Judge to decide on Dunn's bond next month
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 07:10:00 PM EST
A judge will wait until April 9 to make a decision on whether Michael Dunn should be granted bond.
A hearing Tuesday lasted nearly three hours and was filled with character witnesses called by the defense.
Dunn, 46, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside a Gate gas station in November. Investigators say a dispute over loud music sparked the shooting.
Dunn appeared in court wearing a suit Tuesday afternoon, though he is still in custody. He waived his right to a speedy trial.
Dunn's lawyer, Cory Strolla, said his client fired at a SUV full of teenagers in self-defense. Strolla said Dunn has no violent criminal background and would ideally be kept under house arrest with GPS monitoring if granted bond.
"There's been cases in Duval County where defendants have been charged with murder and have criminal records and have got $100,000 bond, with criminal, violent backgrounds," Strolla said.
At Tuesday's hearing, Strolla also asked for suppression of certain records, such as witness statements and other information.
State attorney Angela Corey asked the judge to keep Dunn behind bars until the case is decided.
Davis' parents say Dunn would be a danger if let loose and could be a flight risk because he not only owns a plane, but fled the scene without calling police or rescue the night of the killing and then returned to his home in Brevard County.
"We will not comment on the nature and probability of danger that the defendant's release poses to the community, but his act speaks for itself," said John Phillips, attorney for Davis' family.
"He fled at that time, so in our mind then that's something that easily you would do again," said Lucia McBath, Davis' mother.
"Not only did you shoot my son, but you tried kill the other three kids in the car, and those kids are still in fear of their lives," said Ron Davis, Jordan's father. "If he gets out, they will also be in fear of their lives."
Ron Davis said Tuesday was the most difficult day of court proceedings so far, having to deal with the possibility that the man charged in his son's death be released from jail.
In court, he gave a long and uncomfortable stare toward Dunn, and Dunn appeared to stare back. Neither said anything.
"We probably hurt more than anybody in that courtroom," Davis said. "We're going to put our faith in Judge (Suzanne) Bass to do the right thing."
Strolla said his client has always cooperated with police and will continue to do so.
"He did call police the next day. He did call authorities the next day," Strolla said. "He went home to Brevard County, where he has friends in law enforcement. He called them immediately and was in the process of turning himself in when the SWAT team showed up at his house to arrest him."
Crime scene photos show the red SUV Davis was in riddled with bullets. In one photo, nine bullet holes can be counted. Orange sticks in the photos show trajectory and where several bullets entered the back seat.
According to an autopsy report, Davis was shot three times -- once in the abdomen and chest, and in both his right and left thigh. The bullet in his torso went to his heart and major arteries, according to the report.
Three other teens in the vehicle were not hit.
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