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Chad Absher convicted of first-degree murder of Ashlee Rucker | Jacksonville murder trial

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.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — *Warning: Graphic content

A murder case that led to a citywide manhunt in Jacksonville has now come to a conclusion.

Chad Absher, arrested in the shooting death of his former girlfriend Ashlee on Halloween 2017, has been convicted of first-degree murder.

The jury decided that the murder of Ashlee Rucker, Chad Absher's former girlfriend, was pre-meditated.

He was also charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Ashlee's sister, Lisa Rucker. 

Absher could face life in prison.

“My thanks to law enforcement and the prosecution team of Cameron French, Trey Atkinson, and Jen Braunstein for their commitment to Ashlee Rucker’s family and for their great work on this tragic case,” State Attorney Melissa Nelson said in response to the verdict.

Rucker's sister and victim, Lisa Rucker says this outcome is what her family hoped for. 

"I'm happy and I'm excited the jury saw the truth and didn't believe the crazy story he told," Rucker said. 

Absher took the stand in his own defense Thursday. He told the jury he is the victim and his girlfriend was the one who shot Lisa in the face before shooting herself in the back of the head. The prosecution demonstrated that it would be impossible for Ashlee to shoot herself like that using the rifle and the jury agreed. 

"I just don't know how he thought in his head that would even make sense really everything all of the evidence, science would show you it's impossible but he just wanted to disagree with everything," Rucker added. 

The trial began Monday, five years to the day that Ashlee was killed and Lisa was shot.

Absher is Ashlee Rucker's ex-boyfriend, who family said abused her for years.

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. 

Lisa says she will always remember her big sister. 

"She was someone who was always there for me and that's what I miss most. She was someone who always stood up for others," Rucker added. 

The jury is not pursuing the death penalty but the prosecution says it is planning on fighting for the maximum sentence which is life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

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