Witnesses take stand in Fletcher Trail


By Meladi Brewer


GREENVILLE — Ashlee R. Fletcher’s trial for tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree and abuse of a corpse, a felony of the fifth degree, in correlation to Corey Flemming’s death kicked off on Monday in the Darke County Common Pleas Court. Judge Travis L. Fliehman presided.

Following the State Prosecutor Deborah Quigley’s opening statements, Defense Attorney David Rohrer addresses the jury saying, “Congratulations, the state prosecutor just proved to you that Dean Baker is a piece of garbage.”

He explained that in Baker’s case, the jury came back in less than an hour to sentence him to 22 years to life. The jury heard Fletcher and Baker were a couple, and Rohrer said he did not deny those allegations. However, it was stressed that regardless of if the jury condones the relationship, it is not a reason to say that the defendant did anything wrong or is guilty of the allegations brought against her.

“You are going to see a lot of evidence, and you will see a little bit…. Little bit relates to Fletcher,” Rohrer said.

Rohrer stated that alleged bookbag belonging to the victim officers found in Fletcher’s house cannot be proven to fall back on Fletcher, as Baker had been proven to stay at Fletcher’s a lot through the years. The state’s opening remarks claimed a cigarette butt with Fletcher’s DNA was found around the area the victim’s body had been found at Baker’s place of work.

Rohrer advised the jury, evidence will show Fletcher used to live around the area with her husband. He also stated the state’s evidence did not show him the same things they had claimed to see.

“What I find interesting, you got a footprint. Quigley says it matches. That’s not what the evidence says that she gave to me, but we will see,” Rohrer said.

Rohrer closed by saying there is not much in the way of evidence putting Fletcher in the spotlight. He said “there is nobody who says they saw her do anything or do anything to the body”.

“You will not be able to identify the pictures of a male and female. The state is going to show you a lot, but in the end, there is not enough proof without a reasonable doubt,” Rohrer said.

Detective Dale M. Dickman II with the Greenville Police Department testified that the note a female witness had brought to the station in regards to Baker confessing did not include information relating to Fletcher, nor did the testimony she gave bring up Fletcher in the investigation. Detective Dickmann did testify that while he was present with the search involving locating of the victim, he photographed cigarette butts that were processed for DNA testing.

Fletcher’s neighbor had advised officers Fletcher had borrowed their carpet cleaner a few days prior, and Detective Dickmann had swabbed the cleaner for evidence. Rohrer inquired about the carpet cleaner, and he testified there were no indicators from the neighbor that Fletcher asking for the sweeper was abnormal.

The second witness of the first day was Baker’s wife of seven years. She testified she and Fletcher had been best friends for two years after her husband had introduced them.

“She was always at the house, and I trusted her enough to watch my kids,” Baker’s wife said.

She said Fletcher would come over regularly to hang out with the family, and it was not uncommon for her to be around. On Aug. 7, the day before the victim was allegedly shot, the wife messaged Fletcher about a random prescription medicine bottle that had been left on the top of the mustang in the yard.

Fletcher said she had not realized she put it down when she had dropped off some tire shine about 22 to 30 minutes prior. Fletcher advised the wife that “no one was outside, so she didn’t stick around to bother anyone.” The wife had messaged Fletcher saying they had not been home, as they had run to go get some cigarettes and duct tape. She said Baker had said he needed it for the car he was working on, and the victim was watching the kids.

The wife also advised there was a text from Baker, on her phone, to Fletcher stating “It’s a rest night. Thought of you. Don’t reply” on Aug. 9. Though it was common for people to get hold of Baker through his wife’s phone due to him not having any service, further investigation had shown Baker and Fletcher coming and going from her residence numerous times throughout a full day. The state advised there will be video evidence later in the trial, of Baker and a female arriving and working in the early morning at the location the body was stored, buried, and found.

The wife testified Fletcher would come over to the house a lot to help with inside cleaning in order to make the workload easier on her. She worked third shift, so by doing the dishes or laundry, Fletcher was a big help; however, the wife said there really was not any carpet in the house, so Fletcher would not have a good reason to shampoo the carpet.

Rohrer cross examined the wife after she testified, and he said he had only one question for her: Do you have any evidence that indicates my client, Ashlee Fletcher, is guilty?

“Not that I am aware of,” the wife said.

Day two of the trial will begin with the jury view to the location the victim was stored and buried at before reconvening at the courthouse before lunch.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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