In 2002, Ashley Smith’s mother put her in an oven and turned up the heat, leaving that toddler to die. She was luckily rescued by her father, and her mother was sent to prison.
Ashley went through 28 different surgeries in 10 years after the injuries she suffered at her mother’s hand. Now, her mother may be released on parole.
Ashley was raised by her aunt and uncle on her father’s side, and considers them her parents.
Meanwhile, Ashley’s older sister, who was 8 at the time of the incident, has regular contact with their mother and would like to see her get an early release.
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Ashley is now 15 and is getting ready for high school. She recently called for her mother to be denied parole.
Wright was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2003 after pleading guilty to attempted murder. She initially told authorities that Ashley had fallen out of her arms and into the oven and that the door closed behind her. This was proven untrue, however, and she later revealed that “voices told her to put the baby in the oven.”
In July of this year, she was considered for early release, which she was ultimately denied.
Ashley and her attorney requested that the board delay her mother’s parole for the maximum extent of five years. She will be eligible for parole again in 2021.
Ashley’s sister, Courtney Brenson, who was 8 at the time of the incident, supported an early release for her mother.
“I went to visit her multiple times. She went through classes for mental health. She has been through child-abuse classes. She has actually got the help she needs,” Brenson said. “She is on the right medication to help her with her mental illness. I feel like she has changed. When I go visit her, I can actually see the difference in her.”
Ashley disagreed, citing her young niece and nephew as reasons.
“I think Melissa should stay in prison a few more years before she gets out,” she said in court. “They are about the same ages as me and Courtney when this happened. I honestly do not trust her and I’m afraid for their safety. I can’t imagine anybody being in as much pain as I was in.”
Ashley added in court, “I do not hate Melissa, but I do not love her. I forgave Melissa.”
Ashley was raised by her aunt and uncle on her father’s side and considers them as her parents.