Alleged hit-and-run driver who fled to Thailand arraigned in Oakland County, held on $1 million bond

Alleged hit-and-run driver who fled to Thailand arraigned in Oakland County, held on $1 million bond
Booking Photo: Tubtim "Sue" Howson Photo credit Oakland County Sheriff's Office

ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) -- After supposedly striking and killing a pedestrian on New Year's Day and fleeing the country to avoid prosecution, a woman is being held on a one million dollar bond in the Oakland County Jail.

57-year-old Tubtim "Sue" Howson has been charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident causing death in connection with a Jan. 1 crash that killed 22-year-old Benjamin Kable, a resident of Shelby Township and student at MSU.

At a Friday arraignment hearing, the judge set Howson's bond at one million dollars and outlined a number of additional conditions for the defendant's release. Should Howson be able to come up with the bail money, she would be required to surrender her passport and driver's license, wear an electronic tether and remain in her home except for court appearances.

"We are extremely pleased we have our suspect in custody in Oakland County, and we thank Judge Asadoorian for her attention to the fact that clearly the defendant has been a flight risk to the extreme," said Sheriff Michael Bouchard, who looks forward to seeing Howson held accountable.

Howson arrived in Oakland County on Thursday after a final court hearing in San Francisco, where she has been in custody since authorities returned her to the U.S. in late-February.

The defendant is thought to be the driver of the vehicle that struck the deceased while he was either standing or walking on Rochester Rd, south of Whims Lane in Oakland Township during the early hours of the new year. Though that driver fled the scene, witnesses provided a description of the car and believed a woman of Asian descent was behind the wheel.

According to investigators, they received a tip that led them to identify Howson as a suspect. Howson, however, booked a flight to Thailand -- where she has dual citizenship -- and left the U.S. two days after the crash.

Oakland County detectives worked with the FBI, U.S. Marshals and law enforcement officials in Thailand to locate and apprehend her.

Howson is currently being held in the Oakland County Jail. If convicted, she could spend five years in prison.

According to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, Howson's probable cause conference is set for Friday, March 24, at 11:30 a.m.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Oakland County Sheriff's Office