Thai woman accused of fatal hit-and-run of Michigan student receives $1 million bond


The Thai woman who fled to Bangkok after allegedly hitting a Michigan State University student with her car and leaving him for dead has received a $1 million bond.

On March 17, Judge Lisa Asadorian ordered the $1 million bond for Tubtim “Sue” Howson, 57, during an arraignment hearing, citing the fact that she traveled to another continent after the alleged crime took place.

You bought a one-way ticket and traveled 8,000 away to another continent. Your bond in this case will be $1 million cash, surety, no 10 percent. There's been a delay in these legal proceedings and that delay was caused by you, and there will be no further delay.

Assistant Prosecutor Andrea Ajlouni initially asked for bond to be denied or set at $5 million, noting that Howson is an “extreme flight risk.”

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"Not only was there a tragic death but this defendant is already known for leaving the scene - hence the charge. She didn't leave Oakland County, she didn't even leave the state of Michigan, she fled the country," she told the court.

However, Howson’s defense attorney, Jalal Dallo, argued that she is not a flight risk as she has lived in the U.S. for 12 years and chose to return willingly.

Dallo noted that federal agents had already taken away Howson’s driver’s license and two passports.

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According to Dallo, Howson went to Thailand to see her husband for support.

The reason she left is to be with her family. She left in a panic, she didn't know what to do. She's never been in a situation like this. She wasn't fleeing to hide or escape. She needed support. She went there. Her husband was there. They believed that she would return on her own and she did – here she is – not because was forced to, because she did it on her own.

If Howson is able to post bond, she will be under house arrest and will have to wear a GPS monitor.

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Howson, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Thailand, fled to Bangkok on Jan. 3, two days after a deadly collision that killed 22-year-old Benjamin Kable.

Kable was walking home along Rochester Road in Oakland County on Jan. 1 when Howson’s vehicle allegedly struck him. The student was pronounced dead at the scene.

Howson agreed to return to the U.S. to face charges after speaking with Thai authorities. On Feb. 22, she was extradited back to Michigan and taken into custody by FBI officers.

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She was charged with failure to stop at the scene of a crime resulting in serious impairment or death. If she is convicted, she could receive up to 5 years in prison.

Kable’s father, Michael, told Fox 2 that he is pleased to see justice happening.

It’s very difficult losing a child. Obviously, it’s the worst thing you can go through, it’s an emotional roller coaster and we will have a few hills left. I’m just happy to see that justice is finally here.