- NYT's bestselling author of "Unlikely Angel"
- Held captive by killer Brian Nichols
- Christian author and speaker
By her own account, Ashley Smith is far from a hero. Yet today, her face is known around the world as the single mother who persuaded Brian Nichols, Atlanta’s courtroom killer, to surrender to police. Nichols called Ashley “an angel sent from God", but, ironically, it was Ashley’s less-than-angelic past that allowed her to convince him to face justice.
Elizabeth Ashley Copeland Smith was born August 1, 1978 in Augusta, Georgia, to a Christian, sports-loving family. Her parents divorced when she was a toddler, and she spent much of her early years in the company of her mother’s extended family - especially her grandfather and aunt. Both worked at Augusta Christian, the private school Ashley attended through 8th grade.
At a young age, she became involved with Mack Smith and became pregnant less than a year into the relationship. The couple married just two months before baby Paige was born prematurely, weighing less than 3 lbs. It was a volatile marriage, but Ashley Smith was determined to maintain her family. Life had become settled when Mack encountered his...