Man convicted to life after pleading guilty to multiple charges in Opelika

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - A man is sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to several charges, including first-degree arson and attempted murder.

The Lee County District Attorney’s Office says, on Sept. 20, a Lee County jury was prepared to hear evidence on a case against Frederick Ashmore. However, before testimonies began, Ashmore pleaded guilty to the following charges,

  • First-degree arson
  • 3 counts of attempted murder
  • First-degree domestic violence

According to officials, on Feb. 18, 2021, around 5 a.m., the Opelika Police Department received reports of a building at Pinehurst Apartment on fire.

Upon arrival at the scene, the building was completely engulfed in flames.

During the investigation into the incident, the resident of the building told officers she and her two children were woken up by their fire alarm. They could not leave through the front door, so they jumped from their second-story window.

Law enforcement obtained surveillance footage of the incident showing Ashmore going to the front porch of the victim’s apartment. Shortly after, flames were seen, followed by a large explosion.

Ashmore then ran to his car and left the scene.

The Alabama State Fire Department collected debris samples, which showed he used gasoline to accelerate the fire.

According to police, the victim was in an abusive relationship with the defendant, where he threatened her life on several occasions.

Ashmore was under court order to have no contact with the victim at the time of the incident.