Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." I too have often thought the same thing when I hear of people venturing into the dangerous waters of criminal defense without a skilled lawyer. One such person to venture into these dangerous waters is Hiram Dane, who was convicted on four counts of felony tax evasion in Utah.
Up until 2 weeks ago, Dane had been on the lam for almost three years. In 2008, he was a pilot for SkyWest Airlines in Utah when he was arrested for four counts of felony tax evasion. The prosecution claimed that Dane failed to file tax returns for 2005 and 2006, and that he also falsified returns for other tax years.
Dane's case came to trial in 2009. He went pro se before the court during the morning session. He was due back in the afternoon but never showed. He was later convicted of tax evasion and failure to file a proper tax return. For close to three years, he has been on the run from authorities. In 2010, he registered a company called Bavarian Securities in Sanford, North Carolina. This act ultimately led to his arrest.
Dane made three mistakes that I hope no one else will make: 1) representing himself, 2) abandoning his defense in the midst of trial, and 3) fleeing. I can only imagine that Dane will receive no leniency from his sentencing judge upon his return to Utah, and he may face additional penalties and/or charges for fleeing and contempt of Court.