Ex-Detroit cop pleads no contest in death of lawyer Cliff Woodards

August 16, 2022, 7:49 AM

A former Detroit police officer, whose disregard of a red light signal caused the death of local attorney and radio talk-show host Cliff Woodards, has pleaded no contest to charges connected to the 2021 incident. 

Cliff Woodards II (File photo)

The Detroit News reports:

Teaira Funderburg, 31, of Detroit was charged in June 2021 with involuntary manslaughter and willful neglect of duty after prosecutors said she ran a red light and struck Woodards' vehicle.

Funderburg on Monday pleaded no contest, a plea that does not admit guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes, to willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail, according to a news release from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

The involuntary manslaughter plea was dismissed.

Funderburg also agreed to surrender her state policing certification and serve a year's probation and do 100 hours of community service. Further sentencing may be passed down when the case comes before a judge. 

Funderburg has said she was driving to the scene of a non-emergency call made by another officer. Prosecutors said she was unnecessarily speeding. She hit Woodards' vehicle broadside at the intersection of the I-96 service drive and West Chicago Road, on the city's west side. 

Besides working as a criminal defense attorney, Woodards also had an on-and-off show on 910AM. 

Read more:  Detroit News

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