Ava was brought back to the police station for questioning and had a seizure. She was rushed back to the hospital, where she was restrained to her bed and being detoxicated from her medication. Kayla had her medication analyzed and discovered that the pills which Ava’s psychiatrist, Dr. Neusbaum, had prescribed for her were an anti-seizure medication which caused mood swings and manic episodes. When Martino Vitali, Ava’s menacing and corrupt father, came to town and visited his daughter in the hospital, Ava looked like a frightened little girl. Ava was soon released from the hospital and into police custody. She was released on bail and ordered not to leave town.
Earl Lawson ended up dead in a dark alley, courtesy of Martino Vitali and his goons. Dr. Neusbaum, Ava’s psychiatrist, also ended up dead, which didn’t surprise Ava. Ava soon remembered the horrid truth that her mother was going to leave Martino years before, so Martino had his wife taken out. Angelo confessed that Martino was the one who hired Dr. Neusbaum to prescribe the wrong medication to Ava so she wouldn’t remember the devastating truth. Ava excoriated her father at the Brady Pub for this and for putting a hit out on Steve. Martino pulled his gun on Bo while resisting arrest, but Bo shot and killed the mobster.
Ava made a genuine attempt to redeem herself to Kayla when she snuck into the neonatal ICU at the hospital and snapped a picture of Steve and Kayla's premature baby. Kayla was moved by Ava's efforts, but still didn't trust her former captor.
Ava began to interact with new people in Salem after her father's death. She went to Marlena Evans Black for advice and the good doc advised her to put the past behind her and move on. She still had numerous charges against her for her crimes and hired E.J. DiMera to take her case. Soon afterwards, she met Nicole Walker and made a new friend.
One night on the pier, Ava encountered a troubled John Black, who was being accused of drug trafficking. He opened up to her and asked her to have dinner with him. Ava was initially reluctant to date a married man, but was encouraged by Nicole to go out with him nonetheless. Ava accepted John's dinner invitation and the two dined at the DiMera mansion, even sharing their first kiss.
After John was accused of torching his impounded warehouse, Ava summoned her goons, Eddie and Angelo, to bring Paul Hollingsworth over to the DiMera mansion to force the truth out of him. The goons knocked Paul around and Ava realized she was becoming more like her father. Paul's body was soon rolled into the river and it appeared as though he was dead.
After Marlena brought the encrypted disk containing all of John's memories over to the mansion, Ava urged him to destroy it, fearing she would lose the man she'd grown fond of and John would revert to his old persona. A conflicted John destroyed the disk and trashed the lab, much to Marlena's heartbreak and Ava's delight. Ava and John toasted to their future.
Needing a place to live, Sami Brady DiMera reluctantly agreed to show Ava her apartment. Ava was unaware that it was right across the hall from Steve and Kayla, who were outraged to discover that Sami was showing her apartment to her. She agreed not to take the apartment and asked to live with John, but he turned her down, thinking it wasn't a good idea since he was still legally married. The two ended up making love for the first time on the rooftop of the aparment building.
Soon afterwards, E.J. went over the details with Ava regarding her upcoming court case, and things didn't look too promising. He stated that the district attorney had overwhelming evidence against her, including charges of sabotage and murder. He warned her that the Irish government might be getting involved, and there was a good chance she would be extradited back to Ireland. She was further stunned when E.J. revealed that one of her cousins was going to testify against her in exchange for immunity. She suggested to John that they skip bail and leave the country together, but he declined.
Things looked promising for Ava when E.J. and John were able to bribe Judge Fitzpatrick, who would be presiding over Ava's case. Ava and John celebrated, since they had the judge in their pockets and Ava wouldn't have to go to prison.
After Eddie's goon shot Philip Kiriakis, Ava was shocked when she discovered that John had an alive and well Paul Hollingsworth all along in his basement. She was now an accessory to kidnapping.
Ava and John's celebration was short-lived when E.J. gravely revealed bad news: Judge Fitzpatrick was no longer presiding over her case, and the new judge couldn't be bribed. Ava would most likely be serving prison time. She asked E.J. not to tell John. She made love to John one last time before walking out the door and out of his life, deciding to jump bail and flee town. John was upset to discover that she left him. In her letter, she explained that she had to disappear, since being locked up again would kill her. Ava revealed that she loved John and wanted him to be happy in his new skin. Will Ava ever be captured or return to Salem again? Stay tuned!