News 12 Sits Down with Ashley Smith

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October 7, 2005
Helping catch a courthouse shooter made her famous and now Ashley Smith of Martinez has written a book about surviving that ordeal.

She’s on a whirlwind tour, appearing on every show from Oprah to Larry King Live. But Friday afternoon News 12 caught up with Ashley back here at home to find out what’s most important to her now.

It’s the book that details the night that changed Ashley Smith’s life forever. “Unlikely Angel” is climbing up the bestseller list. Smith has no plans to send the book to the man that held her hostage, Brian Nichols.

“I’m not going to, if someone else does that’s fine, but I have no plans to. And I have no plans to go visit him, but now if God lays it on my heart I will,” Smith said.

Ashley’s focus now is on her daughter Paige, her recovery, and her relationship with God. That is quite a change from when she was addicted to drugs, and had lost custody of her child.

In the book Smith even thanks Judge Duncan Wheale, who granted custody of Paige to her aunt.

“He did the right things, even though I didn’t want to give her up, I knew I should,” Smith said.

Smith now lives in Martinez with her daughter, and her aunt and uncle. Aunt Kim is also featured in the book as doling out some tough love. But for Kim Rogers, this is all answered prayers.

“I was shocked, but not surprised this all happened. I was asking God for him to do something big in Ashley’s life and voila, it was big,” Rogers said.

Big enough to save an addict from herself and to share a bigger message of hope for others.

“I’m proud to be from here, to be in this city, instead of hiding my face I made the changes in my life,” Smith said.

And Ashley’s little girl, Paige, is perhaps the most proud of her mom. She has been known to introduce her around town as a hero.

“She does and sometimes it is embarrassing, I’m her hero and that’s what I always wanted to be,” Smith said.

Ashley Smith will be in Augusta Saturday signing her book “Unlikely Angel” at the Family Christian Bookstore at the Augusta Exchange Shopping Center. The manager tells News 12 they feel honored that Ms. Smith chose their bookstore. They say she is a regular customer there.