Family of woman charged in deadly shooting say it might not have been accident

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The crime doesn’t fit the charge — that’s what family of a mother sitting in jail is saying.

Ashley Rivers is charged with reckless homicide but her family say they have reason to believe what she did was no accident.

“Nothing is just adding up,” Rivers’ cousin, Shania Burcham, said.

According to an affidavit, Rivers told Memphis police she and Alonzo Scullark were in bed playing with a gun Monday when it went off inside their Raleigh apartment.

Scullark was shot in the head and died.

Rivers told officers she knocked the gun out of his hand, went to pick it up and throw it back to him and that’s when it went off.

However, Burcham isn’t buying the story.

“How do you play with a gun? Accidentally shaking it? You have to pull a trigger on his gun to shoot him,” she said.

Burcham says she lived with the couple for several years and claims the child they had together was in the home during the incident.

“There’s so many different stories going around.”

Those we talked to described Scullark as a good guy.

“He was hardworking, you know. He was a father to his kids. Regardless of what he had, he worked with the tools he was given,” said Marchetta Johnson, Scullark’s cousin.

Rivers’ other cousin Derrick Porterfield said he knew her to have a temper.

“I know that’s my cousin and people telling me, ‘Oh that’s your cousin, you’re supposed to believe that,’ but I stayed in the house with them for three years and I’ve watched them. When she’s mad at him or they argued, first thing she would do is grab a gun,” Porterfield said.

Family members are hoping investigators take a second look at the case.

“I don’t agree that it was an accident at all,” Burcham said.

Records show Rivers was arrested for violent crimes in the past.

WREG reached out to Memphis Police about the investigation and status of her charge but have yet to hear back.

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