E27)
Watch Ashley Schutt on Snapped (Oxygen)