The Miccosukee Tribe Keeps Quiet About a Series of Traffic Deaths

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Turning to the Nissan, Rodriguez found Tatiana Furry in the "rear passenger side seated in a crouched position." There were no vital signs. When a Miami-Dade squad car arrived, Huggins was apparently perturbed. He remarked, "Ah man, they're not going to handle this and fuck with us are they?" according to the report.

As Huggins was treated by paramedics for a "minor laceration to his left arm," two Miami-Dade Fire Rescue choppers arrived and airlifted Billie and Tiger.

The Herald took the leak one controversial step further, submitting the materials to local accident-analysis expert William J. Fogarty, who determined that "Furry's Nissan Frontier crossed over the median and into the Ford," causing the wreck. But one of Fogarty's colleagues, Miles Moss, notes that far more rigorous testimony would be required in court. He calls the conclusion "speculation."

Attorney Lewis says the theory that Furry was at fault is "in line with my own findings." He claims to have "hard, concrete evidence" that Furry had spent the night drinking heavily at the casino and had become "unruly... She was out at the hotel for several hours, gambling and drinking throughout. Unfortunately, she had been asked to leave, but she got in her car despite the fact that security tried to call her a taxi."

Lewis does not elaborate on the source of his findings. As per county policy, Tatiana's blood was drawn at the Miami-Dade medical examiner's office, but those results have not been made public.

The lawyer attempts to win sympathy for his clients. "They're four young boys, two of whom have suffered serious injuries, one of which was life-threatening," Lewis laments. "These are kids who were out playing computer games and videogames before this accident occurred."

On the morning of Monday, April 6, an orderly in blue scrubs rolls a wheelchair-bound Kent Billie into the Broward County Courthouse just south of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Billie's crumpled outfit consists of a blue-striped, buttoned-down shirt tucked into pajama pants and puffy socks under rubber sandals. His left pants leg is rolled up to accommodate a heavy brace screwed into his gauzed shin. His hair sticks up wildly, and the goatee he sported in an old mug shot has been shaven. He's accompanied by two older female relatives wearing bright dresses. Even with tattoos peeking out from the edges of his clothing, the 145-pound, five-foot-five, 20-year-old looks like a sickly pediatric patient.

His attorney, Kathryn Meyers, steps in like a blocking linebacker to shield her client from questions. "Would you just allow him to speak to his lawyer?" she demands.

All four young men involved in the accident with Tatiana Furry have been charged with crimes while driving, none of them related to the January 21 incident.

Near 9 p.m. Saturday, November 8, 2008, just over two months before the fatal accident, Billie was driving 71 mph in a 50-mph zone on Route 27, according to a police report. Travis Osceola was in the passenger seat. When Pembroke Pines police officer Scott Kushi pulled over the gray, 2008 Ford SUV, he smelled marijuana, and Billie handed over a five-gram bag of "suspect cannabis," according to the report. Kushi also turned up "one gram of suspect cocaine" in Billie's right pants pocket. "Billie advised," continues the report, "that he had purchased the cannabis for $100 and the cocaine for $50." The cop also discovered an open bottle of Jack Daniels in the vehicle. And Osceola was arrested too, for "5 grams of suspect cannabis," Officer Kushi found on him.

According to a plea deal reached in April, Billie's charges will be dropped if he completes a two-year program including abstinence from alcohol and drugs. Osceola's pot-possession charge will be similarly forgiven.

Then there's Clifton Huggins, who in October 2007 was clocked by a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea zooming through a 40-mph zone at 70 in his silver 2006 Jeep SUV without a driver's license, according to police documents. He was then 16 years old. Less than a month later, his driving privileges were suspended for six months after he was pulled over in Hillsborough County on a charge of driving recklessly with a blood-alcohol content over the limit, according to court records. In May 2008, a judge revoked his license indefinitely after he failed to appear in Miami-Dade court for allegedly making an improper U-turn and "knowingly" driving without a license.

In June 2008, Jared Tiger, driving a black 2008 Ford Explorer, was pulled over by a Miami-Dade officer who claimed Tiger was driving 61 mph in a 45-mph zone as he traveled east on Tamiami Trail a few miles past the casino. The cop detected a "strong smell of marijuana" and saw a joint on the console, according to a police report. When ordered to step out of the SUV, Tiger "became aggressive... clos[ing] his first" and yelling " 'What? What you say?' " He was cuffed and charged with possession of cannabis and resisting an officer, but the charges were dropped after Tiger completed a pretrial intervention program in February of this year.

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Gus Garcia-Roberts