JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A Jacksonville man pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of a 34-year-old mother of three. Otis Tucker now faces up to life in prison as he awaits his sentencing in July.
Investigators say last November, Ashley Fowler was beaten with a hammer and strangled with an electronic cord.
“She was such a good person, she didn’t deserve it and it happened in the most gruesome way,” her brother Taylor Fowler said. “As far as the trauma and pain and dealing with this, it’s literally been unbearable.”
It happened at a Southside apartment complex, her brother Taylor Fowler said they used to live nearby, and she’d walk through the area sometimes, but they don’t know who Tucker is.
“Definitely no connection or relation to my sister at all,” Fowler said.
The family worked with attorneys, so they knew a guilty plea was coming and felt as if the deal was the best route moving forward, but Taylor said it still wasn’t easy.
“We didn’t want to make the wrong decisions or let up on someone who caused us the worst pain in our life,” he said.
Tucker also has a violent arrest history in Virgina. The Richmond Police Department considers him a suspect in the 2016 disappearance of 21-year-old Keeshae Jacobs; Fowler said they’ve spoken with her family since learning about the connection.
“Hopefully they do put some more pressure and investigation on her situation and bring something to light,” he said.
The Richmond Police Department told Action News Jax that anyone with information about Jacobs’ case is asked to call Richmond Police Department Major Crimes Detective C. Key at (804) 646-5984 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The agency says P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used and that all Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.
For Ashley Fowler, she’s remembered as a loving mother who put family first.
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“She was funny. she cared about everyone,” Taylor Fowler said.
“Anytime I fell short she opened up her home for me or did whatever she could that’s the type of person she was,” Fowler said. “We love you, Ashley, you’re making us so much stronger.”
The State has also filed Habitual Offender and Habitual Violent Felony Offender enhancements on Tucker to be considered by the judge, the sentencing will be on July 31.
Action News Jax at 11 will have more on this story.
Related read: Otis Tucker pleads guilty to second degree murder of woman