NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The woman accused of murdering her boyfriend by setting his mobile home on fire pleaded guilty to the crimes Tuesday.
Tiara Danielle Drake, 30, will serve time for murder and arson after the March 1, 2018, incident along Red Oak Battleboro Road.
“It’s stressful and it’s hurtful but when I think back I think of the things he told me,” said Kiarra West, James McNair’s daughter. “I look at him as my super hero.”
It’s been more than a year since her father’s death, but West says the pain is still fresh.
“I know out of the bunch that I was the toughest — he would always say so. I have to be that strong and keep my brothers going and my sister going and we just have to pull together,” West said while fighting back tears on Tuesday.
Drake could have faced the death penalty but she took a plea deal that will put her behind bars for 25-30 years.
“At the end of the day right is right wrong is wrong,” West said. “I would’ve loved for it to be the death penalty. My father is never coming back. Her family can sit and talk to her. We can’t talk to our father. So that’s the most hurtful thing.”
According to the prosecutor, Drake and McNair had been arguing the night of his death.
Drake called deputies and they told her to leave. The prosecutor said Drake came back to the mobile home once deputies left and started a fire while McNair was asleep.
“I’m just happy she got this time and she can’t hurt anybody else,” said Roslyn Spivey, McNair’s ex-wife.
The deadly arson wasn’t the fire time Drake was in trouble.
In 2013, prosecutors charged Drake with five counts of attempted murder for trying to poison her family by putting Ajax in cheese.
Drake took a plea and those charges were dropped. She was sentenced to probation. West blames the justice system for her father’s death.
“She was in this same jailhouse locked up and they let her out a couple years later and now she actually killed someone,” said West.
- Endangered Florida panthers are mysteriously struggling to walk, and wildlife officials don’t know why
- Tennessee police: Dad beat young daughter because of dirty table
- Instagram says there’s “no truth” to new hoax post, so don’t share it
- Is Gov. Cooper on board with tax refund plan?
- Dog stolen from Texas family during road trip rescued by CBS reporter
For more stories like this that matter to you, click here to download the CBS 17 News app for free.
Watch live newscasts, get breaking news and sign up for push alerts – download now