CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When Ashley Helms was recently booked into the Mecklenburg County jail for kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and murder, it was the fifth time in two years she had been accused of breaking the law.
"I honestly think the justice system is broken to be honest. There's too many chances for her to have been arrested and put away for a long time" said a Charlotte woman who doesn't want her identity revealed.
The woman says she's known Helms for years and at one point back in 2016 Helms and her boyfriend were renting a room from her. She says when they eventually asked Helms to move out, Helms allegedly sent people to the house.
"Three in the morning I'm getting woke up with a gun to the head," the woman told WBTV.
She says the robbery turned into a shooting at the house on Eastway Drive where her boyfriend was wounded in his leg after wrestling the gun away from the intruder. The woman says while she was outside talking with police she saw Helms drive away from the scene.
"Look there they go. Even the officer saw Ashley driving and pulling forward," the woman recalled. "They chased after her but they lost her."
Records show Helms was arrested days later on a couple of charges, including conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. According to jail records, Helms has been arrested a handful of times since 2016.
The most recent was last week for the murder of Alexus Fraley - the mother of two who had been missing for two weeks.
Police say Helms and Richard Jordan kidnapped and killed the 21 year old. Investigators say Jordan and the victim knew each other and that there was some sort of dispute.
The question is how and why did Helms get involve.
Tuesday afternoon, Helms made her first court appearance on the murder and kidnapping charges. The judge appointed a public defender.
Helms is due back in court next week.