Murder of Sandra Rozzo
Sandra Lee "Sandee" Rozzo was a Pinellas
Park, Florida bartender who was shot to death in her home on July 5,
2003. Her ex-boyfriend Timothy "Tracey" Humphrey, and his wife Ashley
Laney Humphrey, were convicted of her murder.
Timothy Alvin "Tracey" Humphrey (born Nov.
15, 1966) was Sandee Rozzo's ex-boyfriend at the time of her murder.
The two met at a Ybor City, Florida nightclub in November 2001 where
Tracey worked as a doorman and Sandee was a bartender. Tracey had a
long previous criminal record of convictions for motor vehicle theft,
kidnapping and aggravated assault. The following February, Tracey was
arrested for felony battery after allegedly beating and sexually
assaulting Sandee. Tracey was due to go to trial on that charge on
August 4, 2003, one month after Sandee's murder.
Ashley Christine Humphrey (née Laney; born
Oct. 13, 1982) was working at Planet Smoothie in Brandon, Florida when
she met Tracey Humphrey at a local gym in 2002. Ashley and Tracey
married on July 4, 2003, one day before Sandee's murder.
On July 5, 2003, Sandee Rozzo was shot to death in
the garage of her Pinellas Park, Florida townhouse after returning
home from her shift at the Green Iguana, a local bar. Sandee's
ex-boyfriend Tracey Humphrey became the prime suspect. Tracey had an
alibi however, claiming that he had ordered a pizza to his Brandon,
Florida apartment at the time of the crime. This was verified by an
acquaintance, Tobe White.
Further investigation however, revealed that his
wife of one day, Ashley Humphrey, was not at home during the crime, as
cell phone records indicated that Ashley was actually in Pinellas
Park, Florida when Sandee was killed.
Ashley Humphrey was arrested for the first-degree
murder of Sandra Rozzo and her husband Tracey was charged with a
federal firearms possession. But while she was in custody, Ashley
Humphrey decided to cooperate with authorities. She had admitted that
she shot Sandra Rozzo to death, but claimed it was at the behest of
her husband. In her statement, she told vivid details about the plot
to murder Sandee. In addition, Ashley also gave up details to another
failed murder attempt against Sandee.
In a plea bargain, Ashley was allowed to plead
guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for testimony against her
husband. This gave prosecutors enough evidence to charge Tracey
Humphrey with first-degree murder.
Tracey Humphrey's murder trial began in February
2006. As part of her plea deal, Ashley testified against her husband.
Under oath, she testified how she waited hours for Sandee to get off
work at the Green Iguana, and then followed her back to her Pinellas
Park home, where she fired eight shots into Sandra Rozzo. Tracey
Humphrey testified in his own defense, stating that the killing was
Ashley's idea. The jury did not find him convincing. He was convicted
of first-degree murder on February 25, 2006. Even though he faced the
death penalty, jurors opted for life without parole, believing that it
would be a harsher punishment than death in this case.
Tracey Humphrey is serving his sentence at the
Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida.
Post-conviction, he was sentenced to an additional 15 years for a
pre-trial escape attempt in April 2004.
On March 10, 2006, Ashley Humphrey was sentenced to
25 years for murder. Incarcerated at the Homestead Correctional
Institution in Florida City, Florida, she is scheduled to be released
from prison on December 11, 2028. She will be 46 years old.
This case has been profiled from various
perspectives on Dateline NBC, Snapped, and On the
Case with Paula Zahn; Ashley was interviewed by FBI profiler
Candice DeLong for an episode of DeLong's Investigation Discovery
series, Facing Evil.
Woman to serve 25 years for murder
She was young and in love. Her husband asked her to
kill for him. She did. Now she is going to prison for it.
By Chris Tisch - SPTimes.com
March 10, 2006
LARGO - Ashley Laney grew up fatherless, her dad
growing old behind prison walls as she matured into an impressionable,
wayward young woman.
At 19, she fell in love with a much older man,
36-year-old Timothy Humphrey, who later asked her to kill for him.
So on a July night, Ashley Humphrey murdered for
her new husband. The woman she killed, Sandee Rozzo, 37, left behind a
13-year old daughter who, like Ashley, now must grow up one parent
"She should have known better," Prosecutor Fred
Schaub said in court Thursday as Ashley stood just feet away, head
bowed. "She has left a 13-year-old without a mother."
With that, Pinellas Judge Nancy Moate Ley sentenced
Ashley Humphrey to 25 years in prison for killing Rozzo. Two weeks
ago, Ley sentenced Timothy Humphrey to life in prison for
masterminding Rozzo's slaying.
Ashley Humphrey wept a bit as the judge lowered her
eyes on her. Her public defender, Ron Eide rubbed her back.
"Sandra Rozzo's murder was a contract killing," Ley
said. "For your very misguided view of what love was."
Bailiffs then led Ashley Humphrey through a door
and back to the Pinellas County Jail, where she will await a transfer
to a state correctional facility. Though she will receive 812 days off
her sentence for time she has served in jail since her arrest, she
must serve every day of the 25-year sentence, with no gain time.
Now 23, she will be 46 years old when she is
released from prison.
Rozzo, whose family did not attend the sentencing,
was a former co-worker of Timothy Humphrey's who had accused him of
sexually assaulting her. Prosecutors were prepared to take Humphrey to
trial on a felony battery charge when, on July 5, 2003, Rozzo was
ambushed in her Pinellas Park garage and shot eight times.
Using cell phone records and other evidence, police
developed Ashley Humphrey as a suspect, but believed her husband was
behind the murder.
Ashley Humphrey was charged with Rozzo's murder
five months later. She agreed to testify against her husband in
exchange for a 25-year prison sentence. Prosecutors charged Timothy
Humphrey with murder. A jury convicted him on Feb. 24. He has since
filed a notice that he will appeal.
Since then, Ashley has turned over to authorities
two letters her husband has sent her since the conviction. In them, he
demands money he believes she owes him, but also asks Ashley for her
Man guilty of using wife to kill woman before trial
A jury must now decide if Timothy
Humphrey will get death or life in prison for coaching his wife to
kill a woman who accused him of sexual assault.
By Chris Tisch - SPTimes.com
February 25, 2006
LARGO - Sandra Rozzo wanted to tell a jury that
Timothy Humphrey had sexually assaulted her, testimony that could have
put him in prison for 10 years.
But Rozzo never got the chance to testify. She was
murdered a month before the start of the trial.
Friday night, a jury took about 2 1/2 hours to
convict Humphrey of first-degree murder for coaching his young wife,
Ashley, to kill Rozzo.
"What this case is about is Sandra," prosecutor
Fred Schaub told jurors during closing argument. "She wanted her day
in court ... and Sandra never got that opportunity. He played the
judge, he played her jury and, ultimately, he played this young lady's
Rozzo's family members, including her mother and
sister, smiled through tears as the verdict was read. Humphrey,
surrounded by his attorneys, flushed red and swallowed hard.
"She didn't want anyone else to get hurt by Timothy
Humphrey," Rozzo's sister, Tracy Havlicek, said after the verdict. "If
she had to die to get him off the streets, then that's what she'd do."
Testimony begins Monday to determine if Humphrey
should receive the death penalty or life without the chance of parole.
Havlicek said the family "could go either way," especially since
Humphrey told friends before Rozzo's death that he feared prison.
Rozzo was ambushed in her Pinellas Park garage and
shot eight times on July 5, 2003. Police began to suspect Humphrey
because of the pending case against him in which Rozzo was the
complainant. They also learned he had married a 20-year-old woman the
day before the murder.
Ashley Humphrey was an impressionable woman from a
broken home who worked at a Planet Smoothie. She met Timothy Humphrey
at a Brandon gym where he was a personal trainer. Humphrey told Ashley
he starred in college football bowl games, played for the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers and modeled underwear - all lies.
They began dating; she fell in love and eventually
moved in with him. He soon began grooming her to kill for him,
prosecutors said. They married on July 4, 2003.
Ashley Humphrey took the stand earlier this week
and admitted she shot Rozzo, but said her husband pressured her into
it and coached her the entire way.
Ashley Humphrey was charged with murder, and agreed
to testify against him in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence. Now
23, she will get out in her mid 40s.
Timothy Humphrey was charged as a principal to
first-degree murder because he masterminded the killing.
"He pointed a firearm at Sandra Rozzo," Schaub told
jurors. "That firearm he pointed at Sandra was Ashley Humphrey."
In his closing, Schaub abandoned his podium at
times to lecture the jury from the witness stand. He strode across the
courtroom, pointed at Humphrey and raised his voice. One veteran
defense attorney who watched the trial said it was the best closing
argument he had ever seen.
"The facts are clear," Schaub told jurors, "that it
takes two to tango and he was involved from the get-go. He was pulling
A key piece of evidence, other than Ashley
Humphrey's testimony, was cell phone records that showed the couple
talked two dozen times around the time of the murder. The calls also
showed she was near Rozzo's Pinellas Park home while her husband was
at his apartment in Brandon.
Timothy Humphrey ordered two pizzas for delivery to
provide himself an alibi, then forced a friend to provide his young
bride a false alibi for the night of the shooting. But the cell phone
records unraveled the coverup and the friend recanted the alibi.
Humphrey's defense attorney, Joseph McDermott, had
argued that Ashley Humphrey committed the murder on her own. Family
members said Rozzo's courage saved countless other women who could
have been harmed by Timothy Humphrey.
"She's a hero," said Havlicek. "She really is a
He Didn't Pull Trigger, But He's Guilty
By David Sommer - The Tampa Tribune
February 25, 2006
CLEARWATER - A Brandon man could face the death penalty
for a murder carried out in Pinellas Park while he was home ordering
Jurors took less than three hours Friday to lay blame
for Sandra Rozzo's death squarely on the shoulders of professional
bodybuilder Timothy "Tracey" Humphrey, even though Humphrey's bride of
one day pulled the trigger.
"Justice will be done. He's going to get his," Rozzo's
sister, Tracy Havlicek, said after jurors found Humphrey guilty of
The four-man, eight-woman panel is to return to court
Monday to hear additional evidence and recommend whether Humphrey, 39,
should be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison for Rozzo's
They will hear evidence of Humphrey's prior crimes,
including an attack on a Miami woman that landed him in prison and
attacks on other women who declined to prosecute.
Rozzo, who knew Humphrey from work, had filed a police
report in 2002 stating Humphrey bound, beat and raped her. Rozzo was
killed just weeks before Humphrey was scheduled to go on trial in
Tampa on a felony battery charge stemming from that incident.
Hillsborough County prosecutors, who were seeking a
10-year prison term because of Humphrey's record, were forced to drop
the battery charge.
Humphrey immediately became the prime suspect in
Rozzo's slaying. People who knew him from his Brandon personal
training business told investigators he said he would do anything to
avoid going back to prison.
Investigators also learned that Humphrey had married a
woman 16 years his junior the day before Rozzo was killed.
Cell phone records revealed that Ashley Humphrey, then
20, had followed Rozzo home from her job at a Rocky Point nightclub
July 5, 2003.
Ashley Humphrey subsequently confessed to shooting the
37-year-old bartender eight times as Rozzo arrived home in Pinellas
Park. Humphrey said she did it out of love, at her husband's behest.
Rozzo's family said Friday that before her death they
had tried to talk her out of pressing the battery charge against
Timothy Humphrey. They said she knew he had attacked other women and
that most of them kept quiet after he threatened further harm.
"She didn't want anybody else to be a victim of
Timothy's, and if she had to die to get him off the street, then that
is what she would do," Havlicek said of her sister's resolve to have
Humphrey prosecuted for attacking her.
"She's a hero. She really is a hero," Havlicek said.
Rozzo's mother, Sandra Pool, said the family
instinctively knew Humphrey was to blame when her daughter was killed.
"He threatened my daughter when all this happened in
the first place, and we knew immediately who did it," Pool said. "We
were shocked he didn't pull the trigger."
Rozzo's family said they had no problem with
prosecutors offering to let Ashley Humphrey plead guilty to a reduced
charge and serve a 25-year prison term in exchange for her testimony.
Because Timothy Humphrey so dislikes prison, Rozzo's
sister said, it will be fine with her if the jury recommends a life
prison term with no chance of parole.
"He didn't want to go to prison for 10 years, so life
is enough," Havlicek said. By law, Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley must
give the jury's recommendation "great weight" when she makes the
Spouse Says Killing For His Sake Was Wife's Idea
By David Sommer The Tapa Tribune
February 24, 2006
CLEARWATER - An ex-convict whose bride killed a woman
to save him from going back to prison had to figure out on his own
what she had done, he testified Thursday.
Taking the witness stand in a bid to avoid a
first-degree murder conviction and possible death sentence, Timothy
"Tracey" Humphrey said his wife, Ashley, kept it secret that she
gunned down a former friend of his who accused him of binding, raping
and beating her.
Humphrey only deduced what his wife had done after
learning Sandra Rozzo was slain and that his bride of one day had
borrowed a .22-caliber pistol from a friend, the professional
bodybuilder told jurors.
Prosecutors contend Humphrey, 39, manipulated his then
20-year-old bride into following Rozzo home from the victim's
bartending job on Rocky Point and shooting her eight times on July 5,
The slaying was the night after the Humphreys wed and a
month before Timothy Humphrey was to go on trial in Tampa on the
felony battery charge.
Tampa prosecutors did not charge Humphrey with rape in
the alleged 2002 assault because Rozzo, 37, did not immediately report
it. They were seeking a mandatory 10-year prison term because Humphrey
had done time for a similar attack on a Miami woman.
In earlier testimony, witnesses who knew Humphrey from
his Brandon personal training business said he told them he would do
anything, including kill himself, to avoid returning to prison.
Humphrey testified Thursday that he never told his wife
he hated Rozzo or wanted bad things to happen to her. He said he
discouraged his future bride when she hinted at taking matters into
her own hands after learning of his upcoming trial.
"The first thing she said was: 'What would happen if
she [Rozzo] doesn't come to court?' And I said, 'That's kind of what I
was hoping,'" Humphrey testified.
"She said, 'What if somebody stops her from coming to
court?' And I said: 'Don't even joke about it. If anything ever
happens, I would be the first person'" the police would suspect.
This week, Ashley Humphrey testified her groom guided
her step-by-step through the killing during a series of cell phone
calls police used to place her at Rocky Point and then near Rozzo's
home in Pinellas Park at the time of the slaying.
She said she killed out of love and that her husband
threatened to dump her if she failed to carry out their plan.
Timothy Humphrey said the calls were made during an
extended argument over his wife's concern that he was having an affair
with a client. Jurors are expected to get the case today.
Wife Says Husband Told Her To Kill
By David Sommer - The Tampa Tribune
February 15, 2006
CLEARWATER - Timothy "Tracey" Humphrey was home in
Brandon the night a Pinellas Park woman was shot to death at her home
in a mob-style hit.
Humphrey was ordering a pizza as Sandra Lee Rozzo died
"kicking and screaming," in the killer's own words. The professional
bodybuilder had a credit card receipt to prove it.
Now, however, Humphrey is on trial on a charge of
first-degree murder in Rozzo's July 5, 2003, death. Prosecutors want
Humphrey, 39, executed if he is convicted.
Their star witness: the woman who unloaded a clip full
of bullets into Rozzo.
Ashley Christine Humphrey acknowledges she was Timothy
Humphrey's bride of less than 48 hours when she repeatedly shot Rozzo.
It was a bid to keep her new husband out of prison after he was
accused of battering ex-girlfriend Rozzo in a 2002 domestic dispute.
Now she wants to "let it be known that he was the
mastermind behind it," Ashley Humphrey said in sworn testimony.
"I realized that I had been brainwashed and taken
advantage of by this man, and I wanted to let the truth be known,"
Humphrey said of her decision to cooperate with authorities.
If her testimony goes well at her husband's trial this
week, Ashley Humphrey, now 23, will be allowed to plead guilty to
second-degree murder and serve the time remaining on a 25-year prison
Stakeout Replaced Honeymoon
In a deposition given to her husband's defense team,
Ashley Humphrey described how instead of going on a honeymoon, she
spent the night after her July 4, 2003, wedding alone in the parking
lot of the Green Iguana nightclub at Rocky Point.
The freshly minted bride was on a stakeout for Rozzo,
37. Armed with a borrowed Ruger .22-caliber pistol, she planned to
follow her husband's instructions to shoot Rozzo as the bartender left
work, Humphrey told her husband's attorneys.
For more than five hours, Ashley Humphrey waited for
Rozzo to get off. Weeks earlier she did the same thing armed with a
semiautomatic assault rifle, the woman testified.
That time she ended up shooting out a side mirror on
her Volkswagen bug, which she and her future husband then burned and
reported stolen to cover up the abortive attempt, she said.
This time the plan again went awry. Humphrey said she
briefly dozed off, and Rozzo was in her 1996 BMW convertible when
Humphrey woke up shortly before 11 p.m.
Undeterred, Humphrey followed her across Tampa Bay. In
constant communication by cell phone with her husband, Humphrey
followed Rozzo to her home on 66th Way North in Pinellas Park, she
"I followed her into the garage and butted my gun on
the window to try and break it, but it didn't," Humphrey testified.
"So then I shot at the window to break it and then shot at her several
After Rozzo lay dead from eight bullet wounds, Ashley
Humphrey got back in her car and resumed her calls to her husband.
I "told him it was over and that I wanted pizza," she
testified. "I wanted a double cheese and chicken and tomatoes, but he
told me I couldn't have double cheese because he had already ordered
Evidence Includes Phone Records
It took investigators five months to gather enough
evidence to indict Ashley Humphrey on a first-degree murder charge.
Much of the evidence against her consisted of cell phone records,
according to an arrest affidavit filed by Pinellas Park police
Detective Scott Golczewski.
The Humphreys worked as personal trainers at Terrell
Therapies on Cook Street in Brandon. It was there that a team of 28
law enforcement officers, including state and federal agents, swooped
in to arrest the pair Dec. 18, 2003.
Timothy Humphrey was charged with a federal firearms
violation and initially was held in Hillsborough County. His wife was
taken to Pinellas County Jail to await trial on the first-degree
On the way, however, detectives stopped at the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement operations center in Tampa. There,
Golczewski and FDLE agents Steve Davenport and Telly Sands told Ashley
Humphrey they knew all about her husband's manipulative ways and
warned her that, unless she cooperated, she could spend the rest of
her life in prison while he went on with his life.
She said nothing that day, but about six weeks later
she asked for a deal.
"It is somewhat unusual to have a death penalty case in
which the shooter is testifying against another person," Stetson
University College of Law Professor Robert Batey said Monday. "But
under criminal law, anyone who urges or aids someone to commit a crime
can be found guilty of the same crime."
The case will hinge on Ashley Humphrey's credibility
with the jury, Batey said.
If jurors convict Timothy Humphrey and are asked to
recommend the death penalty, they likely will learn about her deal for
25 years in prison, he said.
Timothy Humphrey's defense team contends Ashley
Humphrey acted alone in Rozzo's slaying, his court-appointed attorney
Joseph McDermott said last week.
In her deposition, Ashley Humphrey repeatedly said she
killed out of love, that she did not want her husband to go to jail as
a habitual felon for the 2002 attack on Rozzo.
"To keep from losing him," Ashley Humphrey said when
asked why she killed Rozzo. "I desperately wanted to be with him.
As long as we both shall live - or until the trial
A couple is accused of killing one of his former lovers
only one day after they married
By Chris Tisch - SPTimes.com
August 6, 2005
PINELLAS PARK - Sometime early next year, a young woman with
striking green eyes is expected to take the stand in a Pinellas County
Ashley Humphrey will admit to a jury that she ambushed a Pinellas
Park woman and shot her eight times. She will admit she killed for
At some point, prosecutors will ask Humphrey to point to a man
sitting at the defense table. They will ask her to identify him as the
man who manipulated and cajoled a one-time honors student into
If Ashley Humphrey does that, she will secure for herself a 25-year
And she may help send the man at the defense table - her husband -
to death row.
* * *
Ashley was married to Timothy "Tracey" Humphrey one day when she
says she killed for him.
The target was Sandee Rozzo, an ex-lover of Humphrey's who had
accused him of assaulting her. Prosecutors were taking him to trial in
Just a month before trial, Rozzo, 37, was shot eight times in her
garage. She died at the hospital. Her friends suspected Tracey
Humphrey. Rozzo had said she feared him.
But Humphrey had an alibi. He had ordered a pizza at his Brandon
home that night and paid with a credit card. Receipts confirmed it.
Cell phone records showed calls he made that night bounced off a tower
a mile from his house.
Police noticed Humphrey had married the day before the murder. They
turned their attention to Ashley.
* * *
In fall 2002, Ashley joined a Brandon gym where Tracey Humphrey was
a personal trainer. He gave her free sessions. They dated, then she
moved in with him.
Humphrey was 36, Ashley was 19. One of her friends called him a
child molester for pursuing her.
A big, muscular guy who admitted steroid use, Tracey was 7 inches
taller and 100 pounds heavier than his girlfriend.
Women found him charming. He seemed to have several on the hook at
He claimed to have once played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He
said he starred in a Rose Bowl game. He said he modeled Armani
underwear in Italy, according to court records.
In truth, Tracey Humphrey was a convicted felon with a history of
violence toward women. Several ex-lovers said he beat them. One said
he tied her up with nylon stockings, stuffed a sock in her mouth and
held a gun to her throat.
Humphrey feared he would be sent to prison for 10 years for
Humphrey told Ashley he would kill himself first. They talked of a
suicide pact, but also of a plan to eliminate Rozzo. They got tattoos
of each other's name on their backs.
Ashley later said: "I didn't want to lose him."
* * *
According to court records, Tracey Humphrey coached his wife to
kill. How to load and shoot a gun. Where to ambush Rozzo, to be sure
to snatch her book bag so it looked like a robbery.
"He planned a lot of what I did," Ashley later said. "I just
followed through on what he said."
Ashley first tried to kill Rozzo in spring 2003, court records
She stole a rifle from her mother's boyfriend, then waited in her
Volkswagen Beetle outside the Green Iguana bar off Courtney Campbell
Parkway in Tampa, where Rozzo worked. When Rozzo emerged, Ashley
pointed the gun out the window and fired. But she shot the Beetle's
side mirror; the bullet glanced off and missed the target.
Rozzo ducked but didn't realize she had been shot at. She never
mentioned the noise to anyone.
Humphrey worried someone had seen the Beetle, so he and Ashley set
it on fire in Hyde Park, according to court records. They reported it
A second plan to kill emerged. This time, Ashley complained to her
mother's boyfriend that someone was stalking her. She asked for a gun,
and he reluctantly gave her his loaded .22-caliber Ruger.
On July 4, 2003, Ashley married Humphrey.
The next day, wearing black makeup and beard, Ashley headed to the
Green Iguana. She wanted any witnesses to believe Rozzo was killed by
a black man. She waited in a rental car outside the bar for more than
seven hours, calling Humphrey 14 times.
Ashley's beard wouldn't stick. Then she dozed off. When she awoke,
Rozzo was getting into her white BMW convertible. It was too late to
shoot, but Ashley followed her.
"And when I was behind her in pursuit, I called him and said, "It
will be over in a few minutes,' " Ashley later said. " "I'll call you
when I'm done.' "
Cell tower records confirm Ashley's 14 phone calls to Humphrey from
the Courtney Campbell. Those records also show she headed into
Pinellas County, right behind Rozzo.
Ashley ambushed Rozzo in her car, shooting her eight times. Rozzo
kicked and screamed as the shots rang out, Ashley later said.
As rescue units rushed to Rozzo's home, Ashley called her husband
again. The call bounced off a cell tower in Pinellas Park.
Ashley asked him to order a pizza: double cheese with chicken and
He said it was on the way.
* * *
Not long after Rozzo's murder, Hillsborough prosecutors dropped the
charges against Humphrey.
But police were piecing together a case against the couple.
In addition to the cell phone records, Ashley had used her credit
card to do an Internet search on Rozzo. Ashley also had confessed to
her mother that she had tried to shoot her, records state.
Police arrested both Humphreys in December 2003, about five months
after the murder.
Ashley was charged with murder, but police could only take Humphrey
in on a weapons charge.
Detectives tried to get Ashley to talk, but she asked for a lawyer.
They told her the only way to get Humphrey was through her. They told
her he would let her dangle for the crime. She held her ground, again
demanding the lawyer.
Four months later, a Pinellas County grand jury indicted Tracey
Humphrey for first-degree murder. If Humphrey is convicted,
prosecutors will seek the death penalty because the murder was so
As Humphrey was moved from Hillsborough to the Pinellas jail in
April 2004, he escaped from a transport van. He was on the loose for
several hours before deputies found him hiding in underbrush about a
About that time, as Ashley sat in jail, she told her lawyers to
seek a deal.
She promised to tell them everything. In return, prosecutors will
allow her to plead guilty to second-degree murder and serve 25 years
in prison. She will be 46 when she is released.
"I had been brainwashed and taken advantage of by this man and I
wanted to let the truth be known and do whatever it took to . . .
confess of what happened and let it be known that he was the
mastermind behind it," Ashley said in a deposition.
If she fails to deliver at trial, the deal will be off, and she,
too, will face the death penalty.
She allowed investigators to interview her for many hours. She gave
extraordinary details. She led police to woods in Thonotosassa where
she had buried both the rifle and the Ruger. Police unearthed both.
Then, for her own safety, prosecutors moved her to another county's
jail, away from her husband.
* * *
Rozzo's mother, Sandy Pool, said she approves of the arrangement.
"She's going to turn state's evidence but he's going to get the
death penalty and I'm going to see to it," Pool said. "He not only
killed my daughter, he ruined Ashley's life, too. I know she's the one
who actually did it, but he corrupted her. This girl never had so much
as a speeding ticket."
The case could be complicated by a Florida law that gives Tracey
Humphrey the right to prevent his wife from testifying about the
contents of their private conversations.
That law has thrown a wrench in a few other Florida cases,
including that of Oscar Ray Bolin, who had six Tampa Bay area murder
convictions overturned largely based on the fact that testimony from
his ex-wife was used in trial.
But anything said between Ashley and Tracey Humphrey before the
wedding is admissible, including Ashley's detailed account of her
husband planning Rozzo's death.
Joe McDermott, an attorney for Tracey Humphrey, also may ask a
judge to suppress the cell tower records from the night of the murder.
But legal experts predict the judge will allow that evidence.
"The only thing privileged is the content of the conversations,"
said Bobbi Flowers, a Stetson University College of Law professor.
So when Tracey Humphrey's trial starts next year, jurors picked to
hear the evidence will see the rare case of a wife providing testimony
that could condemn her husband to death.
"It's the kind of thing a book could be written about," said
prosecutor Fred Schaub. "They're married one day and when most people
would be on their honeymoon, he's planning to kill someone."
Couple in cuffs after slaying
Police say the victim was to testify against the
husband in a battery case, so the wife shot her
By Jamie Jones - SPTimes.com
December 19, 2003
PINELLAS PARK - They got married on the Fourth of July.
A day later, police say, the new bride fatally shot a woman who had
dated her husband.
Ashley Christine Humphrey, 21, of Brandon was charged Thursday with
first-degree murder. Her husband, Timothy "Tracey" Humphrey, 37, was
arrested on federal gun possession charges.
Police think Ashley Humphrey waited for a blond bartender, Sandra
Lee Rozzo, to pull into her garage at a Pinellas Park townhouse on
Then, police said, she approached the woman's BMW convertible and
shot her multiple times at close range.
Rozzo, 37, later died at the hospital.
Friends said Rozzo had been in a good mood the night of her death,
hugging co-workers before leaving the Green Iguana Bar & Grill in
Rocky Point just before 11 p.m.
The two women did not know each other, police said. But Humphrey's
husband had dated Rozzo after meeting her at an Ybor City nightclub in
Rozzo had accused Timothy Humphrey of beating and sexually
The case was scheduled for trial Aug. 4, a month before Rozzo's
death. But prosecutors were relying on Rozzo's testimony and have
since abandoned the case, a spokeswoman said.
Police handcuffed the couple at their personal training business,
Body Logic, on Cook Street in Brandon. The pair had been renting a
small mirrored room there for about two months.
The murder weapon has not been recovered, Pinellas Park Sgt. Paul
J. Andrews said, but he thinks Ashley Humphrey borrowed a firearm from
a relative in Hillsborough County.
Ashley Humphrey, of 409 Sadie St. W #C in Brandon, has no prior
criminal history in Florida. Timothy Humphrey has been arrested at
least eight times since 1986. He was released from prison in 2001
after he was convicted of kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated
assault and grand theft motor vehicle in 1998.
From the start, Timothy Humphrey was a possible suspect, said
Andrews, but police do not have evidence linking him to the shooting.
He met Rozzo in November 2001 at Club Inferno in Ybor City. Humphrey
worked as a doorman; Rozzo served drinks in the VIP room upstairs.
They went Christmas shopping in December, and he kissed her
goodbye, according to a statement she gave prosecutors.
After they worked together New Year's Eve, he was angry because he
felt she had disrespected him, prosecutors said. He left 23 messages
on her answering machine.
She went to an attorney, but decided not to prosecute. Instead, she
called him and apologized, prosecutors said.
He gave her a Victoria's Secret package for her birthday on Jan.
17, 2002. But several days later, he got angry at dinner because he
thought she was flirting with another man, prosecutors said. Later, he
went back to the restaurant and threatened the man, a friend told
In February, Rozzo tried to break off the relationship. She still
loved her old boyfriend, with whom she had been living, she told
But she continued seeing Humphrey. In late February, she said, he
beat her, spit on her, tore her pajamas and forced her to have sex.
She waited five days before reporting the incident. Humphrey was
charged with felony battery.
Friends were surprised by his arrest Thursday.
"He's polite, sweet, gentle," said Kelly Terrell, 20, a massage
therapist and the couple's landlord.
She described Ashley Humphrey as "small and bubbly and funny."
Terrell, who lives in Brandon, said she was with Timothy Humphrey
when he received a telephone call informing him of Rozzo's death.
"He got really, really pale," she said. He said he was going to
throw up and went to the bathroom, she said.
Before her death, Rozzo had moved into a townhouse at 7818 66th Way
N with her boyfriend. Also a nutritionist and personal trainer, she
had a 13-year-old daughter.
"She had a zest for life," Andrews said. "She enjoyed doting on her
Produced by Chuck Stevenson, Marty Zied and Chris Young
This story originally aired Oct. 14, 2006. It was updated July
Sandee Rozzo was an outgoing young woman, with dreams of becoming a
model and making it big in the movie business. After a troubled
romance, Sandee was murdered - shot multiple times just moments after
she pulled her car into the garage.
As Maureen Maher reports, police eyed suspects and faced one
crucial question: would someone kill for love?
Sandee will always be remembered as a vivacious young woman devoted
to her big dreams and gorgeous body. "She's been doing modeling on and
off since she was in high school," Sandee's mom remembers.
She was into weight lifting and always caring about her body, and
her mom says Sandee wanted to get into the movie business. "She had
the body, the face - she was perfect," her mother says.
Sandee spent her days looking for her next modeling gig; by night,
she tended bar at some of the hottest clubs in Tampa.
"It was fun," recalls Heather Ursini, who worked with Sandee.
"Sandee was beautiful and a lot of men would just flock to her because
of how beautiful she was."
Sandee was divorced, with a teenage daughter, Giovanna, but her
ex-husband had custody. At 37 years old, Sandee had never given up on
finding someone special to share her life with.
"She was doing was most single girls do, trying to find Mr. Right,"
says Mitch Eubanks, Sandee's friend and hair stylist, who was also her
Then one day, into Sandee's life walked Timothy "Tracey" Humphrey -
a 6'2", buff muscleman, who told everyone that he was a former
underwear model and pro football player.
Friends say he had a reputation as a top personal trainer, popular
with his clients, especially his female clients. "He was very gentle
and was good at what he did," says Kelly Terrell, who met Tracey at
the gym. "A lot of girls thought he was really good looking."
They met at a nightclub where they both worked, she at the bar,
Tracey at the door.
"Tracey Humphrey? Men were intimidated by him, women all over him.
You know Tracey, if he would see a pretty woman walk in, he'd open the
rope and there she goes," says Tracey's close friend Hector Adorno.
Kelly remembers Tracey as someone who was sexy and charismatic. "He
told me he was supposed to be Vin Diesel's stunt double," she says.
"He constantly bragged about who he was. And what he's done in his
lifetime. And that, to a lot of people, was interesting," says Hector.
Tracey, the buff underwear model, also said he was Tom Cruise's
bodyguard for a while.
But he says Sandee knew nothing about his colorful resume, and that
actually, he was attracted to her beauty.
"She caught my attention right away," he tearfully remembers. "She
was so much fun to be around. Not like most people. She was a great
Tracey says he and Sandee dated about three or four months and
recalls the experience as "real intense."
As far as sex was concerned, Hector says Sandee and Tracey's
relationship was very physical. "He said she liked violent sex, that
she liked rough sex," Hector says.
At first their relationship was passionate, says Tracey, but soon
they began arguing. Tracey says all the trouble started one wild night
in Tampa's party district, Ybor City. That's when he and Sandee got
caught fooling around in his boss' Mercedes.
"Tampa Police caught us in the SUV and I was laughing. I thought it
was funny, but they saw her naked, and that made her mad," Tracey
That embarrassing incident led to another big argument - and Sandee
and Tracey went home with other dates that night.
"Over the next week, I paraded around a couple other girls that I
hooked up with, right in front of her and made her pretty mad," says
The relationship spiraled down hill from there.
"I said I thought we needed to take a break, really look at this
and maybe spend some time apart," says Tracey.
But unwilling to give up a good thing, a couple of days later,
Tracey went home with Sandee again.
"We did what did most of the time - we had sex," Tracey recalls.
"She liked to be roughed up during sex, so we had what was normal
But a bruised and battered Sandee told friends and family a
"Apparently they started drinking. He got angry and they got into
some kind of altercation of some sort and he tried to physically force
himself on her. He hit her, she had black eyes," Heather says.
Sandee also told Heather that Tracey had raped her and threatened
to kill her and her daughter.
"She wasn't sure what to do because she was so distraught over the
situation," says Heather.
But because Sandee was so afraid, she waited a week before going to
the police to file charges.
Tracey says he was surprised when he was arrested. He insists he
did nothing wrong. "She threw a pillow at me, and I swung it at her
and it hit her on the side of the eye and it knocked her contact out.
She fell face down on the bed," he says.
But to Sandee's sister Tracy Havlicek, there was no question in her
mind that she was raped and beaten. "He tied her up, he squeezed her
head between his legs, while he was straddling her and punching her
face several times," Sandee's sister says.
"He did beat her up. She did have a black eye," says Detective
Scott Golczewski. "There were also allegations of sexual battery."
But there was no DNA or medical evidence, because Sandee had waited
too long file a police report. Instead, Tracey was charged with
assault, which carried a ten year sentence, a prospect that utterly
"Tracey told me that before he went to jail he'd commit suicide,
kill himself," says Hector.
And that is when, police say, Humphrey hatched a diabolical plan to
make his problems disappear - a plot that would involve seduction,
manipulation and murder.
If Tracey was worried about his upcoming assault trial, he
certainly wasn't showing it. "He wanted to go out and sleep with other
women," says Hector. "They were sexy women."
But in the autumn of 2002, Tracey had his eye on a different kind
of girl - a girl just out of high school, Ashley Laney, age 19.
"Ashley. Was a little scared girl," Hector remembers. "Not a sexy
girl, not pretentious, not stuck up."
"I liked Ashley the first time I met her. We had a lot in common,
we went rollerblading together and we even had the same taste in
music," says Charli Williams, one of Ashley's best friends.
The girls worked together at a frozen yogurt shop across the street
from the gym where Tracey was head trainer.
"I came in and met her and I was kind of taken with her right away.
She has that girl next door kind of thing going. She was nice, she was
fun, she was eager, she was very eager," Tracey recalls.
Ashley was something new for Tracey. "Ashley wasn't a bartender,
Ashley wasn't a topless dancer," Hector explains.
She was a bright girl, getting A's and B's in high school. But at
home, Ashley led a troubled life.
"Her mom was horrible and her family terrible. Her dad pretty much
spent his life in prison," says Tracey. And her friends say that
background left her insecure, vulnerable; she aggressively looked for
love and that played right into Tracey's hands.
In no time, Ashley and Tracy had moved in together.
But Ashley's best friend Charli thought Tracey was a bad influence.
"I knew something was wrong, 'cause she wasn't the normal Ashley," she
explains. "He definitely took over her life. You could just tell that,
Ashley, there's something wrong with her."
Soon Ashley was shedding her old friends, taking on a new job with
Tracey at the gym; eventually the couple started their own personal
Tracey says he fell in love with Ashley but Charli claims he was
cheating on her friend. "I just knew there was something not right,"
Charli says. "We started hearing about all the different girls he was
Charli says she and Ashley talked about the issue. "But when you
think you're in love, you're not gonna listen to what anybody else has
to say," she says.
In fact, more and more, the only person Ashley listened to was
Tracey. By springtime, he confessed that he was potentially facing
serious time in prison, because of what, he claimed, was a bogus
assault case involving his ex-girlfriend Sandee.
Asked how Ashley felt about the case, Tracey says, "I think she
found a way to hate Sandee."
"Essentially she would lose everything if she lost me," he says. "I
told you she had a bad life. She struggled, and now we were starting a
business together, she was an equal partner. If she lost all that, she
goes back to mom and the trailer park life."
Just a week before Tracey's trial in the Sandee Rozzo assault case,
the couple surprised everyone and got married.
Tracey admits it was his idea to get married. The couple tied the
knot at the gym. There was no minister, no rings - just a marriage
There would be no romantic honeymoon to make up for the less-than
romantic impromptu wedding at the gym. A day after Tracey got married,
the woman who had accused him of rape was murdered.
Sandee had been shot eight times at point blank range while she sat
defenseless in her car. "There was a significant amount of glass,"
says lead investigator Paul Andrews, describing the crime scene.
"Absolutely a tremendous amount of blood."
"And multiple shell casings that you could see on the floor of the
garage and just outside the garage," says Andrews. "Somebody had it
out for her, this wasn't a random act."
With Sandee's death, the assault charges against Tracey were
dropped but his troubles were far from over: he was now the prime
suspect in her murder.
Almost from the start, police were convinced that Tracey was behind
Sandee's murder. The trouble was, at the time of the murder, he was at
home, eating pizza.
"We spoke to the pizza deliveryman, we described Tracey Humphrey to
him, and he remembered going there," says Det. Scott Golczewski.
Shortly after the murder, Golczewski went to the gym where Tracey
worked. When Tracey refused to speak with him, Golczewski decided to
stop by Tracey's apartment and talk with his new wife, Ashley.
"She was very nervous, very scared," he recalls. "She almost threw
up twice when I was interviewing her."
However, it wasn't long before Tracey showed up and the interview
Asked what he thought when he left the couple's apartment,
Gokzewski says, "I said 'She's definitely involved, she definitely
The trail to finding out just what Ashley knew began when
Golczewski and his partner, Paul Andrews, got a tip from the fire
department who had heard about the case.
The fire department told homicide detectives they found Ashley's
car in flames in Tampa a month before the murder. Ashley had reported
it stolen. Investigators suspected arson and turned over a background
check they had run on her to Andrews and Golczewski, who noticed some
"She had purchased a couple of computer software programs that
would enable her to look for somebody. One of them actually was a
search, that she paid for on her credit card, for Sandra Rozzo," says
Another break came when they spoke with the co-signer of Ashley's
car loan, David Abernathy, her mother's boyfriend.
"As we were leaving, I just asked him if he has any firearms. And
he said he used to," Golczewski recalls.
Abernathy told them he no longer had a gun because he had loaned it
to Ashley. Andrews says it was "very big" break in the investigation.
It was explosive evidence. The shell casings from Abernathy's gun -
a Ruger .22 caliber - matched the type found in Sandee's garage on the
night of the murder.
Ashley's cell phone records on the day of the murder sealed their
"Ashley's cell phone is not only bouncing off of the antenna near
Miss Rozzo's place of business, but then crossing over into Pinellas
County, and then a few minutes after the homicide, bouncing off of a
cell phone tower in Pinellas Park," says Golczewski.
This information was crucial - it placed Ashley in Sandee's
neighborhood at the exact time of the murder.
Now with a mountain of evidence against her, police arrested Ashley
for the murder of Sandee Rozzo.
During the police interrogation, which was recorded, Ashley told
police she didn't know Sandee.
"I told her in the interview, 'There is no more going to the malls,
there is no more going to the gym working out. This is it for you,'"
recalls Det. Golczewski.
At one point, Ashley told Golczewski, "Get my attorney."
Asked what she meant, she replied, "I mean bring him here."
But her tough talk didn't last long. After three weeks behind bars,
Ashley cracked, confessing to gunning down Sandee. She told police she
did because she was afraid of losing Tracey.
It turned out that Sandee's murder was the culmination of a plan
far more elaborate than anyone had imagined.
Detectives learned that weeks before Ashley borrowed the gun from
her mom's boyfriend, she had snuck into their home and stolen a rifle.
"She stole a Chinese SKS assault rifle," Andrews says. "A little
girl or anyone can take a weapon like this and shoot pretty accurately
with it, even as a novice shooter."
And with that rifle, Ashley began stalking Sandee, donning
"She painted her face to look dark skinned and had baggy clothes on
and shoes too big for her feet," says Det. Andrews.
Then, one month before the murder, Ashley drove her blue VW Beetle
to a parking lot outside the bar where Sandee worked.
"We know that she sat in the car for hours that day in a position
where she could stake out Sandra Rozzo's car. When the time came and
Sandra left work, leaning out the window, looking through the scope
right at Sandra, she pulled the trigger," says Andrews.
"Sandra ducked, like she heard the shot, but apparently didn't
realize it was a gunshot nor that it was anything aimed at her and got
back in her car and left. And shortly thereafter, Ashley realized that
she had shot her own driver's side - or rather she had shot her own
passenger mirror," says Andrews. "It's actually a mistake that a lot
of inexperienced snipers make, not realizing that the barrel is lower
than the scope," he adds.
With a bullet hole in her car's mirror, Ashley panicked. She tossed
the rifle into a wooded area off the highway, took the car to an empty
lot and set fire to it. Later, she reported it stolen. That's when she
borrowed her mother's boyfriend's gun.
Within six weeks of that failed attempt there would be that wedding
and another plot.
Less than 48 hours after they got married, instead of relaxing on
their honeymoon, Ashley was staked out in the parking lot of a bar
with a gun in her hand, waiting for Sandee again.
But once again, things went wrong. Det. Golczewski says Ashley fell
asleep briefly, missing Sandee getting into her car.
She woke up just in time to see Sandee's black BMW pulling out.
Determined to get it over with, she followed Sandee 25 miles to her
home and this time, there were no foul ups.
Tracey says the news of Sandee's murder shocked him. "It hit me
hard, you know," he says.
And he was stunned when Ashley confessed to him. "I said 'Ashley,
what did you do? You gotta tell me what you did, you gotta tell me
what you did,'" Tracey recalls.
But police say he already knew exactly what Ashley did. "It was a
close as you can get to a contract killing. The killing was intended
to keep Tracey Humphrey out of prison," says Det. Andrews.
As police saw it, Tracey Humphrey planned to get rid of Sandee but
he couldn't commit the crime himself.
"He knew he was going to be the primary suspect. So his only
alternative was to get somebody else to do the homicide for him," says
That somebody, according to police, was Tracey Humphrey's young
girlfriend, Ashley, whom he had conveniently married the day before
the murder. And in the state of Florida, one spouse cannot be forced
to testify against the other.
"So he now felt she couldn't be compelled to testify against him,"
Detectives believed it was highly unlikely Ashley had come up with
the murder plan on her own, especially as they learned more about
Tracey Humphrey's background and his double life.
It was a life that was full of tall tales. Asked if he told people
he played in the Rose Bowl, Tracey Humphrey says, "I told people I
went to the Rose Bowl with the University of Iowa."
It turns out he didn't. "Who doesn't pad their resume a little
bit," he says.
And it turns out there was something else Tracey Humphrey left off
his resume: he was an ex-con and had done serious time, mostly for
violent crimes against women, just like the brutal beating Sandee had
accused him of.
Police were now convinced that Tracey Humphrey was the mastermind
behind the murder. But they needed more evidence, so they enlisted one
his clients, Tobe White, to go undercover.
With Ashley beside him, he asked Tobe to lie by telling police she
saw Ashley with Tracey Humphrey at the time of the murder. "You were
just hanging out over at my house - referring an argument," Tracey
Humphrey could be heard telling Tobe, who was secretly recording the
Armed with that tape, Humphrey's rap sheet and those cell phone
records, which revealed Ashley and Tracey Humphrey called each other
22 times the night Sandee died, police charged Humphrey with first
"I was in this unbelievable situation. I mean just this
unimaginable situation," says Tracey Humphrey. "Who's going to believe
that I wasn't involved?"
In Feb. 2006, just before Tracey Humphrey's trial was set to begin,
prosecutors struck a deal with Ashley. If she would plead guilty and
testify against her husband, the state would recommend a 25-year
sentence, instead of seeking the death penalty.
"The defendant said he would do anything not to go to prison for
ten years," said prosecutor Fred Schaub.
Meanwhile, Tracey Humphrey's attorney Joe McDermott insisted that
the real killer had already confessed. "She shot her eight times.
She's not any dummy by any stretch of the imagination. And yet her
claim is he's the mastermind," says McDermott.
The prosecution painted Tracey Humphrey as a violent manipulator
and wheeled out an ex-girlfriend and Tobe White - the client who had
gone undercover for police.
"During my workout session that Saturday, he threatened to kill me
if I was working with the police," Tobe testified.
But it was Ashley's testimony Sandee's friends and family had
After more than two years in custody, she was barely recognizable.
Ashley had gained more than 30 lbs. Gone were the fresh faced good
looks of a girl who, a few years earlier, had chased after boys.
"She looked horrible. I hate to say it, but she was beautiful, and
she's not anymore," says Ashley's friend Charli.
Ashley told the jury that she had gone out with plenty of guys but
had fallen head over heels in love with Tracey Humphrey.
But it wasn't long, she said, before he began to dominate and
control her. "I wasn't allowed to go anywhere without telling him. I
wasn't allowed to have any friends," she testified.
Possessiveness turned to pain and violence. Ashley said Tracey
Humphrey hit her and frequently threatened to throw her out. One
night, she says, he knocked her unconscious. When she woke up, Ashley
says she agreed to do the unthinkable.
"I was just begging to stay with him. And I told him that 'If you
want me to stay with you, I'll kill Sandra for you,'" she testified.
Ashley testified that Tracey Humphrey accepted the offer.
Ashley told the jury that once she agreed to kill Sandee, it was
Tracey Humphrey who hatched the murder plan, that it was his idea to
get a gun, his idea for her to stalk Sandee, and his idea to use the
And when that first attempt failed, Ashley testified Tracey
Humphrey was furious. "He said if you still want to live with me, you
still have to do this. Don't think this is a way out it."
Then, just a few weeks later on the night of July 5th, 2005,
instead of enjoying her honeymoon, Ashley set out to keep her husband
from going back to prison.
"I timed her coming out of the parking lot, I began following her
car. It looked like she was heading home," Ashley testified.
As Sandee pulled into her garage, Ashley says Tracey Humphrey was
on the cell phone peppering her with questions, asking how far away
she was from the garage and whether she could run up and shoot her.
At 11:22 p.m., Ashley became a cold blooded killer. "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 her repeatedly until I
thought she was dead. Then I looked in her eyes and she was dead,"
Finally, Ashley says here was one last conversation with Tracey
Humphrey. "I called him and I said, 'It's done.' And he just said,
'Get rid of everything and call me when you're done.'"
Asked by Tracey Humphrey's defense attorney why she murdered
Sandee, Ashley said, "Because I loved him."
"Everything that happened here is Tracey's fault, right?" the
"No, I take complete responsibility for everything, but I never
would have done that if I hadn't met him," she replied.
But Ashley's husband Tracey Humphrey insists he's innocent and says
his wife is the true manipulator. "Ashley's a lot smarter and a lot
more cunning than anybody's given her credit for, even me," he
"They say that I had control of her, that I had all this control of
her. I couldn't even get her to clean the house," he testified.
Tracey Humphrey insists Sandee's murder was all Ashley's idea.
Asked by the prosecution if he had told Ashley that he was afraid
of returning to prison, Tracey Humphrey testified, "I don't know if I
said exactly that. But, I said I'd rather die than go to prison."
And to keep him from going back to prison, Tracey Humphrey says
Ashley hatched the plan. "The first thing she said was 'What if she
doesn't come to court?' And I said 'I kind of hope that's what
happens,'" he testified. "And then she said, 'What if somebody kept
her from coming to court?' That was the first time I said to her,
'Don't ever even joke like that. That's not funny.'"
Tracey Humphrey claims all he ever wanted from Ashley was that she
try to dig up dirt on Sandee.
Tracey Humphrey also had an explanation for one of the most
incriminating elements of the state's circumstantial case: those 22
cell phone calls he and Ashley exchanged in the hours leading up to
and after the murder.
"Anytime that Ashley and I were apart, we had numerous calls,"
Tracey Humphrey said. "We talked a lot. We like to talk to each other.
We were still in the stage of our relationship where you watch the
phone like it's the TV."
Tracey Humphrey said they spent most of those phone calls arguing
about Ashley's jealousy over one of his female clients.
In an effort to prove just how manipulative Tracey Humphrey could
be, the prosecution used his own words against him.
"In fact, you had written other women and told them you love them,"
the prosecutor stated.
"I think I wrote... yeah," Tracey Humphrey replied.
While still professing his love for Ashley, Tracey Humphrey sent a
series of letters to ex lovers after he was arrested, proposing
marriage - and even asking for a loan.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Tracey Humphrey still claims he
is simply a victim of circumstance.
He's been called a master manipulator, a liar, someone who beats
women. Asked how he sees himself, Tracey Humphrey says he hadn't
thought of that.
"I mean, are you basically a good guy who got screwed by his wife?"
"A lot of wrong places at the wrong time," Tracey Humphrey replies.
Hoping that Tracey Humphrey has finally run out of time, the
prosecution takes one final shot at him during closing arguments.
"Timothy Humphrey had a firearm. And that firearm that he pointed
at Sandra was Ashley Humphrey. And he pulled that trigger on Ashley
Humphrey. And he fired eight times and took care of his problem," the
prosecutor said during closing arguments.
The jury deliberated just four hours and returned with a verdict of
guilty of first degree murder.
"Who did he think he was that he could think that he could get away
with this. Did he think he was so high and mighty that he could do
something like this and get away with it," Sandee's mom remarked.
Asked if he was surprised by the verdict, Tracey Humphrey says,
"Not at that point. When I walked out of the room after the jury left,
I walked into the holding cell in the back and I said, 'It's over.'"
Just two days after the verdict, Tracey Humphrey returned to the
same courtroom, to be sentenced to life without the possibility of
Sandee's mother believes justice has been served. "I think it's
better than the death penalty 'cause he's got to suffer every day and
think everyday what he did."
Tracey Humphrey's punishment aside, Sandee's mother says she has
finally found some peace, knowing that her daughter's death has likely
saved other women from Tracey Humphrey's deadly grip.
"She put her life on the line knowing what the consequences could
be. She put a message out there not to let anybody do something like
this to your and get away with it and stop it before they can hurt
you," her mother said.
Tracey Humphrey appealed his conviction, and lost.
Ashley Humphrey will be 46 when she is released from prison.