BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 43-year-old U.S. Coast Guard member pleaded no contest to murder charges in a fatal crash while he was driving a Maserati in Bloomfield Township.
Gregory Belkin, of Bloomfield Hills, was charged with second-degree murder and pleaded no contest at a pretrial hearing Thursday.
Belkin rear-ended a Subaru Legacy on Jan. 24 at about 9:15 p.m. on East Square Lake Road near Rambling Way, just east of Franklin Road. The Subaru was traveling in the same direction and was pushed off the road and into a barrier fence.
Rhonda Williams, the 53-year-old Oakland Township woman driving the Subaru, was killed in the crash.
When officials arrived at the scene of the crash, they said Belkin admitted to drinking two glasses of wine at a local restaurant and buying a bottle of wine to go. He said he thought he might have had drinks at other local establishments, but he couldn't remember, officials said.
Belkin's phone records indicate that he was either talking or texting with his girlfriend, saying "I'm going 100, 120, 150," and then the call was disconnected. Belkin said he dropped his phone, and when he reached down to pick it up, he collided with the Subaru. Accident reconstructionists said Belkinhad to have been driving at least 100 mph at the point of impact.
Belkin's blood-alcohol content was .25 percent, more than three times the legal limit, according to police.
Belkin was an active-duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard. He began active duty in the Coast Guard in February 2002 and transferred to Detroit in July 2013.
The U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday is his last day of work.