Thomas Cypress Pleads Guilty to DUI Manslaughter
The 55-year-old brother of former Miccosukee Indian Chairman
Billy Cypress is pleading guilty to two counts of DUI manslaughter. On February 19 of last year, Thomas Cypress was behind the wheel of his truck on Tamiami Trail when he swerved into oncoming traffic and had a head-on collision with a car carrying Maryland couple Robert and Paulette Kirkpatrick.
Thomas was found knocked out in his truck, with a case of Budweiser beer in the front cab. The Kirkpatricks were killed instantly.
Today, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office released its plea agreement with Thomas. He will serve 12 years in prison and upon his release serve 10 years probation. He will get credit for the time he has spent in jail since he was arrested. His license is also permanently revoked and he will have to pay $142,000 in damages to the couple's two surviving children.
At the time Thomas rammed into the Kirkpatricks, his license had been
suspended from a previous DUI charge. He was arrested on DUI charges in
1997 and 2004, as well. he got probation for the former and the latter
charge was dismissed.
It's been a rough year so far for the Miccosukees. The Internal Revenue
Service is investigating the tribe for not reporting taxable income from
gambling profits while the government agency probes ex-chairman Billy for charging $3 million on tribe credit cards for personal travel.
Read the plea agreement below:
Thomas Cypress guilty plea
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