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Man charged in connection with death of woman who fell from car held on $250,000 bond

Posted at 11:25 AM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 12:01:41-04

CLEVELAND — A man who was arrested following an investigation into the death of a woman who police say fell from a car onto I-90 on Monday was arraigned in court.

Patrick Carner, 28, is charged with obstructing justice and tampering with evidence.

Because Carner has 12 felony charges on his record, the judge issued a $250,000 cash surety bond. Carner reacted with shock when he heard the bond, and told the judge to have a nice day as he walked out of the courtroom. Another court date has not yet been set.

On Monday just after 5 p.m., officers responded to a call for a pedestrian struck on I-90 near Carnegie Avenue. Police said that Cleveland EMS was already loading the woman into an ambulance when they arrived. Police initially said the woman was thrown from the vehicle onto I-90 and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The woman has been identified as 21-year-old Vonnaisha Akins, according to the medical examiner.

Court documents provided to News 5 on Thursday state that Carner and Akins got into an argument while traveling on the freeway. Akins then opened the passenger door and attempted to exit the moving vehicle. Akins and Carner struggled over the open door, and Akins eventually fell from the vehicle. Carner stopped the vehicle, looked at Akins, called 911, provided false information, then fled, the court document states.

Police didn't elaborate on the relationship between the man and the woman. The man's attorney, Lief Christman, said his client and Akins were romantically involved previously.

On Wednesday, Christman said that his client and Akins were arguing in the car and he attempted to hold onto her when she tried to jump out. According to the attorney, the man lost his grip on Akins' arm and he panicked—which is why he left the scene after she fell from the car.

The attorney said his client is very shaken up over the entire incident and sends his "deepest condolences to her family."

Dozens of people attended a vigil for Akins that was held on Tuesday. A friend of the family provided this video taken at the vigil:

RELATED: Medical examiner identifies woman pronounced dead after being thrown from vehicle onto I-90