A Michigan woman who fled to Thailand after the death of a hit-and-run college student has been placed on $1 million bail
The Michigan woman, who fled to Thailand after allegedly being involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a college student, was awarded $1 million bail during a court hearing.
Tubtim “Sue” Howson fatally struck Ben Kable, a Michigan State University student, with her 2016 BMW 320i at 5:49 a.m. Jan. 1, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Following the incident, Howson boarded a plane bound for Bangkok, Thailand on January 3. Howson is a US citizen originally from Thailand, according to travel records verified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Judge Lisa Anderson posted $1 million bail during an indictment hearing on Friday and said she traveled to another continent after the alleged crime, according to FOX 2.
MICHIGAN WOMAN WHO ESCAPED TO THAILAND AFTER THE DEATH OF HIT-AND-RUN STUDENT TO BE ACCUSED
“You bought a one-way ticket and traveled eight thousand miles to another continent,” Asadorian said. “Your bail in this case is $1 million in cash, not 10 percent.”
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Assistant prosecutor Andrea Ajlouni initially requested that bail be either denied or set at $5 million in cash, adding that Howson posed a major escape risk
“Not only was there a tragic death, but this defendant is already known to have left the scene – hence the charge,” Ajlouni said. “Your Honor, this offense happened on January 1st. This defendant fled the country on January 3rd. She didn’t leave Oakland County, she didn’t even leave the state of Michigan, she fled the country.
Howson’s attorney, Jalal Dallo, argued she posed no flight risk and flew to Thailand to see her husband, who was overseas on work.
“The reason she left is to be with her family. She panicked, she didn’t know what to do. She’s never been in a situation like this,” Dallo said. “She didn’t flee to hide or escape. She needed support. She went there. Her husband was there.”
MICHIGAN WOMAN WHO WAS STARTED IN HIT-AND-RUN DEATH OF COLLEGE STUDENTS RETURNS TO US AFTER ESCAPING TO THAILAND
Her husband returned to the United States with Howson in February. Dallo said during the hearing that Howson went to the police in Thailand before asking Asadorian to release the woman due to personal ties.
“They believed that she would come back on her own, and she did — here she is — not because she was forced to, because she was doing it on her own,” Dallo said.
Asadorian didn’t buy it, noting that law enforcement in two countries would have to work to bring Howson back to the United States
“There has been a delay in this court proceeding and that delay was caused by you and there will be no further delay,” Asadorian said.
If Howson posts bail, she will be placed under house arrest and forced to wear a GPS monitor.
Michael Kable, Ben’s father, said he was pleased with the justice.
MICHIGAN WOMAN WHO WAS CHARGED IN THE DEATH OF A COLLEGE STUDENT TO BE ABLE TO RETURN TO US AFTER FLEEING TO THAILAND
“It is very difficult to lose a child. Obviously it’s the worst thing to go through, it’s an emotional roller coaster and we’ll still have a few hills left,” Kable said. “I’m just happy to see that justice is finally happening.”
When others encouraged Howson to turn himself in, she allegedly said “no cops, no cops,” an FBI official wrote in a court document.
At the request of the FBI, police in Thailand began tracking Howson on January 12 and found her on January 14, prompting her to turn herself in and return to the United States.
An FBI spokesman said Howson arrived in San Francisco on February 24 and was then taken into federal custody.
During a press conference in Thailand held by police, Howson said she thought she was being robbed before meeting Kable, according to the Bangkok Post.
“I thought I was being robbed…I looked at the car on the side of the road. It was dark, and then I hit something in front of me … At first I thought I had hit a deer, but later I realized I had hit a man,” Howson said.
“I didn’t think I would run away but I was very shocked. I tried to call the police but my hands were shaking. I couldn’t do anything,” she added.