An employee of the United States Coast Guard, 43-year-old Gregory Allen Belkin, has been charged with drunk driving causing death and murder. Belkin is said to have struck another vehicle, killing the sole occupant, while under the influence of alcohol.
According to court records, at about 9pm on January 24th, Belken was driving his 2014 Maserati along Square Lake Road in southeastern Oakland County. He allegedly struck the back of a 2009 Subaru Legacy which was being driven by 53-year-old Rhonda T. Williams, causing extensive injuries.
Police officers and Firefighters responded to the scene of the crash. Williams was transported to a local hospital, where a short time later she died as a result of her injuries. Officers at the scene said that the force of the collision pushed the Subaru off the road and into a barrier fence, which caused severe damage to both the vehicle and the occupant.
Accident reconstructionist who have been working on the scene since the accident have determined that Belken was travelling in excess of 95 miles per hour when he rear-ended Williams. Belken appeared in the Oakland County District Court recently, where Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Ken Frazee argued that he should be denied bail.
“The defendant displayed depraved indifference to all people on the road that day,” Assistant Prosecutor Frazee told the court. He also described Belken as a man who “cannot control his actions and is a flight risk.” Another factor to consider when determining if the accused should be granted bail, Frazee noted, is that Belkin had a prior DUI offense on his record. District Judge Diane D’Agostini chose to agree with his assessment and denied bail.
During court, police documentation revealed that Belken had allegedly admitted to having at least two drinks before getting behind the wheel of his Maserati. In addition, court testimony showed that Belken is said to have told investigators that he had dropped his phone while changing lanes and tried to retrieve it. He says he was about to crash when he looked up.
Belken has been charged with Second Degree Murder and Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death. Under Michigan law, this means he is facing the possibility of up to life in prison if convicted. Currently, because it is still early in the process, there has been no word on whether or not the prosecution intends to offer him a plea bargain.
Belken’s next court date, a probable cause hearing, is scheduled for February 9th, with the preliminary examination tentatively scheduled for February 16th. Both of these hearings are scheduled to take place before Judge Marc Barron. We will continue to follow this case and bring you relevant updates.
If you or a loved one have been charged with any drunk driving charges, whether it’s a misdemeanor DUI or something far more severe, like a third time ‘super drunk‘ charge, we are here to help. The skilled drunk driving attorneys at The Kronzek Firm are experienced at helping Michigan residents achieve the best possible outcome for their case. We can help you too!