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Homicide witness speaks out after shooting suspect reportedly commits suicide in jail

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Posted at 9:05 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 06:35:39-04

TULSA - The family of Tulsa's second homicide victim, 32-year-old Ashley Tobey, is left without resolution after the reported killer committed suicide in jail Saturday.

Someone once told Leesa Crawford a healthy way to grieve is to garden, so she's in her memorial garden a lot. 

 "I have a male tree for my son and a female one for Ashley," said Crawford, Ashley Tobey's mother-in-law.

She lost her son Danny 12 years ago and Ashley four months ago. 

"There was some sort of argument between a third party over a cell phone," said Tulsa Police Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker. 

Police responded to Ashley's body lying in an East Tulsa parking lot in January. 

"Ashley got out of the car, Rutledge got out of the car, and Ashley said I'm not afraid of you," said Walker. 

Police said 23-year-old Ty Rutledge shot and killed her, and Ashley's friend Hollie Brown watched it all happen. 

"I feel extremely guilty," she said. 

She said the entire incident started with a woman named Kayla who they were hanging out with, but didn't know as well as they knew each other. 

Brown said Kayla was demanding and wanted to be dropped off at QuikTrip. 

"She had my cell phone and I was like, 'give me that cell phone,' because we can't ditch her if she has my phone," she said. 

Brown recalls Kayla jumping out of their car with the phone and getting into another car, which she said Ashley wasn't happy about. 

"She jumps out of the car and says, 'give me that cell phone.'"

Brown said that's when Rutledge got out of the other car that Kayla had jumped in. 

 "And he just shot her," Brown shook as she remembered. 

Brown said Rutledge does need to take responsibility for pulling the trigger at the QuikTrip on 31st and 169, but he's not the only one. 

"I feel like this girl Kayla set all this up and did all this crap."

"There is no other suspect in this case. Ty Rutledge is the one that pulled the shotgun, Ty Rutledge was the one that shot Ashley Tobey," said Sgt. Walker. 

Brown said drugs weren't a factor while police stick by that claim. 

Meanwhile, the only things Leesa Crawford has to stick by our memories and Ashley's son Treighton now left without any parents.

"I just want to believe they're together in heaven," she said. 

Tulsa Police said now that Rutledge will never see a courtroom it'd be happy to sit down with Ashley's family and go over the investigation.

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