Involuntary manslaughter charge to be dismissed for Detroit officer in crash that killed attorney

Officer Teaira Funderburg pleads no contest to misdemeanor willful neglect of duty

The location where a Detroit police officer crashed into a defense attorney on Feb. 8, 2021. (WDIV)

DETROIT – An involuntary manslaughter charge will be dismissed for a Detroit police officer accused of fatally crashing into an attorney after speeding through a red light while responding to a call from another officer.

Teaira Iris Funderburg, 31, of Detroit, was on duty at 12:57 a.m. Feb. 8, 2021, when she was called to assist another officer, according to police. She was driving east on I-96 with her emergency lights and siren activated, and there was one other officer in the vehicle, officials said.

Funderburg exited onto the service drive at a high speed and disregarded a red light at the intersection of West Chicago Road and the Jeffries Service Drive, according to authorities. She struck a car driven by Attorney Clifford Woodards, 58, police said.

Attorney Clifford Woodards

Medical officials were called to the scene and took Woodards to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

READ: Community mourns defense attorney killed in crash involving Detroit police cruiser

Funderburg was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of willful neglect of duty. The manslaughter charge is a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, and the second charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail.

On Monday (Aug. 15), Funderburg pleaded no contest to the willful neglect of duty charge. The involuntary manslaughter charge will be dismissed at sentencing, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Funderburg has agreed to resign her Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards certification, serve one year of probation, complete 100 hours of community service, and pay any additional fines or costs the court imposes.

Sentencing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 30 before Judge Shannon Walker.

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Defense attorney killed in crash invovling Detroit police cruiser

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.