Crime

He got drunk at a Mardi Gras parade and ran over a Gulfport woman. He’s going to prison.

Parents make an emotional plea in court after a drunk driver killed their child

Markey Johnny Tanner was sentenced on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Biloxi, Mississippi, for the DUI causing death of Megan DeKleinhans and leaving the scene of the accident. Megan's parents were present and made a statement before the judge.
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Markey Johnny Tanner was sentenced on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Biloxi, Mississippi, for the DUI causing death of Megan DeKleinhans and leaving the scene of the accident. Megan's parents were present and made a statement before the judge.

Markey Johnny Tanner, 26, of Hurley was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years to serve in prison for causing the death of a 22-year-old Gulfport woman while driving drunk.

Tanner pleaded guilty March 1 to DUI causing death and admitted leaving the scene of the accident in February 2016 on Lamey Street in North Biloxi. Earlier, Tanner had consumed 14 to 15 Jello shots, plus beer, during a Mardi Gras parade.

“I know you did not set out that day to kill her, but you did nonetheless,” Judge Chris Schmidt told Tanner at the sentencing hearing. “There are no winners in this case and there never are.”

Tanner wept throughout the hearing an apologized.

Megan DeKleinhans was walking south that night on Lamey Street when Tanner rounded a curve and hit her, according to the District Attorney’s Office. A woman in the car with him told investigators that Tanner said, “She shouldn’t have been in the road,” and kept driving his damaged vehicle.

Tanner’s attorney, J.D. Taylor, said his client will probably serve seven of the 20 years because of the 50 percent time served rule in Mississippi law.

Megan’s parents asked that he be sentenced to 20 years.

Police caught up with Tanner near Edgewater Mall in Biloxi and arrested him.

Rochelle Fischer is shares her story about the night she got busted for a DUI in Bellingham, Washington, hoping others will learn from her mistake.

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