Woman who killed alleged drug dealer outside Burger King in Arlington sentenced to 10 years

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A woman has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars for killing a man in the parking lot of an Arlington Burger King in 2022.

A judge on Friday sentenced 48-year-old April Puckett to seven years of imprisonment for second-degree murder and three years for using a firearm in commission of a felony. This was less than the maximum sentence of 13 years that Puckett agreed to when she pleaded guilty in November.

Puckett, who was arrested after a 45-year-old D.C. man was found dead near the Burger King at 3627 Columbia Pike, additionally received an 18-year suspended sentence along with five years of probation, a court clerk told ARLnow.

Security footage from Feb. 24, 2022 showed Puckett and a companion leaving the fast food restaurant around the same time a white GMC Yukon pulled into the parking lot.

Puckett approached the vehicle around 9:10 p.m. and got into the passenger seat, according to a statement of facts. She exited the car about a minute and 30 seconds later.

A day and a half went by before a tow truck arrived to impound the SUV, which had tinted windows and had not moved since it was parked.

“The tow-truck driver noticed what appeared to be a single male occupant slumped over in the driver’s seat,” a statement of facts entered with the guilty plea says.

Police opened the Yukon to find the driver deceased, with gunshot wounds to his neck, chest, lungs and left hand.

He had recently returned home from prison and “had been selling drugs to make ends meet,” the statement says. Puckett and her companion “were both unhoused and known to the Arlington County Police Department as frequent drug users.”

The man was known to carry three guns, but police found only two in his vehicle.

Police arrested both suspects the day after they found the body.

Prosecutors originally charged Puckett with first-degree murder, alleging the homicide was premeditated, but later reduced the charge to second-degree murder.

Puckett’s companion, meanwhile, was initially accused of conspiracy to commit murder but that charge was later dropped.