Dominique Atkinson, Marquis Cheatham: Married Marine Murdered Wife, Ashley McCarthy, In Montgomery, Alabama On ‘For My Man’


Dominique Atkinson and her Marine lover, Marquis Cheatham, murdered Ashley McCarthy, a Montgomery, Alabama wife, four years ago. The murder case will air on a TV One documentary called For My Man. Marquis Cheatham tricked his wife into thinking they were going to work out their marriage problems. Police say his true plan was to kill her and collect the life insurance policy. Dominique Atkinson helped plot the murder. Detectives say she was willing to do anything to be with Cheatham.


For My Man episode Dominique Atkinson

“Dominique Atkinson finds love in a young Marine named Marquis Cheatham. But when his wife threatens their romance, they concoct a plan to eliminate her.”



The Murder of Ashley McCarthy

TV One Channel’s true crime documentary For My Man begins the story with background information about Dominique Atkinson. She was raised in North Carolina by a loving family who helped her financially. Dominique Atkinson dropped out of high school in the 11th grade, and by the time she was 21, she had four children.


Although Dominique Atkinson had the support of her family, what she wanted was a man. When TV Crime Sky‘s Traciy Curry-Reyes investigated this case in 2016, Dominique Atkinson had a dating profile, which indicated she was looking for a real man with a steady job and who didn’t play games.


It wasn’t long before she met Marquis Cheatham, a handsome soldier who was stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It is believed they met through a mutual friend at a party. Marquis Cheatham liked the way Dominique Atkinson looked. To him, she was “thick and fine.” He also liked her light-skinned complexion.


Marquis Cheatham was exactly the kind of man Dominique Atkinson needed in her life. He had a stable income, a nice body, and a respectable job. She was also impressed with his skills in the bedroom.


However, there was a serious issue Marquis Cheatham failed to tell her about. He was married to a woman in Alabama named Ashley McCarthy. He finally admitted it and assured Dominique he no longer loved his wife. The admission left Dominique Atkinson shocked. However, she continued to see him.


Posted by Marquis Cheatham on Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Back home in Montgomery, Alabama, Ashley McCarthy didn’t know anything about her husband’s secret life. She was staying in Montgomery with her father because she didn’t want to be alone without her husband. Marquis Cheatham never seemed to want Ashley living where he was stationed.



Ashley McCarthy accepted that fact and kept herself busy by going to school and working. Over time, Ashley knew something was off. Marquis Cheatham wasn’t calling as much, and he wasn’t sending her any money.


Posted by Ashley McCarthy on Friday, December 14, 2012


Marquis Cheatham had also stopped coming to visit as much as he had in the past. Ashley McCarthy couldn’t put her finger on it, but she believed that Marquis Cheatham was cheating on her. She would often reveal her frustrations on Facebook.


“You know its bad when u start to give up on LOVE….but I can’t help it. 



Eventually, the relationship between them worsened, and Ashley McCarthy agreed to give Marquis Cheatham a divorce. She posted a few cryptic messages about it on her Facebook page.


“Leave me alone.”

“How r u going to tell me to grow up when u act like a child yourself……plz think B4 U speak next time.”

“Woman lie, men lie, but phones dont lie.”

“I need someone 2 talk 2.”

“I married a b–tch a–s ni–ga trust me i cant wait for this divorce.”


The Alabama wife never imagined that Marquis could hurt her the way he did. They’d known each other since they were kids. In fact, they were high school sweethearts.


At one time, Marquis Cheatham made Ashley McCarthy feel like she was the only woman in the world. They were so in love, they eloped. Ashley was sure she was going to be happy with him. She couldn’t have been more wrong.


Back in North Carolina, Marquis Cheatham’s monthly salary was being spent on Dominique Atkinson and the kids. There was no way Dominique was going to let Marquis Cheatham go. He was her man now, and she was going to do whatever it took to keep him.


Meanwhile, Ashley McCarthy was prepared to divorce Marquis. If he didn’t want to be with her, she was going to move on with her life. However, she made one fatal mistake. She contacted Marquis Cheatham’s supervisor in the military and told them Marquis wasn’t taking care of her financially.


The officials took this seriously and reprimanded Marquis. He was in disbelief when his supervisor called him into a meeting and told him Ashley had called them. This sent Marquis Cheatham into a rage. Now, Ashley McCarthy was “messing” with his money, and he wanted her to pay.


Posted by Ashley McCarthy on Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Marquis Cheatham told Dominique what happened and suggested they get rid of Ashley McCarthy for good. Dominique Atkinson seemed somewhat reluctant at first, but in the end, she went along with it.


They Set Her Up

In March of 2013, Marquis Cheatham called Ashley and told her he was coming down to Alabama to talk about their marriage. The arrangement was for Ashley to pick him up at the airport.


On April 1, 2013, Ashley McCarthy picked Marquis Cheatham up at the airport, but she had no idea that he had brought Dominique Atkinson with him. There was one more thing. He didn’t fly in from Jacksonville. He drove nine hours in the car with Dominique, who was waiting for him at another location.


Ashley and Marquis went to a pancake house to get something to eat. However, they began arguing inside the restaurant. The argument spilled out into the parking lot, and then in the car. While Ashley was in the driver’s seat, Marquis Cheatham held her at gunpoint and told her to drive to the location where Dominique was waiting.


When they arrived, Ashley McCarthy was horrified to see a woman there. Dominique and Marquis then forced Ashley into the trunk of the car. Dominique Atkinson drove Marquis’ car while Marquis drove Ashley’s car.


Posted by Marquis Cheatham on Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The plan was to leave Ashley’s car at an old abandoned shed. However, to their surprise, when they arrived, Ashley McCarthy popped open the trunk of the car, jumped out, and ran for her life. Her husband chased her on foot and shot her in the back twice.


The shooting didn’t stop Ashley McCarthy. Wounded and afraid, she got up and made one last attempt to survive. She ran until she found a house and collapsed on the steps. If Marquis had fled at that moment, Ashley might have survived. Instead, he caught up to his wife, looked her in the face, and shot her in the head.


After leaving her body at the scene, Marquis Cheatham and Dominique Atkinson changed clothes and cleaned their car to get rid of evidence. Ashley McCarthy’s body was found the next morning near 3715 Lower Wetumpka Road by school kids.


The victim’s worried father kept thinking she had most likely spent the night with her husband. However, when he didn’t hear from her for three days, he contacted police.


It was then that he discovered his daughter’s body had been found days earlier. He told detectives Marquis Cheatham was the last person with his daughter. Marquis Cheatham and Dominique Atkinson were finally arrested and charged with capital murder.


Here are some extra tidbits about the case.

    • Dominique Atkinson’s friends said she was so in love with Marquis Chetham that she stopped taking care of her children. Two of them were removed from her care.


    • Dominique tattooed Marquis Cheatham’s initials on her ring finger to show her loyalty to him. She was also actively trying to obtain her high school diploma.


  • Her mental health record indicated she had been treated for depression and bipolar disorder. Dominique Atkinson was interested in military men because a family member who was dating a person in the military spoke of all the benefits they receive.


Cell phone records placed Dominique and Marquis in Alabama on the day of the murder. To avoid a trial, they confessed and were sentenced to life, according to AL. When Marquis was arrested, he didn’t hesitate to implicate Dominique Atkinson in the murder.


Here is one sad fact: Ashley would have given Marquis the divorce. They didn’t have to kill her. This murder was about greed. Dominique Atkinson and Marquis Cheatham wanted more money, and they needed a body. With Ashley McCarthy dead, they could cash in on the insurance policy.


Dominique Atkinson’s G-+ page is still active. Here is her old MySpace page. This is Marquis Cheatham’s Facebook page, and Ashley McCarthy’s Facebook account can be found here.


TV One’s For My Man will air the case of Dominique Atkinson and Marquis Cheatham tonight at 9 p.m. One of the For My Man episodes became a TV One movie.


#DominiqueAtkinson finds new love in the arms of a young Marine. When knowledge of his wife threatens their romance,…

Posted by TV One True Crime on Monday, October 16, 2017

[Main Image via Ashley McCarthy Facebook/Police File Photo]

Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as and Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.