Det. Reed reveals interview with Fletcher


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — The jury attended a jury view on day two of the Fletcher trial before coming back to the courthouse to hear more testimonies. Judge Travis L. Fliehman presided.

Ashlee Fletcher’s, 39, of Greenville, husband took the stand. At the time of the case, he lived by his place of employment where the victim’s body had been discovered. Due to biosecurity purposes, outsiders living at the house with him were not permitted to be inside of the fenced area where the barns were located.

He testified Fletcher had lived with him from 2020 until 2021, and the husband testified she had not worked at the location since 2018; therefore, she was not permitted inside of the fence. Detective Morrisa Reed, who has worked for the Greenville Police Department for 33 years, relayed her experience with Fletcher through the investigation, collection of evidence, and interview process.

Det. Reed assisted with the transportation and search of Baker’s Escalade when she noticed the smell of cleaning agents and saw brush marks on the carpet. She then contacted the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to assist with the processing of evidence within the vehicle.

Detective Jackie Hawes had been previously informed by Fletcher’s neighbor that she had borrowed a shampooer five days prior. Later when Sergeant Joseph Monnin, Detective Monnin at the time of investigation, and Det. Reed interrogated Fletcher about the shampooer. The interview was conducted outside, as Fletcher did not consent to them going inside.

“She said she borrowed it for the carpet at her house, and Fletcher was saying there was food on the floor and was trying to clean some carpet,” Det. Reed said.

Through testimony and opening statements, the court had heard there was video evidence of Fletcher taking the shampooer to Baker’s house. Det. Reed testified that Fletcher did not admit to taking it to Baker’s until further questioning came into play before saying she took it over to clean the Baker’s living room carpet.

“They (Fletcher’s statements) changed, or she made up different things. I think at one point we even say to her ‘if it’s the truth, just tell us,’” Det. Reed said.

As part of the interview tactics, Det. Reed testified Det. Monnin told Fletcher that “if we find out you’re lying, you will lose your children” and Det. Reed said this was to try and get Fletcher to prioritize her children over the lies she was telling to protect the crime she had become involved in.

It was testified that Fletcher did not change her story or seem shaken up by the statement. Fletcher had also told detectives they would not find anything of the victim’s inside of the residence, as she claimed the victim had never been to the residence.

“She said he had never been there. First she said she didn’t think we would find any DNA in her house, and then she said later that there would be no DNA in her house. Nothing of the victim’s was in her house,” Det. Reed said.

The victim’s bag, as pointed out by Rohrer, had been found outside of the house. He confirmed for the court that the bag suspected of being the victim’s had been found around the back of the house, outside, and under the house.

Baker’s wife had testified the day prior that Fletcher would stop by the house quite a bit to see her and her husband. There was a time that stood out to the wife, as it was not Fletcher’s normal behavior.

“There was one time that she was at the house, said she had to leave to go get cigarettes, and then she didn’t come back for a few hours,” the wife said.

She continued to say she had been getting over COVID, so she was in bed. When she got up, she looked out the window and saw Fletcher’s vehicle sitting out in the alley.

“When I asked her about it, she said she was dropping off her son’s ashes to the victim. To me it didn’t make any sense,” the wife said.

Baker’s wife said she did not know what the victim’s and Fletcher’s relationship was, but they did know each other due to hanging out together when Fletcher would stop by.

Defense Attorney David Rohrer pointed out with confirmation that at the time of this interview, there had been no evidence pointing out to the detective that Fletcher was involved in the murder of the victim. Det. Reed said that that was just where the evidence led them at that time.

“By this time you had heard that Dean Baker was in a physical relationship with my client. Had that come out yet?” Rohrer asked.

Det. Reed said the department had suspected it, and they had heard rumors about their relationship; however, in the interview with Fletcher, she had denied the allegations and gotten defensive. Clothes and other items suggesting Baker had been living at the residence were found a few days after the initial verbal conversation with Fletcher.

Rohrer asked Det. Reed if her experience with the police department had led her to believe that just since Fletcher and Baker were allegedly having relations that Baker had either told Fletcher about or had helped her with the murder of the victim. To which she replied with “absolutely”.

Evidence collected and sent to the lab later showed Fletcher’s DNA on a cigarette butt around where the victim’s body had been, and a shoe print had been collected from a tire that was believed to be Fletchers. It was believed the tread print on the tire matched the bottom of Fletcher’s Nike sneakers, and they were sent to the BCI lab for analysis. Fletcher’s house also contained similar totes and rope that were collected into evidence within the Baker case.

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

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