Michigan Woman Gets Probation For Striking Car Salesman, Hurling Slurs

WWJ News
February 12, 2020 - 11:26 am

GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) - A woman who hurled racial slurs as she attacked a salesman at a western Michigan car dealership will not serve jail time.

Shelly Hueckel of Nashville, in Barry Countty, was sentenced Tuesday to two years probation and 90 hours of community service for misdemeanor assault.

Hueckel, 48, was acquitted of an additional charge of ethnic intimidation at her trial in December. 

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan handed down the sentence after the victim, Terrence Smith, tearfully asked the maximum sentence be imposed.

“I have to face that I have to raise a 6-year-old son in a place where a person can degrade me and physically assault me supposedly due to a car estimate...But you and I know the real truth,” Smith said, addressing Hueckel. “I’m hoping the maximum sentence will give me some new hope in this process so that my kids, my family and others who look like me can begin to heal."

During the trial, an attorney for Hueckel, who is white, said she was upset by an appraisal for her car — not race — at the dealership in Lowell last April.

Sullivan agreed, saying Hueckel likely would have had a similar reaction with someone who wasn't African American.

Offering a brief apology in court Tuesday, Hueckel said she was "deeply sorry" for the pain she caused Smith.

MLive reports Hueckel’s attorney said a mood disorder likely played a role in the incident.