Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex in the Suburbs: The Death of Ashley Burg

Threatening Nature

The Grand Jury indicted Downey and charged him with third-degree murder for allegedly supplying Ashley with enough cocaine to cause her death. He was also charged with "unsworn falsification to authorities, delivery of cocaine, abuse of a corpse, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, patronizing prostitutes, and recklessly endangering another person."

David Downey under arrest
David Downey under arrest

Downey was arrested on December 23, 2005, in Edgewater, Maryland, where he owns a home and had intended to relocate. He did not fight extradition and was transported to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where he was held without bail. Downey issued a statement through his attorney, saying that he felt "awful" about what had happened but maintained that he was not responsible for the death of Ashley Burg.

On December 28, 2005, as Downey was being led into the courtroom for a bail hearing, a reporter called to him and asked if he felt any remorse.

"For everyone involved," he shouted back.

But at the hearing, District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. painted a picture of a less compassionate Downey. "I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen a criminal defendant who was more personally disliked," Castor said. "This guy has people who actually know him coming forward just to tell us things that he has done to them that indicate bad character."

DA Bruce Castor, Jr.
DA Bruce Castor, Jr.

Castor later told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "What we have is lots of people telling us he's a bully."

Witnesses came forward with a variety of stories regarding Downey's threatening nature. He allegedly shoved a boy onto a bench because "the boy wasn't wearing a coat" in cold weather.

A school administrator claimed that Downey had threatened to "rip the lungs" out of a third grader as well as the child's parents because the child "wasn't playing well" with one of Downey's children.

A waiter from a restaurant in a Skippack, Pennsylvania, said that Downey had once threatened to kill him because Downey felt that the service was inadequate.

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