JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The video attached to this story is from a previous, related report.
The man who was arrested after a citywide manhunt in Jacksonville after a shooting on Halloween 2017 is standing trial for first-degree murder this week.
Jury selection began Monday, five years to the day that Ashlee Rucker was killed and her sister, Lisa Rucker, was shot in the face.
Chad Absher, Ashlee Rucker's ex-boyfriend, is charged in both shootings.
Ashlee Rucker was shot in the head and died just feet away from Lisa, in front of Lisa's 4-year-old son and Ashlee's 9-year-old son.
The bullet that struck Lisa Rucker went through her face, shattering her jaw bone and she went through multiple surgeries. The fracture was repaired with a bone from her foot, she told First Coast News. When she sat for her interview in November 2017, two weeks from the shooting, she still had a hole in her neck from a tracheotomy. When she spoke, she had to cover the hole when her hand.
Lisa Rucker and the sisters' father, Roger Rucker, said that Chad Absher abused Ashlee for years. Lisa said that the police were called multiple times.
The family spoke openly with the press throughout the investigation, advocating for women to speak out against domestic violence and avoid the same fate as Ashlee.
The state began with dramatic quotes, allegedly uttered by son of Ashlee Rucker during the incident.
“He won’t let her go... he won’t let my mommy go”.
The state gave details from that night to members of the jury from the eyes of the 9-year-old boy who ran to get help from his aunt during the killing.
The state described while the child went for help, Lisa Rucker went to the bedroom and the state claims Absher was still on top of Ashley Rucker and a fight ensued.
The state claims at one point after the fight, the 9-year-old saw his mom dead and his aunt injured
The defense began opening statements saying that it had a different view of what happened.
“It’s important to remember what you're not seeing,” the defense argued. Such as the fact that Chad Absher is missing a tooth from the fight that ensued between parties.
The state's first witness was the 9-year-old-boy, who is now 14 and in the 9th grade. The child lives in New Jersey now with his dad and a little sister.
The state showed him a picture of his mom, and Aunt Lisa and asked if he has memory of what happened to his mom. He answers yes, he was home at time
He testified that he called the boyfriend "T", a nickname for Chad Abshur, and that he wasn’t able to sleep through the night because of what happened.
The boy testified that he heard arguing between his mother and Chad Abshur and remembers his mom needing help, so he went to get help from his Aunt Lisa.
He says he went to Lisa's bedroom and told her about what was happening, and while Lisa went to check, he stayed in the bedroom.
The teen testified that he heard arguing from all three prior to hearing a gunshot.
He testified that he saw Lisa and his mom lying there after the incident.
Defense addressed the teen and asked if he ever saw a gun or weapon, and he replied that he did not.
The second witness was a doctor from UF Health Shands who began by giving a description of injuries to Lisa. He described the bullet going through the jaw bone, resulting in shattered fragments of bone and bullet.
He testified that some of the bullet fragments have been left inside her jaw during the reconstruction process, in an effort to not cause any injury to facial nerves,
He said the reconstructive surgery, took about eight hours.
Defense asked to clarify exit wound. The defense says if the bullet's entry was her left check and the bullet went into her oral cavity, some of those fragments would have been coughed up as there is no physical exit wound on the other side of her face.
Court adjourned for the day around 5:15 p.m.