Woman pleads guilty in fleeing case that involved police gunfire

By: Mike Koury | Royal Oak Review | Published April 4, 2023



ROYAL OAK — A woman who fled from police and whose encounter led to police gunfire pleaded guilty to multiple charges last month.

Veronica McClain, 46, of Holly, pleaded guilty March 1 to five charges dating back to an interaction with Royal Oak police in December. She was charged with third-degree fleeing and eluding, malicious destruction of police property, resisting and obstructing a police officer, reckless driving and no operating license.

McClain is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. April 12.

According to her attorney, Danien Woodson, the plea deal that McClain agreed to will include substance abuse and mental health treatment, which came at McClain’s request.

Woodson also stated that their hope is that no jail time will be included in the sentence.

“She has been in (jail) since she’s been charged,” Woodson said. “So she’s already done a few months. So the hope is that if there is a jail time sentence, it will be for time served with additional probation with the programs that she needs.”

McClain was arrested Dec. 15 after police attempted to stop her at 1:08 a.m. for a traffic violation near Crooks and West 14 Mile roads, but she fled the scene. Police used spike strips in an attempt to stop her Chevy Tahoe near Big Beaver and Crooks roads, but she continued to flee, getting on southbound Interstate 75 with one wheel having lost its tire.

McClain’s vehicle eventually crashed into another vehicle stopped at a stoplight on eastbound Seven Mile Road in Detroit. Royal Oak police stated that she attempted to flee again and when she did, the rear of her vehicle fishtailed and hit a Royal Oak officer, pushing him into the car that she initially hit at the intersection.

This caused the officer to draw his weapon and fire it.

“At that point, the officer ended up shooting at the vehicle, too, because it’s justified in that sense of his life was endangered for being struck by her vehicle, as she’s been ordered to stop and to exit her vehicle and she continued to flee at that point,”  Royal Oak Police Lt. Al  Carter previously said.

Neither McClain nor her 24-year-old son, who was in the Tahoe, were injured.

McClain was placed under arrest by police. Her son was released with no charges against him. Michigan State Police took the shooting incident under investigation. Royal Oak police and MSP could not be reached to comment on if the investigation still is ongoing.