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Lauria spent the evening of December 30, 1999 at her friend Ashley Freeman's trailer home near Welch, Oklahoma to celebrate the latter's birthday. Lorene Bible, Lauria's mother, said that Kathy Freeman, Ashley's mother, took the girls to the Pizza Hut in Vinita, Oklahoma during the evening.

Lorene's statement contradicts authorities' belief that Kathy and the girls visited Big Bill's Barbecue in the 350 block of North Wilson Street in Vinita, Oklahoma. The group traveled in Kathy's blue Toyota and picked up feed for the Freemans' livestock, as well as water from Kathy's mother's house.

The Freemans' trailer did not have running water and was primarily heated by a wood-burning stove in the living room. The family was described as avid hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who enjoyed living in the remote location. The trailer was equipped with telephone service and electricity. There were numerous firearms stockpiled inside the home and Ashley assisted with hunting for food.

Ashley's boyfriend, Jeremy Hurst, told investigators that he met the women at a local Wal-Mart after their dinner. He gave Ashley a silver chain with a heart-shaped pendant embedded with her birthstone for her birthday present. Hurst said that he returned to the Freemans' home with the women shortly afterwards. He said that nothing appeared to be amiss and he departed at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Ashley's father, Danny Freeman, had relatives over during the evening who claimed that Hurst actually left at 10:30 p.m. Authorities said that no outgoing telephone calls were made from the family's home during the night. Kathy planned to take Ashley to her driver's test the following morning. Lauria had a dental appointment scheduled for the following morning and planned to leave the trailer shortly beforehand.

A passing motorist reported a fire in the vicinity of the Freemans' residence at approximately 6:00 a.m. the following morning. Authorities discovered Kathy's remains inside the debris during the afternoon. Investigators initially stated that they were positive no other bodies were inside the home and did not secure the location during the overnight hours.

Danny was considered the prime suspect in his wife's murder; authorities believed that he may have abducted Ashley and Lauria and traveled elsewhere, but all of the Freemans' vehicles were parked near their home. Lauria's car was also nearby and the keys were inside the ignition. Lorene discovered Lauria's purse propped inside the trailer, but there was no other evidence of the girls at the scene.

Jay Bible, Lauria's father, discovered Danny's body in the bedroom of the mobile home during the following morning. The Bibles returned to the trailer in an attempt to gather more evidence as to their daughter's whereabouts. Both Danny and Kathy had died as the result of gunshot wounds. Danny's body was partially covered by debris inside the bedroom, explaining why his remains were overlooked.

The medical examiner determined that Danny's right collarbone had been fractured prior to the entrance of the fatal wound. The coroner determined that Kathy died at approximately 5:00 a.m. Investigators believe that the fire was intentionally set in an attempt to destroy evidence of the crimes. An extensive search for the girls produced no evidence as to their whereabouts.

Lorene told reporters that Ashley had been saving her money to purchase a used vehicle in December 1999. Lorene said that she believed Ashley had accumulated $1200 in her savings account.

Hurst said that Ashley actually claimed to have saved between $3000 and $4000 for the car. She was employed part-time at Roscoe's, a convenience store in Welch. Hurst said that Ashley did not have a bank account; she kept her money sealed in a Tupperware container in the family's freezer. Authorities were unable to locate any evidence of the cash after the fire.

Lorene stated that Ashley and Danny had been arguing earlier in the month regarding the vehicle. She claimed that Ashley wanted to purchase a different car than Danny had desired. Danny reportedly had a violent temper and had been charged with abusing his son, Shane, in 1998. He was acquitted of the charges in 1999. Danny consistently protested the allegations.

Oklahoma law enforcement officer David Hayes shot and killed the Freemans' son, Shane, in 1998. Hayes was on duty at the time of the incident. Shane was on a country road in possession of a stolen vehicle at the time Hayes encountered him. The car had apparently broken down. Shane allegedly reached behind his back and pulled a gun, prompting Hayes to fire at him. The incident was investigated and Hayes' actions were found to be justified.

Hayes and his brother, who is also a law enforcement officer, said they both took polygraph exams after the girls' 1999 disappearances. Neither of them are considered suspects in the investigations. Hayes and his brother have not participated in the active cases.

Several of Danny's relatives believe that local law enforcement was behind the murders and the girls' disappearances, but no evidence has been located to support the theory. Freeman family members also believe that Shane was attempting to flee the scene at the time of his death and claim that his autopsy report contradicts the official verdict. Photos of Danny, Kathy and Shane are posted with this case summary.

There was speculation that Ashley and Lauria were involved in the Freemans' murders after the searches failed to produce evidence as to their whereabouts. Investigators stated that there was nothing in either girl's background to suggest they could be capable of such brutal acts.

Ashley was a member of the Welch High School basketball team, although she was unable to participate in the 1999 season as the result of an ankle injury. Lauria was a cheerleader and planned to become a cosmetologist after her high school graduation. Both girls were viewed as being well-behaved teenagers in 1999.

Several possible suspects were investigated over the years, including the serial killers Tommy Lynn Sells and Jeremy Brian Jones. In April 2018, eighteen years after the two teens vanished, police announced that they had made a serious break in the case.

Authorities now believe that three men, identified as Warren Phillip "Phil" Welch II, David A. Pennington and Ronnie Dean Busick, went to the trailer that night, killed Danny and Kathy, set the fire and took the girls. Pennington and Welch are now deceased and Busick has been arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of arson.

According to investigators' theory, Ashley and Lauria were kept alive for an unknown number of days after they were abducted. The three suspects took Polaroid photos of the girls while they were captives. They told multiple people they were holding them, and showed them the pictures.

Busick is awaiting trial for Ashley and Laura's murders. Authorities still hope to recover the girls' bodies, and the case remains under investigation. Foul play is suspected in their cases due to the circumstances involved.

Charley Project -
Wikipedia -
edited by staff to add media link
 
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House Bill passes forcing those charged with accessory to murder to serve 85% of sentence​

A bill authored by Rep. Steve Bashore (R-Miami) would add accessory to murder in the first or second degree to the list of crimes requiring an offender to serve 85 percent of their prison sentence before being eligible for parole.

The bill also says those convicted would not be eligible to earn any credits reducing the sentence to below 85 percent.

House Bill 2946 is named “Lauria and Ashley’s Law” after Welch teens Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman were kidnapped, tortured, raped, and killed on New Year’s Eve in 1999.

It is presumed the girls’ bodies were dumped in a Pitcher mine pit. Freeman’s parents, Danny and Kathy, were shot to death in the crime. Their remains were found in their home that had been set on fire.

Lauria Bible’s mother, Lorene Bible; her cousin, Lisa Bible-Brodrick; and Melissa Dixon, another family member, were all present as the bill passed on the House floor on a vote of 85-13.

The bill addresses the reduced prison sentence given to Ronnie Busick, a man charged with accessory to felony murder in the case. Busick was sentenced in 2020 to 10 years in prison with five years’ probation, and one year supervised.

Because of credits earned while in prison and the county jail, Busick was released after three years in prison.

“While I can’t rewind the clock and re-prosecute this horrible crime, I can do the only thing I know to do to try to bring some measure of peace to this family that has suffered so much,” Bashore said. “I’ve authored legislation to ensure going forward that anyone connected with a felony murder such as this will not be released prematurely from prison and will not receive any type of credits for time served.”


If enacted, Lauria and Ashley’s Law would go into effect on Nov. 1, 2024.
 
It shouldn't even be 85 percent. A sentence should be a sentence. Good behavior should just keep you from getting more time as you should if you assault someone or do wrong Or don't follow rules or your conditions and at best maybe a right to a bit better job in prison.

No wonder math is such an issue in this country. 50 years isn't 50 years. Three lifetimes is 2/3s of the first one. And all the other dumb sh*t they do these days.
 

State Senate Judiciary Committee approves Lauria and Ashley's Law​

A bill based off a Green Country crime that's received national attention for decades is one step closer to becoming law.

Tuesday, an Oklahoma Senate Judiciary Committee approved Lauria and Ashley's law.

The bill is based off the 1999 disappearance of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman in Craig County and the prosecution of the only living suspect in the case, Ronnie Busick.

The bill now goes to the full State Senate for consideration.

If passed there — it goes to Gov. Kevin Stitt's desk.
 

Lauria and Ashley’s law stalls; Bible family outraged​

A victim rights bill named after two missing Craig County teens hit a bump in its journey to become law.

Lauria and Ashley’s Law, authored by Rep. Steve Bashore, R-Miami, was scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor tomorrow (4/25).

Lorene Bible, Lauria’s mother, said the family was notified late Wednesday that the bill will not be heard because the legislators do not have time to hear the bill.

House Bill 2946 or the Lauria and Ashley’s Law, passed in the Oklahoma House 85-13 in February. The bill adds accessory to murder in the first or second degree to the list of crimes that would require an offender to serve 85% of their prison sentence before being eligible to request parole. Felons would not be eligible to earn any credit that would reduce their sentence below 85% of what was imposed, according to the Bill.

“This is a slap in the face to the Bible family and all victims,” Bashore said.

Bashore said the Senate Judicial Committee passed the bill on March 26 and had almost a month to hear the bill.

“It’s asinine the bill will not be heard, Bashore said.

“It’s not a time-consuming bill, but even if it was – so what – it’s about the victims,” Bashore said.

“Passing this bill into a law would have only been a semi-win for the Bible family,” Bashore said.

Passing this bill won’t bring back the girls, but it would stop the heartache for other families, he said.

“If the bill is not heard on Thursday, it will not be heard and we will have to file again next year,” Bible said. “So again, it appears that victims’ rights are not important.”
 

Criminal justice bill named after murdered Welch girls fails to pass​

The proposed Oklahoma legislation known as Lauria and Ashley's Law will not become law this year.

"Last night, first time ever in 24 years I felt I failed as a parent. I failed to get this to help other people," said Lauria's mother, Lorene.

House Bill 2946 did not receive the necessary hearing on the Senate floor. Lorene Bible argued that the bill would have ensured that criminals like Ronnie Busick, the man convicted as an accessory to her daughter's murder, served at least 85% of their sentences.

"I do not want another family to be standing where my family's at," Bible said.

The bill was not heard due to a "policy decision and based on not going backward on criminal justice reform," according to state Sen. Greg McCortney.

He said Oklahoma incarcerates too many people, and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' goal is rehabilitation and reintegrating people into society. He added that Busick was released on ODOC credits, not by the Senate.

However, the bill's author, state Rep. Steve Bashore, stands by the Bible family.

"Really sad, that is really sad. So in essence, the Senate is saying criminals are more important than victims and families and other Oklahomans, I don't buy that at all," Bashore said. "That's a travesty. It's ridiculous, unacceptable, it's a slap in the face of the Bible and Freeman families."

Despite the decision, Lorene Bible distributed packets on the bill to every Oklahoma senator.

"I understand you guys don't want to hear this, but I need you to know from the mom why we're doing this and why we're fighting for this," she said.

Lorene Bible says while this may be a setback, her fight for justice and reform is not over.

"If I fall apart, who's gonna fight?" she asked.

This was the second time the bill was drafted. Lorene Bible has vowed it won't be the last.
 

Lauria and Ashley’s law stalls; Bible family outraged​

A victim rights bill named after two missing Craig County teens hit a bump in its journey to become law.

Lauria and Ashley’s Law, authored by Rep. Steve Bashore, R-Miami, was scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor tomorrow (4/25).

Lorene Bible, Lauria’s mother, said the family was notified late Wednesday that the bill will not be heard because the legislators do not have time to hear the bill.

House Bill 2946 or the Lauria and Ashley’s Law, passed in the Oklahoma House 85-13 in February. The bill adds accessory to murder in the first or second degree to the list of crimes that would require an offender to serve 85% of their prison sentence before being eligible to request parole. Felons would not be eligible to earn any credit that would reduce their sentence below 85% of what was imposed, according to the Bill.

“This is a slap in the face to the Bible family and all victims,” Bashore said.

Bashore said the Senate Judicial Committee passed the bill on March 26 and had almost a month to hear the bill.

“It’s asinine the bill will not be heard, Bashore said.

“It’s not a time-consuming bill, but even if it was – so what – it’s about the victims,” Bashore said.

“Passing this bill into a law would have only been a semi-win for the Bible family,” Bashore said.

Passing this bill won’t bring back the girls, but it would stop the heartache for other families, he said.

“If the bill is not heard on Thursday, it will not be heard and we will have to file again next year,” Bible said. “So again, it appears that victims’ rights are not important.”
It probably affects too many politicians that are taking $$ from families to get favors for early release and/or too many with family/loved ones in prison that it will affect.
 
and here's their "excuse"

The bill was not heard due to a "policy decision and based on not going backward on criminal justice reform," according to state Sen. Greg McCortney.

He said Oklahoma incarcerates too many people, and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' goal is rehabilitation and reintegrating people into society. He added that Busick was released on ODOC credits, not by the Senate.
 

Criminal justice bill named after murdered Welch girls fails to pass​

The proposed Oklahoma legislation known as Lauria and Ashley's Law will not become law this year.

"Last night, first time ever in 24 years I felt I failed as a parent. I failed to get this to help other people," said Lauria's mother, Lorene.

House Bill 2946 did not receive the necessary hearing on the Senate floor. Lorene Bible argued that the bill would have ensured that criminals like Ronnie Busick, the man convicted as an accessory to her daughter's murder, served at least 85% of their sentences.

"I do not want another family to be standing where my family's at," Bible said.

The bill was not heard due to a "policy decision and based on not going backward on criminal justice reform," according to state Sen. Greg McCortney.

He said Oklahoma incarcerates too many people, and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' goal is rehabilitation and reintegrating people into society. He added that Busick was released on ODOC credits, not by the Senate.

However, the bill's author, state Rep. Steve Bashore, stands by the Bible family.

"Really sad, that is really sad. So in essence, the Senate is saying criminals are more important than victims and families and other Oklahomans, I don't buy that at all," Bashore said. "That's a travesty. It's ridiculous, unacceptable, it's a slap in the face of the Bible and Freeman families."

Despite the decision, Lorene Bible distributed packets on the bill to every Oklahoma senator.

"I understand you guys don't want to hear this, but I need you to know from the mom why we're doing this and why we're fighting for this," she said.

Lorene Bible says while this may be a setback, her fight for justice and reform is not over.

"If I fall apart, who's gonna fight?" she asked.

This was the second time the bill was drafted. Lorene Bible has vowed it won't be the last.
This is what IS going on all over in our system. it is about the criminal and yes reforming and reintegrating into soceity and NOT making sure they save most of their "stated" sentence. It is all b.s. And politics. I HOPE People remember this guy's statements when he's up for voting! Going BACKWARDS? That is what THEY have been doing!
 
This is what IS going on all over in our system. it is about the criminal and yes reforming and reintegrating into soceity and NOT making sure they save most of their "stated" sentence. It is all b.s. And politics. I HOPE People remember this guy's statements when he's up for voting! Going BACKWARDS? That is what THEY have been doing!
Hey @Mel70 Time for me to call you in again. Get a load of the last handful of posts in THIS one!
 
and here's their "excuse"

The bill was not heard due to a "policy decision and based on not going backward on criminal justice reform," according to state Sen. Greg McCortney.

He said Oklahoma incarcerates too many people, and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections' goal is rehabilitation and reintegrating people into society. He added that Busick was released on ODOC credits, not by the Senate.
YEP. Excuse. And a poor one and one that I'm sorry I don't think MOST people agree with.
 

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