Woman Who Fled To Thailand After Hit-and-run Crash Killed Michigan Student Enters No-contest Plea

Deputy National Police Chief Surachet Hakpal, left, talks to reporters with Tubtim "Sue" Howson, 57, during press conference at police headquarter in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Howson allegedly struck Michigan State University student Benjamin Kable, 22, shortly before dawn on Jan. 1. She flew to Thailand on a one-way ticket on Jan. 3, according to U.S. authorities. (Royal Thai Police via AP)

A Detroit-area woman accused of fleeing to Thailand after killing a Michigan State University student in a hit-and-run crash pleaded no contest Wednesday to failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death.

Tubtim “Sue” Howson, 57, of Oakland County, entered the plea in Oakland County Circuit Court in connection with the New Year’s Day hit-and-run that killed 22-year-old Ben Kable of Shelby Township, The Macomb Daily reported.

Kable was walking on an Oakland County road before dawn on Jan 1. Kable was home from the university for the holidays.

Howson is a dual U.S. and Thai citizen and left Michigan for Bangkok on Jan. 3. Authorities in Thailand took her into custody there. She was returned to the U.S. in February and extradited to Michigan.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

Howson is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26 and faces up to five years in prison. She’s being held in the Oakland County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Howson has been working and living in Michigan with her family and two children for more than 20 years, authorities have said.