In August 2019, Ashley McArthur's husband, Zachary McArthur, appeared during the second day of his wife's court trial and confessed he knew nothing about her crime and love affair.

His wife McArthur was arrested for murdering her best friend, a thirty-three-year-old private investigator named Taylor Wright, who initially went missing in Pensacola, Florida, in 2017. 

At the time, Wright had been recently divorced from her ex-husband Jeff Wright after which she started living with her girlfriend Cassandra Waller. Wright was working on the new chapter of her life post-stressful divorce proceedings. She shared a son named Drake with Jeff and they were previously married for the past 10 years. 

Read the full article to learn about what happened to Taylor Wright and where is Ashley McArthur now. 

Who is  Ashley McArthur?

Ashley McArthur is a crime scene technician who is known as the mastermind behind the 2017 disappearance and murder of Taylor Wright. 

If you didn't know, McArthur was the victim's best friend. At the time of the victim's disappearance, no one in her family speculated that such a close friend could be responsible for the situation.

On the day of the crime, Wright visited her close friend McArthur and the latter was the last person ever seen with the former. 

What happened to Taylor Wright when she went missing?

According to Oxygen, on September 8, 2017, Wright, a professional private investigator, went missing.

During the time of her disappearance, she had recently settled with her girlfriend, Casandra Waller, after going through a divorce from her ex-husband. She had also withdrawn $100,000 from the joint bank account she shared with her ex-husband. 

On the day of the crime, Wright and McArthur went out hoping to relieve some of their daily life stress.

However, Wright's decision to hang out with McArthur turned out to be fatal for her.

"That was the last time that I ever saw Taylor [Wright]," Waller told the crime-based television show Buried in the Backyard.

Waller lost contact with Wright, who had stopped responding to her text messages for hours. Their last text messages lasted till 11:20 am. 

After being unable to contact her girlfriend, Waller reached out to McArthur, who told her that Wright was stressed and crying throughout the day.

Later, Waller got a text message from Wright's cellphone around 8 pm and the message stated that they cancel their pre-planned dinner as Wright needed a few days to get over her situation.

Waller grew worried as she was in the dark about what was going on with her girlfriend.

"I just know that something's not right. I was scared," Waller said in her recollection.

After Wright's disappearance, her loved ones were concerned because they found the situation strange as Wright wasn't one to suddenly lose contact, especially without notifying her young son first.

Finally, on the same day, Waller filed a missing person's report with the police.

Later, the officers reached out to McArthur and asked what she knew about the case.

McArthur told the authorities that she and her friend Wright had gone to McArthur's family property for horse riding and returned after an hour to McArthur's house. She said that Wright seemed stressed during the last meeting which led her to finally take an Uber to get a drink.

She stated, “I don’t believe Taylor’s been harmed. I think Taylor is doing what Taylor does, but I don’t know, you know. She’s always come across as being tough, and never made it anything other than–She’s always carrying weapons whether it’s knives, or guns, or whatever. She’s not an easy target.”

What led to Ashley McArthur's arrest?

After Taylor Wright went missing on 8 September 2017, her girlfriend Waller and the authorities searched McArthur's house but could not find anything of significance relating to the private investigator's disappearance.

Still, the investigators considered McArthur a suspect since she was the last person to be viewed with Wright and Waller had told the investigators that Taylor had been trying to get the money that she had given to McArthur. So, they tracked the cell phone records and discovered that the leads were pointing towards a different angle than what McArthur had testified.   

Finally, during their investigation, the police found that on the day of her disappearance, Wright and Taylor were present in one of the properties ( a farm) owned by McArthur on Britt Road in North Pensacola, Florida.

The investigator later discovered a skull with a bullet hole in the farm. Later, they recovered a body from the same location.

Authorities verified that the dead body was, in fact, of Wright, and after the discovery, McArthur was arrested.

Apparently, Wright had been shot in the back of her neck. Her body was found buried underneath the ground, covered with soil and concrete.

Additionally, they noticed a check deposit of $34,000 into McArthur's account. It was the amount that her best friend Taylor Wight had given her to safeguard on her behalf. The investigation found the amount spent by McArthur to purchase a boat for a man named Brandon Beaty with whom she was dating.  

Furthermore, the officers found a Home Depot surveillance footage dated 9 September 2017 in which McArthur was seen buying concrete and potting soil.

Court deems Ashley McArthur guilty 

McArthur appeared for her court trials for two years, between 2017 to 2019.

Ashley McArthur during Trial Verdict and Sentencing

Ashley McArthur during Trial Verdict and Sentencing at the courthouse. (Photo Credit: YouTube)

On day four of the trial, on 3 August 2019, McArthur was found guilty of the first-degree pre-meditated murder with a firearm of her best friend Taylor Wright, and sentenced to life imprisonment with a mandatory twenty-five years to be served behind bars.

"We got the verdict we had been waiting for two years," Taylor's live-in-girlfriend Cassandra Waller was quoted saying.

The prosecution alleged that McArthur had the financial motive to commit a crime. They claimed that Taylor Wright had confronted McArthur about the money she had given to her and that's why the defendant committed the crime. It also made a strong case against McArthur based on all the evidence, which also included witnesses who had heard McArthur making comments that would take the life of Taylor.  

A local bartender and McArthur friend Audrey Warne testified, "She said she was going to put it [cocaine] in Taylor’s beer. She said this world would be better if Taylor wasn’t here and she wasn’t a good person, once that she was too small to hurt anybody so she’d just shoot them.“

Prosecutor Bridgette Jenson also noted that McArthur's diverse behavioral approach in her two distinct police interviews was an important aspect of the case against the defendant. 

“If you look at the first interview, she was flirty, maybe a little playful with law enforcement. In the second interview, her demeanor was different. I think she knew she was caught,” she noted.

Not only that, the prosecution pointed out that McArthur's presence at a wedding in Alabama with her husband the next day of Taylor Wright's disappearance and Taylor's phone being pinged off a tower in the vicinity could indicate that the cellphone was with McArthur.  

On the other hand, defense lawyer John Berose denied the financial aspect of the case the prosecution was making and stated that his client was free of financial troubles. He also denied the charges on the behalf of McArthur pointing out in his opening statement that there wouldn't be any physical evidence in the trial to prove a crime was committed by his client. 

And as the trial progressed, he compared the bullet that was used in the murder of Taylor to the guns that were presented as evidence and explained that they didn't match. Not only that, he tried to make a case of Taylor's alleged drug use and connected the dots to the victim's mental state.  

Ashley McArthur's Husband was also a Victim

In 2019, McArthur's Husband Zachary, an employee of the US Department of State, appeared before the attorney and the judge.

He was asked a series of questions about his wife, her profession, where she was on the day of the crime, and her potential love affair.

During the court hearing, Zachary said he was still married to McArthur.

He then said he knew Taylor Wright through his wife McArthur and her private investigation works.

McArthur's husband said his wife used to work for the Sherrif's office as a crime scene tech.

Ashley McArthur's Husband Zachary McArthur

Ashley McArthur's Husband Zachary McArthur during the court trials. (Photo Source: YouTube)

The attorney then asked him if he knew about any money dealing between McArthur and Wright.

In his response, Zachary said he was unaware of anything as such.

Further, he was asked if he knew a private business called Stix Billiard located on Pensacola Boulevard.

Zachary said he knew the business and said his wife used to go there "quite frequently" in 2017.

The attorney then asked if Zachary knew his wife was helping the business financially. He denied having any knowledge regarding it.

McArthur's husband then said that his wife took his truck to help "Taylor [Wright] finish moving" with Waller on the day of the crime.

The following day, Zachary recalled going to a wedding with McArthur in the afternoon.

The witness said they did not leave the wedding together, and that McArthur left first.

On the same day, Brandon Beatty, the owner of Stix Billiard, also appeared inside the courtroom.

Beatty said McArthur originally shared a business relationship with him but later confessed to having a physical relationship with the defendant.

He said McArthur visited him every day at his establishment and spent money on his business and himself.

Where is Ashley McArthur now?

Today, McArthur is serving her sentence at the Lowell Correctional Institute, also known as Lowell Annex,  in Ocala, Florida, according to Heavy. The facility where the 43-year-old is currently serving is a women's prison with a capacity to keep1500 inmates.