Children watched as Coast dad beat mom with ‘blue stick,’ cops say. It was a concrete pipe.

·5 min read
Harrison County Justice Court in Gulfport on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Hannah Ruhoff/hruhoff@sunherald.com)

Editor’s note: This story describes graphic instances of domestic violence. Proceed with caution.

“Daddy was hitting mommy with a blue stick,” the 11-year-old daughter of a woman allegedly beaten to death in Long Beach said in a forensic interview with authorities.

“Daddy was jumping on mommy,” the child later added.

The stick was actually a blue concrete pipe, and the events that the couple’s eldest daughter shared with forensic interviewers, along with other evidence, backed up what Long Beach police suspected all along: Robert Oshinski, 37, had allegedly killed his common-law wife, Ashley A. “Angie” Barbara.

That and other gripping testimony about the alleged attack came out in Oshinski’s preliminary hearing Wednesday in Harrison County Justice Court. After hearing the evidence, it didn’t take long for Justice Court Judge Dianne Ladner to find there was enough evidence to bound the case over to a Harrison County grand jury for indictments.

The killing occurred on Jan. 9, a day after Oshinski got out of jail in Hancock County on a $10,000 bond on an aggravated assault charge accusing him of assaulting Barbara’s sister’s boyfriend six years earlier.

Hancock County sheriff’s investigators have not said why it took six years to arrest Oshinski in the 2015 assault, but according to the affidavits filed in the case, Oshinski had allegedly run over the victim with a 4-wheeler and then repeatedly punched him in the back of his head.

An ambulance took the man from the scene on Longvue Street to an area hospital for treatment.

And that wasn’t the first time Oshinki had been accused of an assault. He had previous arrests in St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana in misdemeanor domestic violence assault cases involving Barbara, Long Beach police Det. Brad Gross said Wednesday.

Despite his history of alleged assaults and domestic violence in other jurisdictions, a Hancock County Justice Court Judge set Oshinski’s bond at $10,000 in the Hancock County assault case.

After two days behind bars, Oshinski was a free man.

Suspect attacked woman after jail release

When Oshinski returned to the couple’s 24-foot camper in a parking bay on U.S. 90 after his release from the Hancock County jail, the events leading up to Barbara’s death started to unfold.

Oshinski was angry after being locked up for the assault and then started accusing Barbara of cheating on him, the investigator said.

In the hours that followed, the oldest child told authorities, Oshinski repeatedly hit Barbara with the concrete pipe and once she fell to the ground, he started jumping on her and punching her.

At one point when Barbara was on the floor of the couple’s camper, the children told authorities that Barbara screamed out for Oshinski to stop, saying, “‘I can’t feel my legs. You are going to paralyze me,” Gross said.

Once Barbara lost consciousness, the oldest child said, her father grabbed some oxygen he happened to keep in the camper and tried unsuccessfully to revive Barbara.

He reminded the children at the time, the investigator said, that their mother had done this before, meaning passing out during an alleged assault.

Hair ripped out, hands broken and other injuries

At first, the couple’s children provided little information about what had happened, apparently following the lead of their father to say he found Barbara on a seawall near Cleveland Avenue and tried to revive her before telling the children he needed to take mommy to the hospital for treatment.

On the way there, the 11-year-old girl started trying to perform CPR on her mother, but Oshinski told her to stop, the investigator said.

The child told authorities Oshinski rode around for a bit still trying to figure out what to do about Barbara. He had placed Barbara in the back seat of her Chevrolet Tahoe, where investigators later found blood on a seat and elsewhere.

Oshinski then instructed the 11-year-old girl to wipe the blood from around her mother’s wounds before they arrived at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.

Once they got there, Gross said, video footage from the hospital showed Oshinski placing Barbara’s limp body into a wheelchair and trying to adjust her head because it kept falling.

When Oshinski spoke to hospital officials, he said “her name is Ashley and I’ve got kids in the car,” and then he left, Gross said.

In addition to the bloodied wounds on her body, Barbara had bald spots in her hair that Oshinski allegedly ripped out during the alleged attack, and her eyes were blackened and swollen shut. Both of her hands had been broken, the investigators said, and one of her fingers had been stretched out and slashed to the bone.

In addition, Gross said, Barbara had a large cut across the length of her forehead with what investigators said appeared to be brain matter hanging out of it.

Barbara, with already a weakened pulse upon arrival at the hospital, was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gross said there was also evidence of old wounds on Barbara’s body consistent with injuries she likely suffered in previous assaults.

A bloodied crime scene

Shortly after the investigation began, Long Beach police obtained a search warrant for the couple’s camper in Long Beach.

Inside, Gross said, investigators said there were clothes, food, bicycles, tools, a cat and dog and various other belongings that were strewn about.

The first thing investigators noticed, he said, was blood all over the walls and floors and what appeared to be skin hanging from a mirror in a bathroom inside.

Authorities also recovered the bloodied concrete pipe and other evidence.

Oshinski, he said, was taken into custody when he returned to the hospital after dropping the three children off at the home of his bosses.

Oshinski worked in construction.

When police tried to question Oshinski about the alleged attack, he declined and asked for an attorney instead.

Oshinski remains jailed in Harrison County on a $1 million bond. In addition, he has been off-bonded on the aggravated assault charge in Hancock County, meaning he is not eligible for release in that case.

After Barbara’s death, the three siblings were placed in child protective services.

All the children are together in the same place, Harrison County prosecuting attorney Herman Cox said.

If convicted of murder, Oshinski could go to prison for life.

If you are a victim of domestic violence in South Mississippi and need help, you can call the crisis line at the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence at 1-800-800-1396.