Ash's Bond Set at $1 Million
The arraignment hearing for Ralph A. Ash, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend Tracy Heskett, was held in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas on March 24. During the hearing, Ash was notified of the prison time he could face if he is eventually found guilty of the crime, and his bond was set at $1 million. However, it was his behavior that overshadowed proceedings.
At one point, Ash interrupted Judge Julie Selmon stating his court-appointed attorney (Monroe County Public Defender Mark Morrison) “don’t know nothing” about his case. As Judge Selmon attempted to get Ash back in order, she said, “Excuse me.” Three times, he sarcastically replied, “You’re excused.” Ash’s performance was then topped off by his barking like a dog as the hearing came to a close.
Despite the outbursts, the business of the hearing went quickly. Ash was notified of the three charges against him including Abuse of a Corpse (a Felony 5), Weapon Under Disability (F-3) and Aggravated Murder with Gun Specification (F-Unclassified). The Aggravated Murder charge carries a possible life sentence if Ash is found guilty. He faces the possibility of 6-12 months in prison for Abuse of a Corpse and up to 36 months in prison for the Weapon Under Disability charge.
Monroe County Prosecutor James Peters requested that bond be set at $1 million with the requirement that if Ash were to make bond, he would be required to be on electronic house arrest and have no contact with the family of Tracy Heskett. Judge Selmon set the bond at $1 million with those requirements in place.