Suspect in case of woman left to die on I-90 charged; his attorney says she was trying to jump out of the vehicle

Suspect in case of woman left to die on I-90 charged; his attorney says she was trying to jump

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Court records confirm 28-year-old Patrick Carner was charged in connection to the case of a woman who died on the side of I-90 Monday evening.

According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, Vonnashia Akins died from injuries consistent with a car crash.

On Monday, police said she was pushed out of a moving vehicle.

Police have not given much information about Carner’s involvement in the case. So far, he’s only facing charges of tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.

His attorney, Lief Christman, told 19 News Carner never pushed Akins out of his car.

Rather, he said Akins was trying to jump out of it.

“He wants everybody to know that he didn’t push her out of that vehicle,” Christman said. “It was her reckless actions that put her in a position that the tragic accident occurred.”

Christman says Carner and Akins had just recently ended a romantic relationship, but Akins asked him for a ride Monday.

While they were driving downtown on I-90, Christman says Akins got mad about some other women she thought Carner was interested in.

“There was no physical violence on his part, she really just became irate and wanted to exit the vehicle as it was moving,” Christman said.

Christman says Carner tried to prevent Akins from getting out.

He says he moved from the farthest left lane to the right lane quickly and almost hit another car.

“He corrected and that’s when she exited the vehicle, when she slipped out of his arm and ended up on 90,” Christman said.

Tuesday, family members shared an exclusive recording of a phone call with 19 News, where Vonnashia tells the man she calls grandad that her boyfriend beat her.

“Whatever happened there, I don’t think it’s relevant to the actions that occurred in the vehicle that lead us here,” Christman said.

Christman says Carner pulled over, called 911 and flagged down other drivers to help Vonnashia Monday.

Right now, he’s charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice, because he left the scene before police arrived.

“This is not a case that’s murder. It’s not a case where he pushed her out of that vehicle,” Christman said.

Christman says Carner and Akins were the only two people in the car when the incident happened.

He says Carner came to his office that night and he helped him turn himself in the next day.

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