MWC Victim's Mother Speaks About Daughter's Murder, Killer's Fate
OKLAHOMA CITY - A heartbroken mother speaks out after her daughter's killer avoids the death penalty. A judge ruled Eric Knox not guilty by reason of insanity last week in the murder of Stacey Beesley.
It's been nearly four years since Beesley and her unborn child were killed. The judge's ruling came after three experts, including one hired by the state, found Eric Knox insane. Beesley's mother says this time, the justice system failed her family.
"I know that the nightmares I see some nights will eventually turn to dreams of her being okay," Rose Ashley said.
The nightmares began in December 2009 for Rose Ashley. Her daughter, 24-year-old Stacey Beesley was beaten to death in her Midwest City apartment. Beesley's fiance, Eric Knox, confessed to killing her and their unborn daughter Zoe.
"Every Christmas and every birthday, I won't have my baby or her baby," Ashley said.
Beesley's family and prosecutors wanted the death penalty for Knox. But after experts said Knox was insane, a judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity.
"He was guilty, he is guilty, and it just tears me apart," Ashley said.
Rose says she always had a bad feeling about Knox. She'd told her daughter that several times before.
"We had a conversation in one of our talks that I told her I was terrified he was going to kill her, [that] one of these days the police would come and tell me she'd been killed," Ashley said.
Knox confessed to police that he choked Stacey, stabbed her and beat her. He said the devil told him to do it.
"I don't believe he was crazy at the time. I believe he got mad about something," Ashley says. "They've told me to have faith in the system, but it's failed me up to this point. I don't have a lot of faith in the system. I have faith in God."
Along with her faith, she'll hold on to the memories of Stacey, the youngest of her four children.
"I pray every night for strength to continue, and I pray to be able to forgive him, but I also pray for God to forgive me if I die before I do," Ashley said.
Rose read a powerful impact statement in court, while she says Knox kept his head down and showed no emotion.
Stacey Beesley would've turned 29 in December. Since Knox was found not guilty, he cannot be tried again.
The state will monitor his mental status as he undergoes treatment at a hospital in Vinita.