SOUTHGATE, Mich. – Raymond John Alkewich, 31, is accused of killing a pregnant Southgate mother in a hit-and-run incident Saturday.
He was arraigned Tuesday and was charged with failure to stop at scene of an accident resulting in death.
The family of 35-year-old Jessica Strother honored her at an emotional vigil Sunday. Her family knows the arraignment won’t bring her back, but they’re hoping it’s a step in the right direction for the grieving family.
“A Detective Stated to the court that Mr. Alkewich did not even have a license on the date of this offense and quite frankly should not have been driving in the first place,” said Judge Elisabeth Mullins in court.
It’s believed that over the weekend, Alkewich ran a light and struck Strother, who was crossing the street, and then kept on driving. It turns out this isn’t the first incident which Alkewich has had trouble with the law because of his alleged actions behind the wheel.
“He has prior OVI convictions He had an expired drivers license,” said a person in the courtroom.
It’s because of that, the recommendation for bond was set pretty high.
“He killed a woman who was six months pregnant, he fled the scene. He should not have been driving. I suggest a $2 million bond,” the person continued.
Alkewich’s court appointed attorney tried everything he could, suggesting a bond of $100,000.
“Your honor, he works full time at AJM Packing. He’s a machine tech. He’s been there for a little over seven years now. He lives in the area. We have no issue with him showing up to court,” said Alkewich’s attorney.
But still, the judge decided to go with the original recommendation.
“The court is deeply disturbed by the history of substance abuse in the sense that it led to two prior OWIs and convictions. The court is going to assess a $2 million bond,” said Judge Elisabeth Mullins.
If he is able to pay bond, a GPS and alcohol tether will have to be used.
Alkewich is expected to return to court March 26. His Toxicology reports are still pending.
He’s facing up to 15 years behind bars. In the mean time, Strother’s family is working to put together the pieces. If you’d like to help, click this link.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Southgate Police Department at 734-258-3060.
More: Metro Detroit crime news