A New York City woman charged shooting her ex-boyfriend in the head with his own gun from the back seat of his car last year made her first court appearance on the murder charge this afternoon, the Jersey Journal reports.
Cheryl Nisbett, 40, is charged with murdering Robert Ashbourne, 46, of Mt. Vernon, New York on August 5, 2014. After being shot, Ashbourne’s car cruised through the intersection of Waverly Street and Palisade Avenue in the Jersey City Heights, smashing into a parked SUV.
A Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor sought a bail of $500,000 cash only today. She suggested Nisbett was a flight risk, saying “This is an extremely serious case in which the state alleges the defendant executed the victim. Judge, she does not want to be here. She fought extradition.”
Defense counsel noted that if Nisbett had wanted to flee, she had more than a year to do so. She noted that the defendant has no criminal record and that it is a defendant’s right to fight extradition.
In the end, Hudson County Superior Court Judge John Young set Nisbett’s bail at $500,000 cash or bond and ordered her to surrender her travel documents.
The state also claimed to have video evidence and a statement Nisbett gave to authorities when she was interviewed a day after Ashbourne’s death. The state alleges Nisbett called Ashbourne prior to his death, saying she was bringing him his gun.
Nisbett is also charged with weapons offenses related to a gun. The state’s plea offer is for Nisbett to plead guilty to murder and be sentenced to 30 years in prison with no chance of parole. If convicted of murder at trial, Nisbett would face 30 years to life in prison.
Witnesses thought Ashbourne had been knocked out by the collision when he was found in the driver’s seat of a vehicle after the crash. Emergency responders arrived at the scene at about 1 p.m. and found Ashbourne bleeding from the gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
Ashbourne’s vehicle was heading east on Waverly when it struck the SUV parked on the far side of Palisade Avenue, officials said, adding that the investigation revealed the driver of the SUV was in no way involved in the shooting.
A Hudson County grand jury indicted Nisbett on June 16 and she was taken into custody in New York without incident a week later, officials said.
The father of nine children, Ashbourne worked as a limo driver, sometimes chauffeuring for celebrities, including Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Beyonce, Queen Latifah and Patti LaBelle, according to his daughter, Krystle Clarke.
Although authorities say Ashbourne lived in Mt. Vernon, his daughter told The Jersey Journal that he moved to New Jersey a few months before his death.
Three of Nisbett’s children were at today’s hearing. They chose not to comment.
Darish said today that the state will seek to obtain Nisbett’s fingerprints as well.
The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for Nov. 12 before Young in the Hudson County Administration Building in Jersey City.