Macomb County Judge Enters Plea In Hit-And-Run Crash Case

October 27, 2018 - 1:04 pm

ROSEVILLE (WWJ/AP) - A Macomb County judge accused of crashing into a man's car and driving away has pleaded no contest to criminal charges in the case.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office says Roseville's 39th District Court Judge Catherine Steenland entered the plea Friday for failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident. Both charges are misdemeanors.

A no-contest plea isn't an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing.

The hit-and-run crash occurred the evening of September 25, 2017 in Roseville, along Gratiot Avenue near McKinnon Street. A 31-year-old man said a woman in a red sedan hit his car and drove away.

The complainant provided officers with the license plate number and a description of the driver responsible for the crash, which was also seen by other witnesses, according to prosecutors.

An investigation by Michigan State Police identified Judge Steenland, 51, as the suspect. The Macomb Daily reported that Steenland was on medical leave at the time of the crash.

The case was handled by the Wayne County prosecutor's office after Macomb County authorities recused themselves.

Steenland will be sentenced Nov. 30. The failing to stop charge carries a maximum of one year in jail; the failing to report charge carries a maximum of 90 days in jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.