phillips, hunt, walker & hanna Fort Pierce 6: Dashner Granted Indigent Status for Legal Costs; Attorney Charging $100,000 for Fees (January 25, 2019)
On November 23, 2018, Tanner Dashner, 21, of Fort Pierce, was driving a GMC Yukon south on South 25th Street approaching Midway Road when he struck the rear of a Dodge Dakota traveling in the same direction at a high rate of speed. The impact caused the Dakota to erupt in flames. Five people, 21-year-old Anthony Victor, 16-year-old Anthony M. Martin, 21-year-old Darien L. Douglas, 17-year-old Alexis Chaney and the driver of the Dakota, 27-year-old Kedan D. Tillett, died as a result of some combination of extreme trauma, explosion, fire and/or smoke inhalation. Additionally, passenger Ari’yonnia Stanberry, a 14-year-old, was injured.Briefly prior to the crash, a person believed to be Tanner Dashner posted on social media that he was “Sloshed.” Sloshed is an analogy for being drunk or intoxicated. The person appears intoxicated in the photo. Witnesses claim he was speeding and also claim he ran a red light. Intoxication is an entirely separate issue from the grossly reckless operating of his vehicle in a construction area. Each carry felony charges.
Mr. Dashner has seemingly exhibited behavior of a proud and notorious drunk, posting braggadocios messages such that he identified with being “married to beer,” loved being drunk and promoted one post which said, “Listen, drunk me & sober me are not the same person. So, if drunk me said or did somethin(g), you gotta take it up with drunk me. Don’t come at sober me (because) we weren’t there. We don’t know what Happened between yall.” What is believed to be his Twitter handle is hashtagged, “#partyhardtillidie.” Well, he didn’t die. He killed 5 children and young adults. His blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit of 0.08, according to his arrest affidavit. He has now been charged with five counts each of vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter. He is in the St. Lucie County Jail with bail set at approximately $7.5 million.
Fees / Costs:
On January 25, Tanner Dashner’s lawyer filed a Motion to have the State of Florida pay for costs, as is common for indigent Defendants. In the Motion, it indicates Dashner’s mother paid the attorney / her firm $100,000 for his legal defense. This appears to be outside what we’d expect the fees to be in a case of this nature, but parties are free to contract at their own discretion.
This was granted. The State will be paying costs in Dashner’s case.
This isn’t unprecedented. Michael Dunn was charged with one count of first degree murder and three counts of attempted murder when he shot and killed Jordan Davis and then got out of his car to shoot the three other passengers. In Michael Dunn’s criminal case, Dunn’s parents agreed to pay $100,000 to defend his murder case. Dunn was initially denied indigent status and his attorney asked again. He was later declared an indigent for purposes of costs, but same was limited.
Compare to Dunn:
Tanner Dashner Case Links / Posts / Blog:
- Traffic Crash Report (Report)(from November 23, 2018)
- Press Conference By Florida Highway Patrol (Video)(December 3, 2018)
- Press Conference By Victim’s Lawyer Demanding Arrest (Video)(December 12, 2018)
- Dashner’s First Court Appearance (Video) (December 18, 2018)
- Charging Affidavit Released in Tanner Dashner Case (Report)(December 18, 2018)
- Dashner Granted Indigent Status for Legal Costs; Attorney Charging $100,000 for Fees (January 25, 2019)
- Tanner Dashner Gag Order Sought Against Victim’s Lawyer- DENIED (Video)(February 20, 2019)
- Evidence Locker