Vanderbilt theft suspect says he cannot afford attorney


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The man accused of stealing $600,000 from Vanderbilt University’s law school said he cannot afford an attorney.

Jason Hunt was in a Davidson County courtroom for an arraignment on Wednesday morning. The 34-year-old pleaded not guilty to theft over the value of $60,000.

Police accused him of embezzling the money over a six-year period while he worked as the administrative services manager at the law school. He was fired.

After being sworn in, the judge asked him if he had an attorney and he reported he had asked for a court-appointed attorney.

However, the state objected to that saying that at the time of his arrest he was known to be owner-operator of a nightclub in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico although he did not list it as an asset.

The judge decided to appoint him an attorney until he was able to review a sworn affidavit listing Hunt’s assets, which only included a house with an upside-down mortgage.

Hunt was arrested near where he grew up in Sims, Arkansas. The sheriff in Arkansas said Hunt is actually accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

His partner, Samuel Cole Wakefield, also faces charges in the case.