Ashley Laney was 19 years old and working at a Planet Smoothie in Brandon, Florida, when she met her knight in shining armor, 36-year-old Timothy “Tracey” Humphrey.
Tracey, who claimed to be a former football player and male model, was in reality was a steroid-addicted ex-con with a long rap sheet that included convictions for car theft, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. But Ashley was smitten with her bad-boy lover, and the pair were married on July 4, 2003.
But their storybook ending took a sinister turn when the couple cemented their union by committing a brutal murder. Twenty-four hours after Ashley and Tracey tied the knot, his ex-girlfriend and coworker Sandra “Sandee” Rozzo was dead.
Sandee, a bartender and aspiring model, met Tracey in 2001. After their brief relationship ended, she reportedly agreed to spend one last night with him, during which she claimed he imprisoned, raped, and brutalized her for two days.
Tracey was arrested for felony battery following the assault on Sandee, and was due to go to trial on that charge August 4, 2003. If convicted, he faced 10 years behind bars. “When the courageous woman pledged to testify against him, he knew he had to silence her,” author M. William Phelps wrote in Kill For Me.
Tracey knew that he would immediately become the prime suspect, so he convinced Ashley to pull the trigger while he ordered a pizza at home. Later, he would use the food order to establish an alibi, which was backed up by an acquaintance named Tobe White.
On July 5, 2003, Ashley staked out Sandee’s Pinellas Park house and waited hours for her to finish her shift at the Green Iguana bar. When Sandee pulled into her garage, Ashley emerged from the darkness and shot her eight-times at point-blank range.
In an interview with Paula Zahn, Ashley said that she has vivid memories of the time leading up to the murder, but said she was “on autopilot” during this time.
The alibi plan quickly fell apart after investigators figured out that Ashley had not been home at the time of the shooting — and cell phone records proved that she was in Sandee’s neighborhood around the time of the murder.
Ashley was arrested and charged with first-degree murder for killing Sandee, and her new husband Tracey was charged with federal firearms possession.
Ashley soon admitted to detectives that she shot Sandee, but claimed that Tracey was the mastermind behind the murder. In exchange for testifying against her husband, Ashley was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder, and Tracey was charged with first-degree murder.
Tracey testified that the killing was Ashley’s idea, but the jury did not buy his story, and he was convicted of first-degree murder on February 25, 2006. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and is currently serving his sentence in Miami. After his conviction, he was sentenced to an additional 15 years behind bars for an escape attempt he made prior to the trial in 2004.
On March 10, 2006, Ashley Humphrey was sentenced to 25 years. She is scheduled to be released from prison on December 13, 2028 — she will be 46 years old.
Main photo: Ashley Humphrey [On The Case With Paula Zahn/Investigation Discovery]