Most people are familiar with the famous line, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," from William Congreve's 17th-century play The Mourning Bride. Every now and then, we come across instances that serve as epitomes of the adage. In one such example, a 36-year-old US woman, whose former boyfriend refused to marry her and sought the custody of their child, was recently convicted for attempting to kill him using a bomb.
Ashley Nicole Haydt, from Taylor, Alabama, was convicted on 21 October 2021, by a federal jury for her role in a truck bombing that targeted an ex-boyfriend and the father of the child that they had together. Sylvio Joseph King, a 'friend' who carried out the bombing for Haydt, had already pleaded guilty for his participation in the crime.
Plotting to Kill
According to evidence presented during the trial and court records, Haydt and King worked at the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center in Dothan, Alabama, in 2017. As stated by testimony, a friendship developed between the two. Eventually, King learnt from Haydt about her disgruntlement with her boyfriend on account of his refusal to tie the knot with her, and for ending their relationship ultimately.
However, in June 2017, the child of the couple was born. Following this, the ex-boyfriend filed for custody of the infant. Several texts from Haydt to King were presented to the jury where Haydt villainized her former romantic partner. In these messages, she expressed worry over potentially losing custody of the child. She also conveyed that the absence of her ex-boyfriend would make her life easier.
The exchange of these messages continued for several weeks. Subsequently, at Haydt's urging, they moved their correspondence to the instant messaging application, Snapchat. The platform is popular for one of its principal features: messages and pictures are available usually for a short and fixed duration of time before becoming inaccessible to the receiver.
Bombing the Ex-boyfriend
With continued encouragement from Haydt to get rid of her ex, King began purchasing the materials required to put together a pipe bomb. He was provided with the address of Haydt's former boyfriend by her. During the early hours of 23 October 2017, King planted the bomb in the work truck of the ex that was parker near the latter's home.
As the ex-boyfriend drove his truck to work, King detonated the explosive device. The victim suffered injuries in the back and hip area. However, a passing motorist's prompt actions and that of first responders ensured that the victim survived the attack on his life. Immediately following the explosion, Haydt received a text from King that said, "boom, I felt that from 120 feet away."
A Ticket to Prison
However, Haydt soon came under law enforcement's suspicion. She made several conflicting statements during the course of multiple interviews. When her phone was scrutinized by agents, it was found that Haydt had deleted the texts that were exchanged with King before and on the day of the bombing, and also the Snapchat app from her phone.
Fortunately, a considerable amount of evidence of older communication between the duo was procured from King's phone. His testament during the trial also confirmed that Haydt was involved in the plot. Following a four-day trial, Hadyt was found guilty on multiple counts by the jury: conspiracy, concealing the commission of a felony, and malicious use of an explosive.
Each of the perpetrator's sentencing hearings will be scheduled over the next few months. Both Haydt and King will be facing a minimum sentence of 7 years, and a maximum of 40 years, in prison, at the hearing.