Just 24 hours after getting married, new bride Ashely Humphrey, 20, had shot dead the woman who had accused her new husband of assault.
Sandra ‘Sandee’ Rozzo was blasted eight times at point blank range while she sat in her car in Pinellas Park, Florida, in July 2004.
The 37-year-old had briefly dated Ashley’s new husband, Timothy ‘Tracey’ Humphrey, but was preparing to testify against him after accusing him of beating and sexually assaulting her.
Now Rozzo was out of the picture, the charges against Timothy – which could have seen him jailed for 10 years - were conveniently dropped… but now he was the prime suspect in her murder.
However Timothy must have known he would have been suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend, and produced an airtight alibi that placed him at his home, taking delivery of a pizza – something the restaurant was able to confirm to police.
The investigation was soon able to link Timothy’s new bride to the shooting, an innocent young woman seemingly held in the sway of her domineering and abusive husband.
Lead investigator Detective Paul Andrews told CBS News: “It was as close as you can get to a contract killing. The killing was intended to keep Tracey Humphrey out of prison.”
Once Ashley was in the frame she agreed to testify against her husband in exchange for a 25-year sentence. Timothy was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Ashley told the jury that once she agreed to kill Sandee, it was Tracey who hatched the murder plan. After a first attempt failed: “He said if you still want to live with me, you still have to do this. Don’t think this is a way out.”
Of her second attempt, she said: “I went to the garage and I slammed the butt of the gun on her window and she saw me and started screaming and then I just shot repeatedly until I thought she was dead. Then I looked in her eyes and she was dead.”
Ashley, who will leave prison in just 12 years, met with Piers Morgan at the Gadsden Correctional Facility near Tallahassee in Florida for ITV’s Killer Women series.
And she left him lost for words when she confessed to him on camera that it was she, not Timothy, who came up with the plan to murder his ex-girlfriend.
Despite testifying in court that her husband had manipulated her into committing murder, Ashley told Morgan: “I suggested what if she were not to show up in court.
“That is where it started and it snowballed. I was the first to say it.”
Morgan told the Mirror: “I wasn’t aware of just how big a bombshell this was until the detective who originally investigated the case gasped with shock when I told him what Ashley had confessed and said that if she’d said that at the time she might have got the death penalty.
“Until that point I was quite sympathetic to her claim that she had acted entirely under the manipulative influence of her nasty piece of work husband.
“But Ashley’s admission that the murder was her idea changed everything. At that point, I realised I was dealing with a very dangerous, disturbed woman.”
Killer Women with Piers Morgan airs on ITV on Thursday 13 July at 9pm.