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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Fewer than two months after Smith Meyers’ arrest for allegedly pushing down two motorcycles while drunk on Spring Break, he is set to take office as UF’s Student Body president on Wednesday.

On March 7, Key West Police arrested Meyers on a charge of criminal mischief at about 2 a.m. after a witness reported seeing Meyers, 22, drunkenly attempt to start and knock over two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, according to an arrest report.

In footage of the arrest, Meyers appears to strike a witness.

Eight days after he takes office, Meyers is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment.

Christina Cory, a state attorney prosecutor on the case, said she pushed back previous arraignments three times to pin down the exact cost of damages from the incident.

“I wanted to have a better idea of which direction this case is headed and know kind of what we’re looking at for restitution,” Cory said in a voicemail.

Cory could not be reached for further comment.

The owners of the motorcycles said Meyers caused at least $6,000 in damages, according to Alligator archives.

Meyers did not respond to multiple attempts for comment.

On April 12, Meyers pled not guilty to the charges and asked for a jury trial, according to Monroe County court documents.

UF law professor Kenneth Nunn said during an arraignment, defendants are presented with charges and the cost of damages.

Nunn said it’s standard for defendants to plead not guilty at first appearance because no evidence has been presented.

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Nunn said Meyers will likely plead not guilty again at the arraignment and request a trial date.

“My guess is Mr. Meyers does not have a criminal record, so this would be his first-time offense,” Nunn said. “Most likely, he’s going to wind up with something called a deferred prosecution agreement.”

The agreement is a contract between the defendant and the state, where the defendant agrees to pay a fee, complete community service and/or go on probation in exchange for the prosecution to stop pursuing the case, Nunn said.

In the agreement, the prosecutor could require Meyers to step down from Student Body president or be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but Nunn said that’s not likely.

In a statement following his arrest, Meyers apologized for representing UF negatively and promised to be as transparent as possible.

Since then, he has declined further comment.

Valentina Varela, a 21-year-old UF psychology senior, said she doesn’t mind that Meyers was arrested.

“As long as he learns to control himself in the future, especially since he’s more in the UF public eye, then it’s fine,” she said.

But Diana Fridel, a 23-year-old UF fine arts junior, said she felt uncomfortable with Meyers taking office while going through legal procedures. She said his arrest questions his trustworthiness.

“I think it’s a lot on his plate, if he is going to school, taking office and dealing with the legal issues,” she said. “It’s a lot for anyone to handle.”

Contact Paige Fry at pfry@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @paigexfry

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