A Connelly Springs woman was arrested Friday after missing a court appearance Monday.

April Heather Arriola, 33, of 6860 Rhoney Road in Connelly Springs, was picked up on a charge of felony failure to appear Friday, according to an arrest report from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

The charge came after Arriola missed an appearance in Burke County Superior Court on Monday for a charge of felony death by vehicle, according to officials with the Burke County Clerk of Court’s Office.

Arriola also faces charges of driving while impaired and reckless driving to endanger after a June 20 car crash that left Howard Lail, 60, dead, according to a previous News Herald article.

The crash occurred on Miller Bridge Road between Knobby Lail Road and J.R. Hoyle Avenue around 4 p.m. when the car crashed and rolled between four and five times, ejecting Lail in the process, the article said.

Arriola denied driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, but troopers told The News Herald that two witnesses said she was driving and the driver’s seat was pulled up to accommodate a shorter person, not someone like Lail, who was about 6 feet tall, the article said.

Troopers initially held off on charging Arriola with felony death by vehicle while they waited on results of her blood test to come back, the article said. Court documents indicated that test has since been returned, and that Arriola’s blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit at 0.23.

When she was charged in June, Arriola told reporters she loved Lail.

“I wish it was me and not him,” she said as she was walked into the magistrate’s office in June.

A bottle of vodka and beer cans were found outside the car, but troopers couldn’t be sure they came from Arriola’s car, according to The News Herald article.

Arriola has previous convictions of possession with intent to sell a Schedule III controlled substance, maintaining a place for a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell or deliver counterfeit controlled substance, and larceny, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety website.

Arriola’s bond for the failure-to-appear charge was set $75,000 secured, according to the Burke County Police to Citizen inmates list. Her next court date is set for Feb. 17.

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(1) comment


Why isn't this negligent homicide? She got drunk & murdered someone with a vehicle! Lock her up until the dead rise!

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