Woman Who Killed Westport Woman in New Orleans Hit and Run Not Guilty of Murder
NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans woman who killed a tourist from Westport by crushing her with her car was found not guilty of second degree murder by a jury after a three-day trial.
NOLA.com reports Asrielle Wise has been acquitted of the murder charge in the hit and run crash that killed 55-year-old Amber Mello in March 2020.
Mello, a mother of two, was on vacation with her husband Jeff in the famed French Quarter of the city at the time.
Defense attorneys reportedly argued that Wise fled in fear to Texas after the accident, in which she backed into Mello following an altercation.
The incident started when Wise's car almost hit Mello, her husband Jeff, and friends, sparking a fight in which Jeff hit Wise in the face.
Wise threw a cup at the group of pedestrians before backing into Amber, crushing her between her car and the vehicle behind her, according to NOLA.com.
Although Wise fled the state, she was linked to the scene by DNA taken from the cup she had thrown.
Prosecutors reportedly tried to frame the incident as intentional and retaliatory, but the defense said Wise mistakenly put the car into reverse.
According to her obituary, Amber Mello was a physician's assistant in Somerset and had lived in Westport for 23 years prior to her death.
She had previously served in the U.S. Navy for four years, where she met her husband.
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