BOONE — After being arrested for violating her parole in July — while she was supposed to be serving active jail time — a woman was sentenced on Sept. 3 in Watauga Superior Court to serve time in prison.
Makala Lee O’Brien, 20, of 11222 U.S. 421 S., Trade, Tenn., pleaded guilty to felony hit and run leaving serious injury, felony death by vehicle and DWI charges on Nov. 14, 2018. Superior Court Judge Gary Gavenus then handed down a split sentence, and O’Brien was to serve a minimum of two years and five months active jail time at the Watauga County Detention Center with a probationary period of five years to be served thereafter.
Gavenus had also entered a suspended sentence if probationary terms were violated.
The charges she pleaded guilty to were a result of an incident on Aug. 5, 2017, after the then-18-year-old was driving a Ford Ranger on N.C. 105, struck two individuals who were walking along the shoulder of the road and subsequently left the scene of the collision. The incident resulted in the death of 26-year-old Adam Hamilton Greer as well as 28-year-old Timothy William Watson sustaining serious injuries.
A motion to amend the November judgment was entered by O’Brien’s attorney on March 20, stating O’Brien desired to serve the active time in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. Instead, O’Brien was accepted into a two-year, residential substance abuse recovery program in Durham. She “willfully left” the program on April 29, failed to make herself available to supervision and did not make efforts to contact her supervising officer, according to the violation report.
Due to her violation of parole, O’Brien was sentenced on Sept. 3 to serve a minimum of five years and four months and a maximum of seven years and five months for the felony death by motor vehicle charge. O’Brien was sentenced an additional one year and four month minimum and a maximum of two years and five months on the felony hit and run leaving serious injury charge. This was the original suspended sentence set by Gavenus.
The second sentence will be served after she completes the sentence for the felony death by motor vehicle charge, according to District Attorney Seth Banks. O’Brien will serve both of these sentences in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.