Connect with us

Crime

Woman accused of killing Westport woman remains free after bail increase denied

A woman accused of killing a Westport woman will remain free after a bail increase was denied on Monday.

Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office back on September 3rd secured a murder indictment against a New Orleans woman accused of killing Amber Mello, who was a French Quarter tourist, by deliberately striking her with her car in March.

Asrielle Wise was charged with the second-degree murder of Mello and with obstructing justice in a homicide investigation in the two-count indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Wise, 26, faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if found guilty of the murder charge, and up to 40 years if convicted on the obstruction count.

Mello, 55, a physician assistant from Westport, was visiting New Orleans with her husband and friends. According to New Orleans police, Mello was nearly struck by a gray 2010 Hyundai Sonata driven by Wise in the 700 block of St. Louis Street just after midnight on March 16, 2020.

The near miss ignited an argument between Mello’s husband, friends, and Wise, the alleged driver. Wise reportedly got out of her car and threw an object at the group. According to witnesses and surveillance video images, Mello’s husband punched Wise and the altercation was broken up by Amber Mello, who directed her group back to the sidewalk.

However, Wise got back into her car, put the vehicle in reverse and accelerated strongly backward, crushing Amber Mello between her car and a car behind Wise’s. Surveillance video shows Wise’s car accelerated backward so fast, its rear bumper, wheels and undercarriage went on top of the other car’s hood, with the tourist underneath.

Wise immediately sped away, and Amber Mello died at the scene despite the efforts of New Orleans EMS.

After police circulated images of the driver through the media, Wise surrendered for arrest with her attorney on March 25. She has remained free from custody since posting a $205,000 bond set by Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Jonathan Friedman.

Investigators later confirmed that a DNA sample from the thrown object matched a sample from Wise already stored in the federal Combined DNA Index System. Wise’s previous convictions include domestic abuse battery and criminal trespass in 2015.

On November 4th, Wise was arraigned on the murder and obstruction charges where she pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, Wise appeared for a pre-trial conference with her attorney, Gregory Carter. The court denied the State’s motion to increase Wise’s bond.

Wise has a prior history that also includes convictions on drug possession and multiple theft charges.

A discovery hearing is scheduled for February.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Fall River Reporter