HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A jury found Brittany Wiggins guilty of murder in the February 2017 shooting death of 25-year-old Ashley Fricke outside the Walmart in Ashland.
Jurors deliberated for just over an hour Thursday afternoon before finding Wiggins guilty on all charges: first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and shooting a firearm from a vehicle. The jury later recommended a life prison sentence, plus 13 years.
Wiggins, 25, of Mechanicsville, was arrested two days after the shooting and later charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Investigators said Wiggins and Fricke did not know each other prior to the violent night. In the days after the shooting, sources told CBS 6 News the fatal encounter may have stemmed from road rage.
During previous hearings, Wiggins attorneys argued she never intended to shoot Fricke. They said she meant to fire a warning shot in the Walmart parking lot to scare of two men she claimed were harassing her for being a lesbian.
A bullet fired by Wiggins struck and killed Fricke.
The 25-year-old shooting victim worked at Lakeside Primary Care and the Holiday Inn near Walmart.
She was working toward earning a degree as medical assistant, according to family friends.
Chrystal Decker, Fricke’s sister, was satisfied with the verdict.
“I feel like justice was served correctly," Decker said outside court. “She was a great person. She loved her fiance and all of us. She cared very much about everybody.”
Decker, who was with her sister the night she was killed, believes her sister was waiting for this day.
“I’m so glad that this is over with and she’s at rest now," Decker said.
This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips, photos, and video here.