Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dunn Trial Ticks Closer; Appeals Court Orders Release of Material; Defense Requests Delay

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dunn Trial Ticks Closer; Appeals Court Orders Release of Material; Defense Requests Delay

Article excerpt

Byline: Larry Hannan

With about two weeks before a Brevard County man is scheduled to go on trial for killing a Jacksonville teenager in a dispute about loud music, the case appears to be riddled with uncertainty.

Whenever the trial for Michael David Dunn starts - currently scheduled for Feb. 3 - it's also sure to be a media frenzy. Court and city officials are already bracing themselves.

The 47-year-old Dunn is charged with the first-degree murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a Southside gas station.

Friday an appeals court ordered more information in the case to be released to the media and threatened sanctions if it's not followed. At the same time, lawyers for Dunn said they wouldn't be ready for trial and asked for a delay.

Dunn attorney Cory Strolla said he is still finalizing the defense and needs to make sure all investigations into the case have been completed.

The motion said the State Attorney's Office is opposed to a delay. State Attorney Angela Corey did not answer questions Friday.

The Times-Union, First Coast News and WJXT TV-4 have previously opposed a ruling by Judge Russell Healey that prevented all public materials in the case from being released until 30 days for his review. Usually it becomes public record the moment it's shared between the prosecution and defense.

The 1st District Court of Appeal overruled Healey's order and instructed all material in the case to be released to the public unless an evidentiary hearing was conducted immediately.

But no information was released and no evidentiary hearing was conducted, leading the media attorneys to go back to the appeals court to enforce its order.

Friday it did just that and instructed Healey to have a hearing on the issue by Wednesday.

Almost immediately the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asked for an extension and to have the hearing Friday.

The request for a later trial date also will likely be heard at the next court date, whenever it ends up being set.

The delays mean further burdens on others awaiting some resolution.

Lucia McBath, who lives near Atlanta and is the mother of Jordan Davis, has rented a house in Jacksonville for all of February in anticipation of the trial. …

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