Photographs by Mitchell PE Masilun
Zachary Booe (left) of North Little Rock and Mo Sliger of Cabot talk about Margie Ashcraft, a kickball teammate who was killed earlier this year. The team, Team Francis, held a fundraiser for her family before their game at Interstate Park in Little Rock on Sunday.
Monday, April 16, 2018
Waiting for their Sunday afternoon game, members of the Team Francis kickball team donned red jerseys with a new emblem affixed to their sleeve -- one to remember their former teammate, 35-year-old Margie Ashcraft.
The design featured her jersey number, her first name and the date Little Rock police began investigating her death as a homicide.
Ashcraft was pronounced dead on March 26 after being found in a back bedroom of her Little Rock home.
Ashcraft's husband, 32-year-old Doyle Levi Ashcraft, is accused of killing her before setting fire to their home on Redleaf Circle as their adopted son was sleeping inside, according to police. Police said she had several apparent stabbing injuries. He was arrested on charges of first-degree murder and criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder and remained at the Pulaski County jail as of Sunday afternoon, records show.
"It was just a total shock," said teammate Shelley Grover, recalling how Margie Ashcraft was a warm and welcoming presence.
On Sunday, at the sports complex at Interstate Park, the team raised money by selling stickers that mirrored the emblem on their sleeves.
Teammate Zachary Booe said the effort had already raised more than $300 by mid-Sunday, at $3 per sticker, and all proceeds would go to Ashcraft's family. Raising money, he said, just seemed like the right thing to do.
"I know she would do the same thing," he said.
"She thought about others before she thought about herself."
Ashcraft had torn her anterior cruciate ligament during the fall kickball season last year, but had planned on coming back to the team later on this year, he said.
Booe said Ashcraft had two foster children and worked as a social worker at Youth Home, a nonprofit mental health provider in Little Rock. She wanted the best for her family, he said, and wanted to give her two foster children a second chance.
Ashcraft had a master's degree in social work and worked as a clinical therapist at Youth Home, according to her obituary.
On the kickball field, Ashcraft was vocal and competitive, according to Booe.
"She gave it her all no matter what," he said.
Mo Sliger, a kickball teammate who also worked with Ashcraft at Youth Home, said she was a positive force on the field and wanted everybody to do their best. She often played second base.
"She could play anywhere, but that was her home," he said.
Metro on 04/16/2018
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