DETROIT — The defense attorney for a Michigan man who reportedly slammed his Maserati into another car at an estimated 144 mph, killing the driver, said her client feels horrible about the tragedy.
Gregory Allen Belkin, 43, is being charged with second-degree murder and operating under the influence of alcohol in the death of Rhonda T. Williams, a 53-year-old mother of three children who was driving home from work last January when her Subaru was struck in the rear by the Italian luxury car, forcing her off the road and into a fence.
According to police reports, the first officer on the crash scene observed Belkin running around the other driver’s car and laughing.
"Gregory said he was the driver of the Maserati several times," Bloomfield Township Police Officer Scott Schuknecht wrote in his report. "Gregory said he looked down and looked up while driving, and the vehicle he hit was stopped on the road. I reminded him the other driver was seriously injured and laughing was not appropriate."
Attorney Deanna Kelley said that wasn’t the case.
“I don’t want the victim’s family to think he’s not remorseful,” Kelley said. “He’s very aware that a life was taken, that a woman was minding her business and how this has affected so many people.”
Kelley said she reviewed the police reports and saw a videotape of Belkin at the scene. She said the only reason it appeared he was laughing is because he was nervous.
“People react differently in situations of shock,” she said. “His reaction was misinterpreted. He knows he’ll have to live with this for the rest of his life … he knows the harm that was caused by his actions.”
Handcuffed and wearing an orange prison uniform, Belkin appeared Thursday in 48th District Court and waived his rights to a preliminary exam, meaning he’ll stand trial on the charges in Oakland County Circuit Court. For now, he remains in custody without bond.