JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A judge Thursday waived the first court appearance for the man arrested in the shooting of two sisters at a condo on Jacksonville's Westside early Tuesday morning.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had arrested 32-year-old Chad Absher Wednesday after reportedly getting a tip that he was holed up in a house on 118th Street near Blanding Boulevard. JSO surveyed the house and determined that Absher was inside.
The Sheriff’s Office called its SWAT team out to the area and after some discussion, Absher surrendered to police without incident.
Absher is accused of shooting his girlfriend, 30-year-old Ashlee Rucker, and her sister, Lisa, 28, at Cedar Creek Apartments in the 5600 block of San Juan Ave. overnight Tuesday. Ashlee Rucker died and her sister was critically injured.
Absher is charged with murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
"What else could you say... you're just so glad that they got the man who murdered your daughter," said Roger Rucker, the father of the sisters.
JSO said Absher was found inside the home of an acquaintance. At this time, police say he didn't live there and do not know if he was armed but plan to go inside the home to collect any evidence.
Outside the courthouse, Absher’s relatives denied the accusations against him.
“My son is innocent,” said a woman named Sherry who identified herself as Chad Absher’s mother but said she uses a different last name, which she declined to disclose.
Absher’s father William acknowledged the Ruckers’ pain, but not his guilt.
“I hope for the best,” the elder Absher said. “Two families have been really tore apart here, and I hope to God that everything can come out alright.”
Chad Absher's family vows his innocence outside court after first appearance waived moments ago. @FCN2go— Jeff Valin (@JeffValin) November 2, 2017
Asked whether he thinks someone else might have committed the crime, William Absher said “Yes, I do, I sure do.”
But then asked if he has a specific different suspect in mind, he said “I can’t comment on that. I wasn’t there so I really don’t know.”
Chad Absher's history with the JSO includes a conviction for stalking an ex-girlfriend and throwing/shooting a deadly missile into a dwelling in 2006. He was also arrested in February this year for trespassing, DUI and driving with a suspended license.
Ashlee Rucker's family say she was in a relationship with Absher for five years. Roger Rucker said their relationship was one filled with domestic violence and said Absher began beating her about four months into the relationship.