Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Killer sentenced to death in murder of 16-year-old

NEW PORT RICHEY — One night more than six years ago, Phillup Alan Partin picked up 16-year-old hitchhiker Joshan Ashbrook on U.S. 19 and bound her ankles and wrists, stabbed her and strangled her, beat her head until her brain bled and broke her skull from her spine.

On Monday afternoon, for all those things, Partin was sentenced to death.

Partin, 43, sat in the jury box in Courtroom 3B in a red jail jumpsuit with his wrists handcuffed together and fastened tight to a heavy chain around his waist.

Circuit Judge William Webb said in his ruling that this crime was "especially heinous" and "atrocious."

After the hearing, out in the hallway, Tara Lynn Ramsdell, Ashbrook's mother, called Partin "a sick person" and "a lowlife."

Partin picked up Ashbrook on July 31, 2002, in his maroon pickup. Ashbrook lived with her family in New Port Richey and was a habitual drug user and runaway.

Her body was found the next morning in some brush off Shady Hills Road. She had been stabbed twice in her right arm, five times in her left hand and six times in her face. Partin's DNA was found in a cut on her thumb.

He fled Florida. He was arrested more than a year later in North Carolina.

He was found guilty of first-degree murder in a trial this past March. The jury recommended death.

The state needs to know who it might execute. A trial tries to establish what happened. Testimony in the penalty phase of a homicide case tries to get at who the killer is and why.

Partin set fires when he was a child. He hit his mother. He sexually assaulted his sister. He stole cars. He was abused by his stepfather with cigarettes and pliers. He dropped out of school in the ninth grade.

He killed a man in Miami by strangling him with a phone cord and was convicted of second-degree murder in 1989. He served 5 1/2 years of a 17-year sentence.

In court for hearings in this case, over the last five years, he has been foul-mouthed and defiant. In depositions, court records and psychological evaluations, he has been described as hostile, impulsive, explosive, aggressive, moody, mistrusting, vicious, sadistic and mentally ill but not unintelligent.

Eight sheriff's deputies watched him in the courtroom Monday.

Partin sat still and said nothing as the judge read the ruling. He got up. He was fingerprinted. He stood by the door and stared at the ceiling and looked impatient.

Michael Kruse can be reached at mkruse@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6244.

Killer sentenced to death in murder of 16-year-old 12/01/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 6:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Four Brandon middle school students face child porn charges related to sex video

    Crime

    BRANDON — Four Burns Middle School students, ages 12 to 14, have been arrested on child pornography charges after one secretly recorded a girl in a sex act and the others posted it online, authorities said Friday.

  2. Editorial: City grant reforms welcome

    Editorials

    The St. Petersburg City Council made sensible changes to how tax-funded grants will be awarded in the city's high-poverty neighborhoods, a needed improvement after last year's process drew charges of unfairness and political favoritism.

  3. Editorial: Fun display of civic pride

    Editorials

    The Vinik family's sponsorship of a free Lego exhibit in Tampa this summer is welcome news for two particular reasons.

  4. Editorial: Lawmakers ignore insurance mess

    Editorials

    Florida's badly broken system for filing and settling insurance claims, which is wreaking havoc in the property insurance market, is creeping into auto policies with Tampa Bay at ground zero. Assignment of benefits, which can lead to costly court battles, is driving up rates for thousands of homeowners across Florida, …

    Assignment of benefits, which can lead to costly court battles, is driving up rates for thousands of homeowners across Florida, and drivers are starting to feel the pinch too.
  5. Amy Foster is running for reelection to St. Pete City Council

    Blogs

    Four weeks remain before the qualifying period ends for St. Petersburg’s mayoral and City Council races, but one question has been formally answered.

    Amy Foster is running for reelection.

    Amy Foster is officially running for reelection