By Russ McQuaid
FRANKLIN, Ind. (February 1, 2015) -- Ernie Jasper and Sara Davidson had nothing to do with the problems between a Franklin man and his teenage girlfriend. But the neighbor and the roommate paid a fatal price trying to protect the girl in what one victim's family calls proof of the price domestic violence takes on bystanders.
Paula Davidson is talking for the first time about the murder of her 19-year-old daughter who was killed while standing up for a friend.
"It’s been hard," she said, seated on a couch behind a coffee table full of photographs of her child. "It’s like a piece of my heart's been ripped out. It still feels like it’s a nightmare, like it didn't happen."
It did happen on February 3, 2014, on Bridlewood Drive when Andy Parish arrived at Maria Davis' house to carry out a threat he had made before.
"Six months prior I was told that he threatened and told her he was going to come over and take out everybody in the house if she didn't tell him where she was," said Paula.
Parish entered the home armed with a gun. Maria ran to an upstairs bedroom and Sara was forced to follow.
"Sara was scared and attempted to leave," said Paula, recalling the witness and police accounts of the chaos, "and he grabbed her and he pulled her back in the bedroom and made her sit on the bed with Maria."
The two girls sat captive at gunpoint as neighbor Ernie Jasper explained to Parish that he needed to leave the home peacefully.
"That's when (Parish) pulled the gun out and shot (Ernie)," said Paula. ”And Sara jumped up and then he shot her and then he shot her three more times.”
"I don't know what sparked it. Only one person knows what drove him over the edge."
Parish drove himself several miles away and ended the madness with a bullet to the head.
Paula learned about the tragedy from a 3 a.m. knock on the door and a cryptic viewing of the morning news.
"I just had a gut feeling because they had said a nineteen year old woman had been shot."
Maria escaped unharmed, Penny Jasper grieves for her peacemaking husband and Kristen Davidson is not surprised by her sister's courage on the last night of her life.
"Sara would do anything for a friend or her family," said Kristen. "She was the most beautiful person inside and out and she was the most caring and I still can't believe someone would want to hurt her."
Paula said Sara grew up knowing first-hand the toll domestic violence could take on a family.
"It affects so many people not just the people involved," she said. "There's a lot of domestic violence that goes on in Johnson County, in Franklin. People just don't talk about it."
If you want to talk about domestic violence in Johnson County, call the Turning Point Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 1-800-221-6311.