State attorney wants Michael Dunn sentenced before retrial

By Tarik Minor, Anchor-reporter, tminor@wjxt.com
Published On: May 27 2014 05:09:58 PM EDT
Updated On: May 27 2014 11:45:11 PM EDT

VIDEO: The state attorney wants Michael Dunn sentenced on three counts of attempted murder before he's retried for the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The concern is whatever he says in his sentencing could be used against him during the murder trial.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Prosecutors with State Attorney Angela Corey's office said they want Michael Dunn sentenced on three counts of attempted murder before he's retried for the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

Dunn was convicted of attempting to shoot and kill three teenagers in a vehicle after an argument over loud music, but the jury was unable to reach a conviction on the first-degree murder charge in Davis' death. Davis was the fourth teen in the car.

Protestors at City Hall on Tuesday said the Michael Dunn case is just one of the reasons why they are calling for Corey's removal.

The Jacksonville Progressive Coalition, made up of several local activists and organizations, launched the "Angela Out now" campaign, expressing what the group calls widespread outrage over Corey's role in the George Zimmerman case, the Dunn trial and the Marissa Alexander case.

Organizers are also taking issue with Corey's position on civil citations, and they've started a Facebook page called "Angela Out Now."

"I think she's been very detrimental to the black and brown community and the poor white community," said Wells Todd, a member of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition. "As far as direct commitment of young people to jail. As far as arresting kids who have committed misdemeanors instead of civil citations."

Corey's office released a statement to Channel 4 regarding the protestors: "The State Attorney's Office has a duty to protect this community and to seek justice for all our victims in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, and we will continue to do so."

The office also said Dunn should be sentenced as early as possible.

If Dunn takes the stand at his sentencing hearing to address the court, or Jordan Davis' family, what he says could be used against him later on in his murder trial. His attorneys said that is precisely the reason why they want to delay his sentencing, but Corey's office wants closure on those convictions now.

”They want this case over with for several reasons:One, they got a conviction and they want to know the sentence,” said defense attorney Gene Nichols. “They want everyone else to know about the sentencing as well.”

Nichols, who is not associated with the Dunn case, expects the judge to deny the prosecution's request, because the facts of both cases are intertwined. Nichols said a sentencing hearing before the retrial would create several legal complications and open the case to additional appeals.

”If this thing goes forward, Michael Dunn's attorneys are going to say he's not going to testify in his sentencing hearing because of the impact on his next trial,” Nichols said. “Then if they get a sentencing, it's going to get appealed, and the circuit court will kick this thing back again.”

Attorney John Phillips, who represents Jordan Davis' family, said this odd legal predicament is the direct result of a flawed 'stand your ground' law. Ultimately, he said Davis' parents want justice for their son, who would be 19 now.

“Michael Dunn going away for the rest of his life is going to happen,” Phillips said. “Certainly, the (other) boys got their justice, but this is about Michael Dunn not (being) found to be an attempted murderer, but a murderer, and that's what he did that Nov. 23, and that's what they want to be heard.”

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