Renegade Road

A woman perishes in a collision with an Indian leader's kin. Her family cries coverup.

Cypress was acquitted in the tribal court. Lewis claims analysts bungled the alcohol test. "The records were fundamentally wrong," he says. The couple both claimed serious injuries. Their lawyer filed a civil suit in state court and then confidentially settled it.

Cypress, age 58, didn't respond to interview requests, but his stance on Miccosukee sovereignty is well known. "This is not the United States," he told New Times in a 1995 interview. "People don't understand that, and they never will."

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The mug shot of Jared Tiger, a politically connected tribe member who was in the other vehicle.
Miami-Dade Corrections
The mug shot of Jared Tiger, a politically connected tribe member who was in the other vehicle.

Tatiana Furry was born in 1978 in Anaheim Hills, California, a placid hamlet packed with golf courses and athletes' mansions. She was the middle sister to two brothers and the daughter of Jack Furry and Helene Hamaty — he a self-made entrepreneur of Lebanese and Irish descent who owned exotic-import car dealerships and a commuter airline, she a Jamaican-born nurse.

Tatiana was always something of a tomboy and played soccer from age 6. Her genes clearly pulled mostly from her father's Irish heritage, and she developed a well-built frame as she hit her teenage years. She became the enforcer in cleats. "She was really a force on the soccer field, very physical," says Robin Schmidt, Tatiana's lifelong friend. "She was always the type of girl that just loved being outside, running around, with a smile on her face."

Tatiana got serious about basketball when she entered her hometown Canyon High School; she played as a point guard on the varsity squad all four years. "There was one game where I was in the stands, where her team was down by two with a couple of seconds left," says Helene, recounting a Furry legend with perhaps a bit of maternal embellishment. "She shot it from half-court right at the buzzer and got it right in the hoop. It was quite tremendous."

In 1996, just before his daughter's senior year, Jack took a new position in Miami as president of SureCredit USA Home Loans. Tatiana was initially upset to leave her lifelong friends, but after a year at Palmetto High, she attended Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville. Rooming with a couple of girls from the University of Florida, she became such a fervent Gators football fan that one might've guessed she'd been weaned in an orange-and-blue crib.

She quit college after two years and in 2003 bought a small condo on Kendall Drive for just under $130,000. She went to work first as a marketing director for her dad's mortgage company, then as a manager of her brother Will's Coconut Grove spa, and finally as a first mate on America One, the Furrys' charter yacht. In September 2008, she began doing side work aboard a University of Miami research boat. Mom predicts Tatiana would've spent her working life at sea.

She was nicknamed "Trouble" by her friends for her rambunctious air. One oft-told story had her housesitting for a neat-freak friend and switching all of the kitchen drawers, and the salt with the sugar. The only charge on her Miami-Dade criminal record is for sale of alcohol to a minor, when she was 23; it was dropped, and the file has been destroyed. She had one county speeding ticket: In late 2008, she was clocked going 61 in a 40 mph zone, for which she paid the $305 fine.

And she was fit. Even as an adult, she played soccer on an amateur team called Miami Storm in Kendall's Thompson Park. Tatiana was single and maternally attached to her peach-and-white beagle TJ. "That was her kid," says Lisette Arancibia, who worked with Tatiana at Jack's mortgage business. "She didn't want to go anywhere that she couldn't bring TJ along."

She would say, "'Oh God, I don't ever want to get married,'" Arancibia continues, "but I knew she was joking. She wanted kids one day, and she wanted boys."

In mid-January, members of Tatiana's extended family flew into Miami. They planned a joint celebration: Tatiana would turn 31 on January 17, and her grandmother, also named Tatiana, marked her 92nd birthday the next day.

That Saturday night, around 70 friends and relatives packed a ballroom in Coral Gables' Riviera Country Club. As her opera-trained grandmother played the piano and sang, Tatiana shimmied with a few of her youngest cousins. "Tati was dancing around the floor holding them," recalls Jamie Furry, Will's wife. "All the children loved her."

Adds uncle Robert Hamaty, who flew in from the Cayman Islands: "It's like everybody was brought together for one last time for a reason."

Tatiana received mostly cash in envelopes for her birthday — money that might have inspired her, three days later, to make a late-night trip to the casino. She sometimes played bingo or slots with Arancibia. Or Tatiana worked the poker room, a no-frills smoke-clogged den where hard-boiled, mostly male players might spend days on end. "I wouldn't have sat there by myself," Arancibia says, "but she was never intimidated by anything."

The last person who is known to have spoken with Tatiana is her friend Deri Hill, who phoned her to chat around 10:30 p.m. January 20. Tatiana said she was "just chilling," which usually meant she was curled up with TJ in front of the television. Hill heard no background noise — none of the ding-ding-ding ambiance of a casino.

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10 comments
evalye
evalye

I am Naive American Indian, I am proud of my heritage and the progress we have made in the dominant "white" world. My father served in two wars fighting for this country. I was raised to respect all mankind, and hold all life as precious, and to be a teacher to those who wanted knowledge about my culture. I try to live by my family examples.

I am appalled at what I have read here. I am thinking what has happened to these people? Is this really happening? Then I remembered, my brother who was considered important and a prominent member of our tribe. He had an alcohol addiction he struggled with over a number of years. He was a successful business man despite the addiction, as he could stay sober for years at a time. His last months were spent drinking and within a four month period, he was stopped for DUI's three times by trbal police. He never went to court, and if he did he was slapped on the hand and let go. The fourth time he killed himself, and another.

I recieved an anonmynous phone call four days after his death from a gentleman describing himself as a police officer, he said," your brother and the other killed would be alive if I had done something, I am sorry". I know this type of thing exists everywhere. In defense of Native people its not just in "Indian Country". As human beings we all fail. We need to address these issues together.

Mike
Mike

I am sorry it is Tiger not Tyler.

Thank you

Mike
Mike

I see that the gangs have infected the natives too....Don't tell me those are native tattoos because they are not..That's a gang tattoo on tyler's neck.

Nestor
Nestor

There are more examples of misconduct by this tribe. In the early 90's it was common practice to purchase vehicles and simply not make payments. They would then drive into the reservation where banks were unable to reposses. On one instance, a tow truck driver, carrying a concelaed weapon permit was arrested after being given access to the reservation. His waepon was in his vehicle. The truck was impounded for about a year. DO NOT SPONSOR THESE PEOPLE'S LACK OF RESPECT. DO NOT VISIT THEIR CASINOS. YOU ARE ON THEIR TURF PLAYING BY THEIR RULES, AND THEY ACT WITH IMPUNITY!!!

Moses
Moses

It is a shame to read about this. Native Indians need to take control of their actions. They need to stop acting like little rich brats. I would suggest everyone to stop going to the Indian Casinos because they take your money, and they get you killed.

I always supported Native Americans because this is their land, and It was taken from there. However, it doesn't mean that they can hurt or do whatever they want. The law should apply to everyone equally. Steven Segal always obey this rule in his movies....Making everyone believe that natives were pasive people, but I guess not..

kat
kat

seriously... grow up (mary tiger). perhaps if you do, the children (judging by your last name) of your tribe would be able to grow up as well?! it is ridiculous for an indian tribe to be so set on not being part of the US when apparently they can't handle their own "territory" on their own anyway? let it be your deal if it was indians you killed on that highway - but it wasn't! it was US citizens. seriously... grow up. i hope that the truth comes out and the tribal police are able to admit what happened with some pride and respect for themselves.

ANA
ANA

TO: MARY TIGER, What they are writing is not lies, it is the truth and by your last name i would say you are probably an indian person. Get a hold on these irresponsible young men and stop hurting other people. I hope they go to Jail. They dont seem to care only about themselves.

ANA
ANA

GREAT STORY, much more information than the Miami Herald.I am shocked with the police records from the occupants of the car with the four indians. No wonder they were not speaking they were trying to cover up as much as possible. All Kent Billie does is get into trouble and the fact he just went to court in april on another incident. Now I see why the indians were hush hush. They tried to make him out as an inicent victim but the truth is he has a record on drinking, drugs and speeding. Shame on you Micossukkee Indians. The state attorneys will get to the bottom of this.

Mary Tiger
Mary Tiger

You should not write anything you don't have both sides of the story. All you are printing is lies. No better than most of the people in charge of this country.

 
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