Janesville41°

Jail, probation ordered in drunken-driving death

Print Print
Mike DuPre'
July 12, 2008
— Daniel Fleming drove drunk and stoned and killed Dayne Cutler, a young man Fleming described as “my best friend … my brother.”

Friday, Judge James Daley sentenced Fleming, who turns 18 today, to a year in Rock County Jail and 12 years probation. A condition of his probation prohibits him from drinking until he turns 30.


But Cutler’s parents said after the sentencing hearing that Fleming will be accountable to them for the rest of his life.


“We don’t want to destroy his life,” said Cutler’s mother, Letetia Mika of Chicago. “We want him held accountable. We want the punishment to fit the crime.


“I don’t get Dayne back. That’s forever. What’s 12 years to forever? We’re going to be in his life for the rest of his life,” she said.


Cutler’s father, Todd Cutler, said: “I love the 12 years (probation). He can prove himself to us. … We really want him to succeed.”


Dayne Cutler, a Chicago resident, was 18 when he was killed. He and Fleming, a Chicago resident who once lived in Janesville, came to Janesville last August to party with friends here.


One of them was Morgan Hennie, 16, Janesville. She was injured seriously in the early-morning crash Aug. 21 in Center Township.


Fleming had pleaded guilty to homicide by driving with an illegal blood alcohol concentration and causing injury by driving with an illegal blood concentration.


Charges dismissed in exchange for the guilty pleas were homicide by intoxicated driving, causing injury by intoxicated driving, homicide by driving under the influence of a controlled substance (marijuana) and causing injury by driving under the influence of a controlled substance.


A pre-sentence investigation recommended probation for Fleming, who had no previous criminal record.


In court, Mika described her emotions.


“I relive this day over and over and over,” she said as she sobbed. “I miss my son. I miss his curly hair, his laugh. I miss how much he loved animals.


“He had lots and lots and lots of friends. I didn’t know until we had the wake. Four hundred showed up.”


Hennie told the judge that she thought Fleming was not truly sorry and expressed remorse only recently to get a lighter sentence.


That prompted Fleming to tell the court:


“Dayne was my best friend. Dayne was my brother. It breaks my heart. I think about him every day. I know I destroyed their (relatives’) lives. I wake up every morning, knowing I killed my best friend.


“It kills me, them saying I have no remorse. I’d rather spend 10 years in prison than have them think I’m not remorseful.


“I accept the fact that I have to be punished. I accept whatever the court sentences me to.”



Print Print