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Woman pleads guilty to murder, sentenced to 15 years in plea deal

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Ashley Kyle

Ashley Kyle is arraigned on April 24 before Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango. On Monday, Kyle pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of a plea deal.

A St. Albans woman on Monday admitted to killing the father of one of her children after she said he attempted to run over her last fall.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango sentenced Ashley Nicole Kyle, 24, to 15 years in prison as part of a plea deal in Kyle’s murder case.

Kyle pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday morning as part of a binding plea deal with the Kanahwa Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

“I shot Mikey Ward,” Kyle said. “I was scared. ... He tried to run me over.”

Assistant Kanawha Prosecutor Deb Rusnak said she had evidence that indicated Ward was not trying to run over Kyle at the time Kyle shot him on Nov. 21, 2018.

A Kanawha grand jury indicted Kyle on one count of first-degree murder and one count of wanton endangerment in March. The wanton endangerment charge was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Kyle also will receive credit for about 300 days she’s served in jail.

Rusnak said she had advised Ward’s family of the plea deal, noting they didn’t like it but understood the circumstances.

“This is not an ideal situation,” Rusnak said. “This is not the outcome I would’ve hoped for, but considering all of the evidence, I believe this is an outcome the state would’ve gotten had this case gone to trial.”

Ward’s brothers, Harvey and Timothy, and his sister, Ethel, each gave a victim impact statement during the hearing, saying they thought 15 years wasn’t enough time in prison for Kyle.

“She don’t deserve to breathe the same air as I breathe,” Harvey Ward said. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Kyle allegedly shot Ward twice in two months, according to the criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

On Oct. 17, 2018, Kyle admitted to shooting Ward in the foot, Kanawha Sheriff’s Detective C.M. Morgan said in the criminal complaint.

That day she told responding law enforcement officers that she “should have killed” Ward, Morgan said in the complaint.

On Nov. 21, Ward was a passenger in a van when he yelled, “Hey, Ashley!” and the person driving the van reported to police that he heard a gunshot and turned around to see Ward with a gunshot wound in the right side of his forehead.

On Monday, Kyle said she thought Ward was going to run over her, so she shot him.

In the criminal complaint, Kyle admitted to killing Ward because people were making fun of her for shooting Ward in the foot and missing his head the previous month.

“I bet they won’t make fun of me now,” Kyle told Morgan, according to the complaint.

On Nov. 27, Ward was taken off of life support. He died that day.

Kyle is incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail pending her transfer to a state prison.

Reach Lacie Pierson at, 304-348-1723 or follow @laciepierson on Twitter.

Funerals for Friday, July 10, 2020

Anderson, Beverly - 1 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Good, Roger - 10 a.m., New Prospect Baptist Church, Sissonville.

Harrison, Lloyd - 1 p.m., Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor Chapel.

Morris, Andrew & Jasmine, Gracie Taylor - 3 p.m., Webster County High School, Upper Glade.

Nuzum, Jeremy - 1 p.m., Casto Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Reed II, Gary - 6 p.m., Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston.

Slater, Richard - Noon, Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.

Williams, Alice - 1 p.m., Adams-Reed Funeral Home, Cowen.