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Lottery winner must pay for court-appointed attorney

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$1 million lottery winner faces meth charges

There was only one problem with Megan Gatlin's using a court-appointed attorney in her upcoming criminal trial: She's a lottery winner.

The 28-year-old Vancouver woman won $1 million this spring in the Oregon Lottery's St. Patrick's Day Raffle. So when she appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court to face charges of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and third-degree theft, her attorney questioned the appointment.

Defense attorney John Peterson was appointed to represent Gatlin in May. Gatlin collected her winnings, which were estimated to be about $670,000 after taxes, in April.

Peterson told Superior Court Judge Dan Stahnke he didn't think it was appropriate for the county to pick up the tab for Gatlin's defense, as she clearly wasn't indigent.

Stahnke asked why a judge would appoint Peterson to the case in the first place. Apparently, Peterson said, the court didn't know Gatlin was a lottery winner.

Gatlin explained that she had answered all of the questions the court official asked her when trying to determine eligibility for a court-appointed attorney. The court official asked about Gatlin's income and residency. Gatlin told the woman she was unemployed and lived with her mother.

The court official never asked Gatlin how much money she had in the bank, Gatlin said.

Gatlin told the judge Friday that she won $1 million in the lottery and had the money in her bank account. At that, Stahnke relieved the attorney of his indigent defense duties.

Peterson will still represent Gatlin when she goes to trial in November — just not on the taxpayer's dime.

After Peterson questioned the appointment, Gatlin hired the Vancouver lawyer to represent her.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Columbian

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29 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by rdgrnr.
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Posted: September 5, 2011, 1:52 pm - IP Logged

I read in another article that court costs are expected to be roughly $669,995.....Big Grin

    sully16's avatar - sharan
    Listens to the wind

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    Posted: September 5, 2011, 2:02 pm - IP Logged

    I read in another article that court costs are expected to be roughly $669,995.....Big Grin

    Rotflmoa, live by the sword missy.

    There's only one US Flag

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
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      May 31, 2000
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      Posted: September 5, 2011, 2:04 pm - IP Logged

      "Don't do drugs".

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

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        Posted: September 5, 2011, 3:33 pm - IP Logged

        Twitch

          mamamary517's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
          Brooklyn, NY
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          August 29, 2011
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          Posted: September 5, 2011, 5:03 pm - IP Logged

          Easy come, easy go................Jester Laugh

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            PA
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            October 16, 2008
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            Posted: September 5, 2011, 7:06 pm - IP Logged

            I am pretty sure when I win my name will be in the paper, but not for this kind of nonsense !

            Hit With Stick

              jarasan's avatar - new patrick.gif
              Viva La Chance!
              Rockville, MD.
              United States
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              Posted: September 5, 2011, 7:49 pm - IP Logged

              Hmmm I'd get a different lawyer,  he ratted her out straight out of the gate.  Lawyer bad.  Meth worse.

                sully16's avatar - sharan
                Listens to the wind

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                Posted: September 5, 2011, 8:31 pm - IP Logged

                Hmmm I'd get a different lawyer,  he ratted her out straight out of the gate.  Lawyer bad.  Meth worse.

                Good point,

                There's only one US Flag

                  Avatar
                  Delaware
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                  Posted: September 6, 2011, 1:32 am - IP Logged

                  Is this the same woman that the mom was waiting for the Camero?...

                    OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                    Gurnee, Illinois
                    United States
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                    February 12, 2007
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                    Posted: September 6, 2011, 5:47 am - IP Logged

                    The problem with America illustrated clearly here...bet she bought those tats with her winnings.  Nice way to spend.  It is the entitlement attitude pervading this country that made her keep her mouth shut about having a lot of money in the bank even though she is "unemployed".  She is unemployed because she DOES NOT have to work!!!  Big difference from someone who is unemployed and wants or needs to work.  She will be broke in no time flat from attorney expenses and drug problem.  Even someone as rich as Warren Buffett would be broke if he/she were involved in drug use...especially something as destructive and addictive as meth, heroine, or cocaine.  It is a shame that so many druggies and criminals win the lottery but that is life as it is a game of chance, not a game of merit.  I guess that is why I hear so many make comments about good people winning.

                    Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                    The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                      CrazyHazyYay!'s avatar - atlanta sports-teams-300x208.gif
                      Born in the USA
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                      Posted: September 6, 2011, 10:07 am - IP Logged

                      I wish they had a photo of her smiling with teeth showing so we could fully determine if she was a heavy user or not. and maybe the money will help her quit! I know that I only smoke cigarettes when I'm working, but I don't light any when I'm home on the weekends! and if I wasnt stressed out about money at all, then I would theoretically quit cigarettes completely! Only God can judge so let's all pray she puts that money to good use!

                      While the value of a dollar is substantial, hope is priceless. But if you ain't got a dollar, then it's hopeless.

                        LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                        British Columbia
                        Canada
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                        September 4, 2011
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                        Posted: September 6, 2011, 10:15 am - IP Logged

                        like they say Crime doesn't pay

                        "You have to be in it to win it!"

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                          New Jersey
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                          July 13, 2009
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                          Posted: September 6, 2011, 11:51 am - IP Logged

                          I wish they had a photo of her smiling with teeth showing so we could fully determine if she was a heavy user or not. and maybe the money will help her quit! I know that I only smoke cigarettes when I'm working, but I don't light any when I'm home on the weekends! and if I wasnt stressed out about money at all, then I would theoretically quit cigarettes completely! Only God can judge so let's all pray she puts that money to good use!

                          I really hope she's not a meth head but from the look of this pic .....

                          If she's not, she's a very old looking 28 year old!!!

                          Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

                            cbr$'s avatar - maren
                            Cordova,Al.
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                            Posted: September 6, 2011, 12:28 pm - IP Logged

                            if they don,t ask her how much money she in the bank she is such get a count appointed att;