Ashline to learn his fate Wednesday

John Zick
Bryan Ashline

Will Bryan Ashline ever be free again? Ashline, 25, will learn his fate Wednesday morning when he is sentenced for the Father’s Day 2010 murders of his ex-girlfriend and their infant son in Bath. He’s been held in Steuben County Jail for 18 months.

While Ashline’s sentence will include a maximum term of life in prison – New York does not have the death penalty – Judge Joseph Latham can grant him the possibility of parole.

Ashline was convicted last month of two counts each of first- and second-degree murder, and both degrees include different sentencing guidelines.

For first-degree murder, the minimum term of imprisonment is 20 to 25 years. For second-degree murder, it’s 15 to 25 years.

First-degree murder, however, is not required to have a minimum term of imprisonment – a judge can impose a sentence of life without parole.

Also, because there were two victims, Ashline could receive a sentence of as much as 50 years to life in prison, District Attorney John Tunney said.

Even if Latham imposes a minimum sentence, there’s no guarantee a parole board will ever free Ashline.

Ashline, of suburban Albany, admitted he killed Trieste Clayton and Xavier Ashline during a domestic dispute late June 20, 2010 at Clayton’s Mountview Road West apartment in Bath. He was visiting his son for Father’s Day.

The exact circumstances of the incident remain in question, but Ashline said he attacked only after Clayton stabbed him first. According to Ashline’s testimony, he was attempting to leave the apartment with Xavier when Clayton confronted him. He said he wanted to take the child back to his home in Watervliet, but Clayton wouldn’t let him.

Clayton was stabbed 13 times. One of the blows severed her spinal cord, causing instant death. A state police investigator testified that Clayton was holding Xavier when Ashline attacked.

Xavier was lying on the floor when he was killed. Ashline stabbed the boy multiple times, including once in the chest and once in the abdomen.

Ashline attempted to persuade a jury that he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance and was therefore guilty of manslaughter, not murder.

Ashline testified he was afraid Clayton would not allow him to have a relationship with his son and that Clayton rebuffed his efforts for reconciliation.

Also, he testified that he didn’t have an close relationship with his father, his mother worked nights and his closest sister left the household when he was 10 or 11. He also said he was bullied for years after rumors that he was gay began circulating and he lacked the ability to discuss his emotions.

The sentencing proceeding will begin at 9 a.m. in Steuben County Court.