It's been 8 years since Augustan, Ashley Smith-Robinson, was held hostage by Atlanta Courthouse killer, Brian Nichols. And soon her story will be hitting the big screen in a movie titled, "Captive." WJBF News Channel 6's Barclay Bishop has more.
Brian Nichols was on trial for rape, when he escaped from custody, and shot and killed 4 people, including the judge presiding over his case. He then went to Ashley's apartment, whom he didn't know, and held her hostage for nearly 8 hours before she convinced him to let her go.
"It was very surreal, it was like, 'Is this really happening?' But you know, I felt changed," said Ashley Smith-Robinson, held hostage by Brian Nichols in 2005.
Ashley Smith-Robinson describes the moment back in 2005, that she was finally set free. Held hostage for hours, by Brian Nichols, a murderer who was hiding after he escaped from police.
"I thought that I deserved death, I thought that that was what was going to happen to me and that was what I deserved," said Smith-Robinson.
She'd led a life of heavy drugs and partying - but for those 8 hours with Nichols - Ashley's life was transformed.
"It literally was like, Jesus took the body of Brian Nichols and said 'This is it, do you want your life to change or do you want it to be over?" said Smith-Robinson.
After a book deal, and countless speaking engagements, Ashley's story will now be told on the big screen, in a movie titled, "Captive."
"It's really, really exciting to know that it can still be a story that touches lives," explained Smith-Robinson.
Nichols will be played by David Oyelowo, Ashley, played by Kate Mara.
"She's not doing this to become famous. She's doing it because she believes in it, and she told me that and I can totally see that," said Smith-Robinson.
While many face struggles in their lives, some maybe not as severe as Ashley's, she says she hopes a message is sent to everyone who watches.
"I want people to leave the theaters and go, 'You know what? What is this world all about? You know, what is this life all about?" said Smith-Robinson.
For Ashley - she says her purpose is to serve the Lord, and teach her children how to live their lives with honor.
"My life was in such an empty dark place, that I didn't really feel like God wanted anything to do with me. And not only did He want something to do with me, He wanted to use me," said Smith-Robinson.
Ashley says she knows her story will help others. But there is one thing that she remains unsure of. As Nichols sits in a jail cell until he takes his last breath, will she ever go back and see him? The one man who not only made her fear for her life, but also changed it for the better.
"I have a letter that I'm writing, I write a little bit each week as it comes to mind, and I pray over it, and I don't know that if I'll ever send it to him," said Smith-Robinson.
Filming for the movie will begin this weekend in Charlotte. It's expected to be released in the Summer or Fall of next year. Nichols was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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