Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Dressed in a loose-fitting jailhouse uniform of white with black horizonal stripes, and with a bewildered look on her face, Ashley Nicole Burkhard, 33, appeared in a Lexington court from behind a steel grate Monday afternoon and faced a judge, seeking bond. She didn’t appear to be particularly dangerous, but state troopers suggested that given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, she is much more of a menace than she looks. Burkhard has been charged by the SC Highway Patrol with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death in a hit and run collision that left 21-year-old Davontaye Washington lying dead alongside Nazareth Road in Red Bank Saturday night. Washington, already a father of two young children with a fiancée that’s expecting another baby, was represented by his large family as the judge heard the circumstances regarding the matter. Then, he quickly denied Burkhard bond which will leave her in jail until her trial.
In deciding on the matter of bond, the judge cannot use its denial as a way of punishing a suspect. At that point, they are just the accused and have been convicted of nothing that would warrant punishment. Instead, they must simply decide the issue of granting bond based on two factors. First, if the suspect goes free, does the judge believe the accused will return to court to face trial. Secondly, will they be a danger to others while free from jail. After hearing testimony that Burkhard had fled the scene of a previous wreck where property was damaged in 2017, his honor must have felt that the pale woman with the blond hair who doesn’t outwardly appear dangerous, might try to run from her mistake again. He denied her bond which means that no matter how much money she or her family could scrape together, she won’t be behind the wheel of another vehicle soon.
Troopers don’t believe that Burkhard even stopped after hitting and killing Washington, and she never made a call for help. They also believe, based on evidence collected at the scene and the amount of damage to Burkhard’s truck, that she was driving well above the posted speed limit. Burkhard’s trial will be scheduled for some time in the future, but as for now, she won’t be able to injure anyone else’s loved one with her recklessness behind the wheel of a vehicle. She is currently being held at the Lexington County Detention Center.