Charles Colbert: Oklahoma man who fatally shot his child's mother as she served him custody papers gets life in prison

Charles Colbert: Oklahoma man who fatally shot his child's mother as she served him custody papers gets life in prison
Charles Maurice Colbert was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ashley Sneed (Tulsa Police Department)

TULSA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA: A 43-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison by Tulsa County District Court for the murder of his child's mother.

Charles Maurice Colbert shot and killed Ashley Sneed, 38, inside her home after she tried to serve him papers filing for the sole custody of their 1-year-old child. As per the court records, Colbert was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Judge Clifford J Smith on Tuesday, March 26, for the 2022 killing of Ashley Sneed.

Charles Colbert found guilty of Ashley Sneed's murder 

Colbert gave up his right to a jury trial in December and chose to have a bench trial before Smith, who subsequently found him guilty of Sneed's murder.

In response to a reported homicide, Tulsa Police Department officials said in a previous news release that on May 7, 2022, at approximately 12.30 pm, officers were called to a residence near E Latimer Court and N 89th E Avenue.

First responders discovered an adult female at the scene who would later be identified as Sneed. She appeared to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Sneed tried to lock Colbert out of her house when he arrived. After Colbert gained entry to the house, the two got into a fight over their child's visitation rights, according to Law&Crime.

“Sneed attempted to serve Colbert papers for child custody,” the release stated. “Colbert became very angry and shot and killed Sneed. Colbert then fled the scene,” it further stated. 

Ashley Sneed suffered physical abuse from Charles Colbert during their relationship

The authorities claim that many children were inside the house during the shooting. However, the one-year-old shared child of Colbert and Sneed wasn't there at the time.

Colbert had left the scene before the police could get there but was eventually located and arrested in Dallas, Texas.

The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office released a press release claiming that Sneed had suffered physical abuse at the hands of Colbert during their relationship.

“Ashley Sneed was the victim of Charles Colbert’s domestic violence for many years,” Assistant District Attorney Dalinda Jeffers, who prosecuted the case along with ADA John Tjeerdsma, said in a statement.

“Her children were terrorized by his explosive rage. However, with help from family and friends, Ashley found the strength to climb out of that abyss and start a new and productive life away from him, free of his brutality, at least for a short while."

"I’m glad she got to feel the sun on her face and the wind in her hair before Colbert murdered her for defying him, firing 13 gunshots into her, most if not all of them as she laid on her laundry room floor. Justice was done today when the judge gave him a sentence of life without parole.”

According to court documents, Colbert's public defender filed a notice of intent to appeal after the sentencing hearing.

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