Judge sets $1M bond for woman charged in MSU student's death in Oakland County

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PONTIAC — A judge set a $1 million cash bond for an Oakland County woman who flew to Thailand after being involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a Michigan State University student on New Year's Day.

Tubtim "Sue" Howson, 57, was arraigned Friday in 52-3 District Court in Oakland County on a charge of failing to stop at the scene of a fatal crash, a maximum five-year felony.

Benjamin Kable
Benjamin Kable

Authorities said she was driving a vehicle that struck Benjamin Kable, 22, of Shelby Township, while he was standing or walking on Rochester Road, south of Whims Lane in Oakland Township, about 5:50 a.m. Jan. 1.

An attorney listed for Howson in court records did not immediately return a message left for him by the State Journal.

Howson, a Thai-American woman who has dual citizenship, flew to Bangkok two days after the crash, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said. She was returned to the U.S. in late February and arrived in Oakland County on Thursday, officials said.

Judge Lisa Asadoorian set several conditions for Howson if she posts bond, including surrendering her passport and driver's license, wearing an electronic tether and staying home except for court hearings.

"We are extremely pleased we have our suspect in custody in Oakland County, and we thank (the judge) for her attention to the fact that clearly the defendant has been a flight risk to the extreme," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

A hearing to determine if Howson should stand trial on the charge is set for April 6.

Contact Ken Palmer at kpalmer@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @KBPalm_lsj.

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Judge sets $1M bond for woman charged in MSU student's death