Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Beumer Case Compared to Zimmerman Trial ; Dunn Lawyer Says Publicity Prevents Fair Trial

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Beumer Case Compared to Zimmerman Trial ; Dunn Lawyer Says Publicity Prevents Fair Trial

Article excerpt

Eric Weston Dunn's attorney argued Thursday in Vanderburgh Superior Court inflammatory pretrial publicity on social media sources such as Facebook and other websites would prevent Dunn from receiving a fair trial from a Vanderburgh County jury. Dunn, 24, is one of four men charged in connection with the February 2012 home invasion robbery of Evansville businessman Ira Beumer.

"The Ira Beumer case has polarized the city of Evansville and county of Vanderburgh immensely," said attorney Doug Walton said. "We've kind of found ourselves in Florida with George Zimmerman."

Superior Court Judge Les Shively did not rule Thursday on Walton's motion to either have Dunn's trial moved to another county or bring in jurors from outside the area.

Walton compared the armed robbery of Beumer in his northern Vanderburgh County home - which resulted in Beumer's grand jury indictment on murder and other charges - to a nationally covered trial in which a Florida jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder and manslaughter charges for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager.

Beumer's vehicular pursuit of the men ended when his truck crashed into their car resulting in the death of 22-year-old Antuan Jenkins and the arrest of three others.

Dunn, 24, was not in the crashed car. However, he was arrested nearly two months later and charged with burglary resulting in bodily injury, criminal confinement, assisting a criminal and theft for participating in Beumer's robbery, as well as a sentence enhancement for being in a gang while committing the other charges.

If convicted, the sentence enhancement would double the sentence of the most serious charge in Dunn's case - burglary resulting in bodily injury - a Class A felony punishable by 20 to 50 years in prison.

He is scheduled to be tried for charges of burglary resulting in bodily injury, criminal confinement, assisting a criminal and theft Dec. 2 in Vanderburgh Superior Court.

Walton argued to Shively that Beumer's supporters have been outspoken about the case and Beumer probably had more supporters than detractors in the community over the incident.

"It's common sense that those who support Mr. …

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