Jacksonville, FL - Michael Dunn will see trial February 3rd.
The judge today heard arguments from Dunn’s attorney following his motion for a continuance filed Friday.
WOKV was in the courtroom as Dunn’s attorney Cory Strolla, who appeared by phone, told a judge a surge in recent filings that have required his response has taken away time needed to properly prepare his defense. He has asked the judge to push the trial to April. He further said Dunn is anxious to “clear his name”, although when the judge asked the defendant whether he also wanted the trial delayed, Dunn said he relies on his attorney’s guidance.
While State Attorney Angela Corey says she agrees that “intervener” motions- including some filed by media organizations- do take time to deal with, but they have known this trial date and been on track for so long that she objects to any delay.
The judge ultimately told Strolla that all the “intervener” motions wouldn’t be a distraction past today, leaving enough time to keep the trial on track.
These other motions deal with how much information should be disclosed to the media and how much should be sealed. Lawyers for various local media outlets are arguing for the release, claiming under Florida’s public records laws, information like witness names and jail phone calls should be public.
Both the State and Defense argued against the motions for varying reasons. Strolla says the top concern needs to be ensuring Michael Dunn gets a fair trial. Both Strolla and the state agree that some information coming out ahead of the trial could potentially poison the jury pool. Corey says she doesn’t object to the information being released, but rather the timing of the release being ahead of the trial rather than in the courtroom during the trial.
Cost of various records requests was also an issue. Media lawyers claimed they were being charged for work- like redacting- which may have already been done in accordance to rules of discovery, etc. Corey says her office follows the laws on public records, including the pricing of requests.
The judge intends to issue a written order.
Dunn is charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a Southside gas station following an apparent argument over loud music. Dunn says he feared for his life. He’s also charged with three counts of attempted murder because there were three other teens in the car Dunn is charged with shooting in to.
The State Attorney’s Office declined any further comment following the hearing, saying they will only discuss the case in the courtroom. The Defense was not present in the courtroom and couldn’t be immediately approached for further comment. Davis’ parents, who were at the hearing, also declined to speak following the hearing.