A story that the Daily Counter News covered in the beginning concerning Ashley Kidwell, a woman attempting to escape the trauma of her life has taken a bitter turn.

In 2020 Ashley Kidwell gained the courage to leave a toxic marriage for her children’s sake. For 6 months she attempted to seek aid for her self-medication with alcohol, only to be told by the State Organizations who were supposed to help her that they didn’t have the resources at that time due to the onset of COVID-19.

The repeated failed attempts to seek help and the continued toxic relationship with her own mother drove Ashley further to self-medicate.

Ashley’s belief system became delusional with thoughts of suicide and hallucinations. She believed that the only people who truly cared about her were the ones who wanted to sleep with her.

Even though having found a loving and caring relationship she could not bring herself to remove the negative aspects of her life.

After 4 years of a loving relationship, she allowed the negative aspects of her life to take full root.

On October 25th, 2023 Ashley Kidwell was arrested in Kershaw County for Breach of Peace. Due to her mental state at the time of the arrest, the bond judge insisted she be held till a responsible party could retrieve her.


Ashley gave the phone number of her then-former fiance but identified him as her current boyfriend and to be released into his custody.

Upon their departure, the “boyfriend” saw the mental state that Ashley was in and knew she needed help. He decided to drive to Dillion, South Carolina where he knew of a Mental Hospital where Ashley could possibly get help.

Due to the late hour, they stopped in Florence where they got a hotel room. Ashley wanted to go smoke a cigarette and due to the fact that Kershaw County released her in nothing but a bathrobe the “boyfriend” luckily had some of Ashley’s clothing still with him. She refused to get dressed and insisted on going downstairs as she was.

Ashley began to attempt to get into several locked cars at the hotel. The staff called the Florence County Sheriff’s Department and officers arrived. They were explained her mental state by the “boyfriend” and the officers informed Ashley if she touched one more car they would take her to jail. They instructed her to go to the room and stay there. The officers also told the “boyfriend” that if she continues this behavior he best get her out of Florence before she gets arrested.

In an attempt to reach Ashley the “boyfriend” began questioning her actions when it came to their relationship. As she had been with another man for a week prior and said nothing to him. Ashley began a redric of how she had been dead for 6 months and suddenly fell out of the sky, and that she didn’t know why she fell out of the sky. This behavior scared the “boyfriend” for Ashley. He hoped to bring her back to herself by speaking of their 4-year relationship. He began by stating that their 4 years together were nothing more than her wanting to drink and have relations with him. It was at this point that Ashley came to herself and stated, “That’s not the only thing between us!” and then returned to her redric.

As they left the hotel that night due to the issues that Ashley had created there, they headed towards Dillion. The intention was to take her to the hospital there to get immediate help for her state. While driving 70 MPH Ashley suddenly grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to flip the car with both of them in it. This occurred 3 times total and each time she apologized for it stating she could not help herself.

After arriving at the Dillion Hospital Ashley was not seen by a Doctor instead she was arrested for Drunk and Disorderly. Ashley was released to the care of her Aunt, once again due to the judge’s concerns for her mental state.

Upon arriving back in Kershaw her Aunt took her to Prisma Richland Baptist Hospital for concerns of suicide. While waiting for a mental evaluation a toxicology screen showed that Ashley had high amounts of Amphetamines and Benzodiazepines in her system. Benzodiazepines are depressants that produce sedation and hypnosis and are one of the most common date rape drugs used today.

Ashley informed the Doctors that she had been given pills by a man named Brian Leslie whom she had been with prior to her arrest in Kershaw County.

Ashley was committed to Prisma Richland Springs Mental Facility for treatment and further assessment. She was diagnosed with Alcohol and Substance Abuse Psychosis and an un-defined Personality disorder. Ashley was held here for 7 days and despite multiple attempts by the “boyfriend” to give them information no one returned his calls.

Ashley was then released into the care of her Aunt once more by Court Order to await placement into a facility. Her Aunt simply returned her to Ashley’s mother who in turn returned her to the person who gave Ashley the drugs.

The “boyfriend” has stated he has called Law Enforcement, the Probate Courts, the Mobile Crisis Line and other agencies in order to get Ashley help, but was either told they could not talk to him or he received the HIPAA speech. He informed all of these agencies that he was not asking for information but he was trying to give critical information to aid in Ashley’s care.

Another note to mention here is that medical personnel and hospitals are required by Federal Standards to report to Law Enforcement if a person comes in with a certain level of Benzodiazepine in their system. In our research Prisma Baptist failed to report Ashley’s high levels to Law Enforcement. This reporting is due to the fact that most times the victims of this date rape drug are unaware that they are being raped and even convinced that they were willing participants.

Individuals such as Ashley Kidwell, can present themselves as being fine, but behind closed doors their behaviors become different. Ashley Kidwell seems to have fallen in the cracks of the system that is supposes to help individuals with issues such as hers.

We discovered this post by Ashley reaching out to

Ashley Danielle Kidwell on September 5, 2016 at 6:03 am

Kevin, I Greatly admire your strength and ability to overcome this horrible illness! My name is Ashley Kidwell and I am currently fighting the battle for my life, quite literally. I’ve Always been a VERY heavy drinker/functioning alcoholic. I realized that I was capable of consuming large amounts of alcohol due to my biological make-up. I come from a Long line of alcoholics. I realized that there was a BIG problem when I lived in Prague and was consuming Absinthes all day long as though it was water. I lived in Europe for almost 6 years and have about 6 weeks worth of memories. I returned to the States to visit family. I now reside in South Carolina, USA. I had gotten myself to the point where my body was unable to function, I was unable to eat, I couldn’t go more than 2 hours without a HEAVY drink. I sought help and did well for a short period of time. I have a remarkable little boy, Trevor, who is now 5 and has started school just last week. I also have a little miracle named Nayomi Grace (3years old). However, alcohol is now and has always been my downfall, and I’m fearing to be my Demise. I am trying to drink as little as possible to get through my day (about a liter or less) of vodka daily. I’ve been showing some disturbing symptoms of late. My hands/feet are cracking, I cannot hold down food, my skin is breaking out, I have numbness in my extremities, ongoing urinary infections, fatigue, I could go on and on but I’d rather not loose your interest with my medical scenario. I have NO IDEA what to do!?!? I cannot allow myself to go through withdrawals because I have to take care of my family. The problem seems to be worsening though! I am going through shorter and shorter periods of time before the shakes and nausea start. I HAVE TO Live for my children!! And I don’t want them to grow up without a Mother. They both LOVE Me Soooo incredibly much. More than I deserve. And I am a WONDERFUL Mother to them ALL THE TIME. Mainly because I’m scared that death is just around the corner for me and I want them to retain positive memories of me. PLEASE respond and ANY advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!! I don’t want to die. I’ve just turned 29 and I have the most WONDERFUL Family. They deserve So Much More than an alcoholic/dead mother. Please, if you can, HELP!!!! Thank you for taking the time to hear my plea and to help (if possible).
Ashley Kidwell

In most other States getting someone help for these sort of conditions is easier, and have a higher success rate. So, why does South Carolina hinder non-relatives and non-spouses from being able to get help for the people they care about?

Ashley’s story is not unique by many standards. Too many such victims of trauma go unnoticed in our society today and it is feared that Ashley will end up like many of them, simply a statistic on a cold slab somewhere.

1 comment

  1. We all talk about cleaning up the swamp but we really need to sweep our back door first, that being, Columbia, SC and our elected representatives. Perhaps if McMaster had kept the investigation into the good ole buy system that Gov. Haley was attempting to dismantle we might have gotten rid of a few bad apples and seen some change.

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