Ashley Toye’s Story

Ashley Marie Toye, is one of twin daughters born to Clifford and Julie Toye October 31, 1988. She, along with her twin, Bethany, and brother, Justin lived with their parents in Newton, New Jersey for the first years of their lives. At an early age Julie began having problems and when Ashley was only four, Julie walked out on the young family, leaving Cliff as a single parent, with three small children. Cliff was working overtime whenever possible, often causing the children to be on their own when they arrived home from school. He loved his children very much, and felt caught between his desire to be there for them, and the need to provide for their physical well being.

Julie would pop in and out of their lives as she struggled to find herself. But the time Ashley and Bethany were fourteen, Julie appeared to have gotten her life under control, and told Cliff she was ready to parent the girls. So, he allowed Ashley and Bethany to move to Maine where they remained with Julie for a year. One day after school the girls came home to find a letter on their bed telling them that Julie couldn’t take it any longer, and that she was leaving once again. It was later learned that Julie was addicted to heroin and cocaine. The girls were devastated. They loved their mother, but her unstable parenting had taken a toll. This nightmare relationship had left them confused and angry, once again the longed for stability. Cliff’s mother offered to let the girls stay with her until they were able to join Cliff, who had now moved to Cape Coral, Fl. For the next five months, the girls lived with their grandmother, and attended school at Newton High School in Newton, New Jersey.

By this time school had become a challenge for Ashley. Moving often, and struggling to develop friendships, she was quick to find any excuse not to show up, placing her academic progress further in jeopardy. Her transfer into the North Ft. Myers system was the final straw for her disenfranchisement with school. Once again she found herself in a home situation with a father working long hours to provide for his children, and a lack of supervision that allowed her to skip school, and begin developing unhealthy friendships.

Shy and 15, Ashely was flattered when 18 year old Kemar Johnston began showing her attention. Suddenly she found the love that was missing in her life. Kemar Johnston began showering her with expensive gifts and introduced her to his friends and family. In the beginning she believed she had finally found love and acceptance. The mind of a 15 year old can be easily confused. without family for support, being with Kemar made her forget her problems and oftentimes even her family. He filled the void in her life.

Shortly after they became a couple, an unplanned pregnancy was terminated. Depressed and lost, Ashley had fallen into a controlling relationship that she believed offered her stability. Shortly after the pregnancy was terminated, Kemar became abusive. He began hitting her with belts, locking her in the closet, punching her in the arms and legs or sticking a gun to her head and threatening her when things did not go his way. After the abuse he would come crying back telling her how sorry he was. He could turn the tears on like water from a faucet. Eventually he convinced her that he did these horrible things to her because he loved her. Ashley believed that Kemar was all she deserved or would every have in life, and that she must stay with him regardless of the abuse.

The beatings got worse, and as things fell apart Kemar no longer showed any remorse. Thoughts of suicide were regularly a part of Ashely’s day. And then, the night of Kemar’s 20th birthday, Ashley’s life would change forever.

A group of friends were partying at Kemar’s apartment in Cape Coral. Liquor, drugs and guns were readily available. Eighteen year old Alex Sosa, and his 14 year old nephew, Jeffery, showed up uninvited. in the past there been some unresolved drug issues between Alex and Lopez, a close friend of Kemar. When the Sosa boys first arrived Alex came in, apparently to pay his respects to Kemar. Within a few minutes, someone in the room held up a cell phone with a recording of Alex Sosa saying threatening things related to family members and girl fiend of one of the other guests. Quickly a fight broke out, and the Sosa boys were easily outnumbered. Mike Balint tied the Sosa boys hands behind their backs, and the guns came out. Those with the guns began using knives to cut into the backs of the Sosa boys. As he passed the knife to Melissa, he yelled out “Everyone’s going to down for this.” Melissa mad her mark and passed the knife to Ashely. Fearing for her own life, Ashley cut an asterisk into Jeffery’s back.

Things quickly spun out of control, with a lot of yelling and arguing. Alex Fernandez took the bleeding, terrified Sosa boys out to his red car, threw them in the back seat., and headed out to a remote area of Cape Coral. Kemar told Ashley to get into the Lexus owned by Alex Sosa, along with Paul Nunez and they followed the red car to a small wooded area. Kemar told Melinda to drive his Cadillac and follow the Lexus, Kemar and Ashely got out of the car, but she stayed by the fearful of what would happen next. Although t she couldn’t see anything because of the darkness she could hear yelling. Suddenly, the sound of gunshots rang through the air. Kemar left the scene in a different care. Ashely returned to the apartment in the car with Melissa, Iriana, Rod and Paul spending the rest of the night in bed-Ashley lying there unable to sleep, hearing the gunshots over and over, and unable to wipe the horrifying events of the night out of her head.

Within the next week, Kemar, Ashley and the rest of the party, now referred to as the “Cash Feenz” gang had been arrested. (Shortly after her arrest Ashley discovered she was pregnant, and following her delivery of a healthy baby boy, Kemar’s parents tool Azariah and are raising him without any financial help from the state of Florida.”

Believing she had been forced to participate and that the abusive relationship with Kemar had caused her to suffer from Abused Spouse Syndrome, Ashley refused a plea bargain which offered her 25-35 years and instead chose to go to trial, at age 17 with a public defender as her only counsel. The claim of Abused Spouse Syndrome had no expert witnesses called. Ashly was convicted and sentences to life without parole. Following Ashely’s trial, ranging from 12 to 20 years including her friend Melissa.

Currently, Ashley is enrolled in a Bible College program at Lowell Correctional Institute in Ocala, FL and is working on completing her GED. She completed a Kairos program in May 2008. She continues on her journey to know and understand God’s will for her life. You can write to her at: Ashely Toye DC# Y33438, Lowell Correctional Institute, 11120 NW Gainesville Rd, Ocala, FL 34482

Ashley was not a willing participant in this crime. She understands that her own youthful decisions have played a major role in the circumstances of her life. Although she cannot change the past, she has a great deal of remorse for what has happened, and wants only to receive fair treatment for her underage, coerced participation in this crime. A legal defense fun has been established at Wachovia bank, 3041 NE Pine Island Rd. Cape Coral, FL 33909. Donations can be sent to the Ashley Toye defense fund at that address. It will take thousands of dollars to hire a qualified attorney to appeal her case and/or sentence and see that justice is done. Your donations to her defense are greatly appreciated. Should her appeals run out with no other legal options available to her, any remaining funds n the account will be set aside in a college fund for her son Azariah. Thank you for taking time to read Ashley’s story. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

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32 Responses to Ashley Toye’s Story

  1. sandi says:

    Many blessings to the victims of abuse. Sex Slaves are coming forward now to the attention of our Governor.
    I will keep you in my heart and prayers and on my alter.

  2. Carl says:

    Victimize her all you want, She was a big enough part of the murders of Jeffery and Alex Sosa. She along with all the others should be put to death. boo hoo poor Ashley, don’t forget two people will never get the chance to grow up. So shut it bitches

    • I totally agree with you! She unlike those two young men are yet alive! She is enrolled in classes and that’s a great thing. Maybe she could write a book, or do a telecom to help others, She can do helpful things courtesy of the state of FL, as an inmate.

    • Terri says:

      I agree with you, she knew what she was doing and could have called for help. But she chose not to and stayed instead. She is exactly where she belong.

  3. lori says:

    I was in abusive relationships myself and understand the feelings involved. she made a decision to participate in the murder of two people. It was the wrong decision to make sure but there are many things she could have done differently, I feel that she should pay for that decision. I will pray for her but don’t believe that she should get out of jail. there are many people who made wrong decisions in jail, should we release or adjust their sentences as well? I don’t think so.

  4. I am a believer in forgiveness! I also believe in accepting responsibility for our actions inspite of the circumstances! From what I read, she does not come across as being upset about what she has done. In empathy, true guilt, shame, and remorse would shine forth! Saying, you are a different person, six years later is such a short amount of time to “stew in your own juices”! Ashley should continue her studies, and use her unfortunate experience to help others, but she should not be released! I am sure there are millions of folks that have the same “BIO” regarding abusive relationships as does she. While it is unfortunate, that should not give any person a free pass to get out of jail! I am so sorry for all the victims and families, her son is also an unfortunate victim,, too! Unless, there will be a uniform decision in Florida to grant everyone a get out of jail card because of abuse, Ashley should not be released. I know 99.9% of incarcerated folks would say they are a different person, too! They’d probably be more passionate that she was too! One of the biggest vices of having “time”, folks have so much of it to be creative, beyond most of our dreams! Most folks would say or do just about anything to get out of jail! Ashley is no different! Ashley should do her time, as she does have time and she will not be executed!

    • Laura says:

      This is a very sad story. Unfortunately, events like this happen daily around the world. Does she deserve to spend the rest of her life in prison? I don’t think so. Sounds pretty harsh for someone that didn’t pull the trigger, unless of course there is more to this story we haven’t read here. I am 27 and u can honestly say that some decisions that I made 6 years ago, I would not make today. But as for being involved in a double murder?….I believe 6 years is not long enough. But life without parole in Ashley’s case is too much, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I have extreme sympathy foe the victims and their families. But unless, like I said earlier, there is more to this story and Ashley’s involvement I do t believe she should spend her WHOLE ENTIRE life behind bars.

    • anonymous says:

      Just watched the dr.phil show and alot of what ashley has been through i have encountered worse. She was young but even at that age and being naive I still had common sense. The ultimate judgement will be of god. She will have this time to reflect on the wrongs she has done in her life and if it be the will of god to set her free one day from the bondage if his will chooses to do so. Just a very tragic story in my opinion.

  5. cyndiejean says:

    Her sentence should NOT be reduced. Her family is free to visit her in prison, while her victim’s family will never see them in this life again. I saw her on Dr. Phil. She owns nothing, blames her mother, moving around, etc. for her deeds. She is not the victim in this situation. Those murders were horrific. She is arrogant, entitled, and totally lacking in empathy. She is right where she needs to be.

    • Joyce says:

      You are so right on! She seems manipulative. Did not the reports of her upbringing make statements about how she would make “excuses” for her truancy and other problems? Some kids who are brought up with no boundaries i.e. lack of discipline, accountability and structure learn to manipulate so they can get their needs met anyway they can. Too bad she made a stupid choice, but she is in no way innocent. She could have ran to a neighbors home, a pay phone, somewhere instead of driving out to a wooded area to assist with the completion of this horrible act. As for the Sosa boys, they may not have been saints themselves, but they did not deserve to die like this. Again, she is where she belongs!

  6. Talyn says:

    she is where she should be. She murdered two people. Actions have consequences.

  7. Kate says:

    I don’t believe we should just take teens, lock them up and throw away the key unless it has been proven that they pose a continuing threat to society. In this case, I believe that Ashley deserves a second chance. Nothing can be done to bring these boys back but Ashley has the chance to be a positive, contributing member in society. My heart aches for the Sosa family – no family should have to endure what they have but (and I’m not trying to blame the boys), these two young men were involved in a lifestyle that put them in harm’s way and the family needs to accept their part in this. If these boys were given the proper nurture and guidance they needed, then perhaps they wouldn’t have been caught up with these other people and drugs.

    • Suzan says:

      How do you know she’s not a threat to society. Prisoner’s are very manipulative and can convince others of the need of a section. What Guaranty is there that se wouldn’t kill again. Let her stay in prison for the rest of her life praying.

    • Terri says:

      Well you wouldn’t feel that way if if where one of your family members…she is where she should be…

    • Deb says:

      Well Ashley’s lifestyle and choices put her in harms way also, and unlike those two boys she had opportunity to leave her situation. I read Ashley’s story and watched dr. Phil twice trying to figure out what on earth could have possibly given you any indication that Ashley could be a positive contributor to society. Let her be a positive contributor to other females that will get out in real world after serving their term. The best example she can be is to all teenagers currently heading down wrong path. Turn ur life around or be a lifer like me. She needs to stay in prison and be example of model prisoner

  8. Kate says:

    I also wanted to say that I find it very disturbing that Kemar’s parents are raising Ashley’s son. They obviously didn’t have what it takes to raise Kemar properly – why should they be raising his son?

  9. Kate says:

    I don’t think people are necessarily advocating for her to get out of jail anytime soon. It’s more that they don’t feel she should have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She definitely needs to spend more time – perhaps a lot more time – but she should have the chance for parole.

    I grew up in a neglectful, abusive home and as a young teen was heading down the wrong path. Fortunately, I had other adults in my life that I knew loved and cared for me and that made all teh difference. Also, society was a much different place 40 years ago. Kids were not left to raise themselves the way they are today. Kids were also not exposed to all the gratuitous violence and other anti-social behaviors that they are exposed to these days. We glamorize mronic kids like those on Jersey Shore and make them into wealthy celebrities. We need to start living the adage “it takes a village to raise a child” and start giving our own and other children the proper moral guidance they need.

  10. Shellby Costs says:

    She did the crime ~ Let her DO THE TIME !!!! My heart aches for the Sosa family and I will say ~ there was No Remorse In Her From What I Could See Today on the Dr. Phil Show… She’s Only Sorry She Got Caught… if the law wouldn’t have found them they’d all still be hiding this sickening crime they committed !!!!
    You (Ashley) Showed No Mercy ~ You Get No Mercy ~ Stay behind bars for the rest of your life and when you close your eyes and want to sleep…. I hope you hear those young boys pleading and screaming when you put the knife in their back and did your “drawing” and then put SALT & BLEACH on the Cuts…. Do you hear their voices crying for HELP / MERCY ?????? Do YOU…
    You are ONLY SORRY THEY FOUND YOU ~ that was the only thing I see you ‘sorry’ about!!!
    Those young boys are gone ~ turn your life around in PRISON ~ STAY THERE ~ ~ FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE…. Those young boys WON’T BE LEAVING THEIR GRAVES AS LONG AS ‘YOU LIVE’ ~ SO YOU STAY LOCKED UP AND TRY TO BE A LOT MORE SORRY FOR WHAT YOU DID INSTEAD OF ‘BLAMING OTHERS’ FOR THE DECISION YOU MADE THAT NIGHT!!!
    YOU “SHOWED NO MERCY”,,,,, YOU “GET NO MERCY” !!!

  11. Barbara says:

    For everyone who says “oh she was a teenager we shouldn’t judge her because she was just a teenager.” She was *almost* 18 when the murders occurred, an adult in the eyes of the court and society.

    I, too, have been in an abusive relationship, but I was married. For her to try to use the abused spouse syndrome is disrespectful to those who truly do suffer from that syndrome. Two years with him? Meh, I’m not impressed. Talk to me when you had been married to him for twenty years, then we got something to talk about.

    This one needs to spend A LOT more time behind bars. She is NEVER going to be released unless and until she shows some remorse and acceptance of her part in the crime. She must accept responsibility for her actions and stop trying to blame them on others. Until that day comes, she WILL be in jail. It’s really that simple. Six years?!?!??!?! She hasn’t changed that much that she should be out roaming the streets.

    It would be reasonable that she should be eligible for parole, but many many years down the road. She should be required to serve *at least* what was offered in the plea deal (was it 25-35 years?) and then she might be considered for parole. But even if that ever happens, she isn’t going to get parole if she doesn’t show remorse and empathy, and accept responsibility for her actions. She has not done any of those things. She lacks maturity. She now has to prove to the courts that she is better than her track record. Good luck with that.

    This is not someone I would want living in my neighborhood with her current mindset. I don’t know if I would ever be comfortable with this person in my neighborhood, regardless of mindset or age.

  12. Suzan says:

    Many people have it worse than her but don’t commit horrible crimes. What she did is unforgiveable as she was old enough to know better. Her excuses are just that, excuses.

  13. Kim says:

    I think life in prison is too harsh of a sentence, she did not kill anyone. My heart goes out to those boys, its sad the world we live in. But i guess its ok to kill your baby, and walk away free, that’s the so called justice system for you. Lock people up for 25 years for selling a piece of rock cocaine, then on the same note let child molesters out with slap on wrist so they can move next door to you. The system is broke.

  14. Laura says:

    I just watched this story on the Dr. Phil show. As I watched the first part of the show I did feel that life without parole was a bit of a harsh sentence for a 17 year old that didn’t “pull the trigger”. Then the Sosa family came on and we heard the audio of Ashley’s interrogation, she was laughing as she recounted the events (the torture) of that evening. It may have been a nervous reaction but I found it chilling. Then she had the nerve to tell the Sosa family that she needed their forgiveness so that SHE could move on. She stated many times that she is a different person now, if that is true then why would she have asked for forgiveness? It wasn’t so much an apology as it was a demand for forgiveness. She was also very quick to place all the blame on her Mother. Many people grow up in terrible, abusive households, that is no excuse for what she did. If everyone that was abandoned or abused as a child got out of prison then the prisons would be empty. A lot of people have a sad story, that doesn’t give them a “pass”. The other thing that I found very interesting was that her Father knew that Kemar was busted for dealing drugs, he said that he stopped her from seeing him for a bit after that, it was glossed over but why did he not press charges against him for statutory rape? She was a minor that was impregnated TWICE by an adult! That makes me crazy. Parents need to be held responsible for that, when you decide to have children it is your responsibility to keep them safe (sexually). I am so tired of hearing parents say, “I couldn’t stop her from seeing him, she was going to do it anyway.” Yes you can…press charges! I can assure you that when I was a minor my parents would have stopped it. She should have called 911, even if she called and didn’t speak it could have saved the Sosa boys. It is a tragic story, all those young people’s lives were ruined that night but Ashley lived to tell about it and it is the price she has to pay.

  15. Mel Pag says:

    I first heard abou this story only yesterday.
    I must say that the crime was horrific.
    Ms Toye could have made a difference in her world and that of so many others….she could have chose to do the humane thing…she could have snuck into a bathroom and called 911!!!!
    She is alive….i dont care what those two boys did at the time of their murders they had not killed anyone!
    If this was my child who was so brutally tortured murdered and then SET ON FIRE…..i would not be handing out forgiveness….i dont care what the bible, church or any therapist says!
    How can any person …..stand by and watch something so brutal….she took part in it…she carved a 14 year old boy like a piece of meat…..maybe it did not kill him but her actions said what was happening was ok.
    Ms. Toye should be kept right where she is at. She will have her whole life…ALIVE…to think about what she could have done to keep those two boys alive.
    Shame on everyone of you who stood by and didnt have the balls to try and stop it….hows your gang now…..how tough are all of you now???? you alll deserve what you got. Your lucky justice wasnt left up to the boys families!

  16. mary radcliff says:

    I believe she should be accountable for her actions. She doesnt tell in her story about the torment and torture that those men endured before they were killed.
    So in this lifetime you made poor decisions and one of Gods commandments is ‘thou shall not kill’ so you chose your will instead of following gods will, and that is why you are where you are today.

  17. There are no winners here. I do not believe it serves justice or anyone’s interests to keep a girl with this set of facts and age, in jail forever without a chance of life. The law chance should have been retroactive. There is now a law on the books that forbids sentencing someone who is not an adult to life without parole. When you remove all hope, you remove reason. It’s really about the money. We have allowed prisons in our community to become a very large profitable industry that generates Billions in revenue… for who? It’s not me and you. This was a very young girl who was lost from the get go. Is it her fault to be born into chaos? Yeah most of us would love to say we would make better choices, but aren’t we so smug. Are we really so hard hearted that we don’t give a shit about Millions of our fellow Americans? Most of these people will be out one day…living next to me and you. What if we made granting a license to run these places go hand in hand with requiring that even 30 percent of the net profits were REQUIRED to be used for “real life” skills programs. Obviously you would need to meet certain qualifications to get into that “skills track”.
    If you have ten years to do or more, you can learn to be a hell of a metal worker.. or other decent paying skill. This girl has a lot to learn. I don’t think she should be set free, but I do not see the logic in keeping her down forever. What does society get? Are we that much safer? Are these hard arsed laws helping? We have the highest ratio of humans institutionalized in any country and it does nothing for our crime rate.
    There is one sector that benefits from this, and that is the corporations running the joints.
    It wont bring back the boys. Paying taxes to keep her there forever doesn’t help anyone.
    We will pay for her keep for the next 50 years. Would make a lot more sense to give her and those like her a better chance than she was born into. This girl, and she ain’t no woman at that age, will change many times over the years as I did, as we all do. No the boys will never have that chance, but revenge serves no one.

  18. Deb says:

    We will either pay for her for the next 50 years in prison or pay for her to live the next 50 out of prison and on welfare. I say keep her in jail. Continue with bible studies, God may have plan for her right where she’s at.

  19. curt says:

    she needs to forget her life.

  20. Jenny says:

    Let her rot!!!!!! She knew the difference between right and wrong. God bless the child with monsters for parents. His grandparents couldn’t bring his father up properly so then they are allowed to bring up their grandson!!!! WHAT???????

  21. Adrienne says:

    I knew Jefferey Sosa. My mother taught Ashley Toye at ALC, thats an Alternative Learning Center where you are SENTENCED for behavior problems after being KICKED out of your old school. She might have been abused by Kemer but that does not give her the right to kill two innocent men. wait hold up. One wasn’t even a man yet. One was 14. I am the same age as him. I remember crying when I heard the news that two people that I knew were so brutally and horrifically murdered. I went to elementary school with Jeffery, if Jefferey was alive today he would be 19 now.
    This is total BS trying to paint Ashley Toye as a victim. You are forgetting how she poured bleach on these guys as they struggled to live. How she cut into a 14 year old boy.
    She knew she was pregnant when she killed them. She has said that several times. I sincerely hope she never gets the chance to meet her son. That he never has to see her or Kemer. The state of Florida shouldn’t have to help take care of him.
    Ashley Toye should have gotten the Death Penalty. She deserves so much worse than what she did to Alex and Jefferey. I really hope that something truly terrible happens to someone as awful of a person as her. She is the lowest form of life in the world.
    She cut them, burned them with cigerettes, bleached them, watched them struggle for life for her and her lowlife boyfriends enjoyment, and then at the end of the day she and the piece of crap “gang” shot them and burned them!
    But you try to paint her as a victim here. It’s bullshit.

  22. rae says:

    Of course she’s crying,and taking bible classes,and saying she has changed-she’s in prison!They all claimthey found God and are changed or shift the blame to someone else.She can’t very well admit “Yeah I participated in the torture of 2 boys”.Give me a break.Everyone that was involved deserves to be in prison.And to blame her upbringing?People have been through worse and made right choices.At least she had a father there for her.

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