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Michael Dunn to get new attorney for re-trial

Michael Dunn will have a new attorney for the re-trial on the murder count facing him.

Judge Russell Healey today granted Cory Strolla’s request to withdraw as Dunn’s representation.  In a motion submitted by Strolla, he cites “slight, but irreconcilable differences” between how he and Dunn want to move forward for the next trial. Strolla also says paying for his services has almost bankrupted Dunn’s family and they can no longer afford him.

Strolla says he has instructed Dunn on how to gain new appointment, although that will not come from the local Public Defender’s Officer because they already represent several witnesses in the murder case, so there would be a conflict of interest.

A ruling on whether to delay the sentencing for Dunn’s second degree murder convictions currently set for 3/24 is still pending.

Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted second degree murder and one count of shooting/throwing a deadly missile for firing his gun in to a car with four teens inside at a Southside gas station, killing Jordan Davis. A jury could not come to a unanimous decision on the first degree murder charge for killing Davis, or any of the lesser included options.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • The University of North Florida has signed on to a campaign with Florida’s other public universities requesting additional funding for mental health services from state lawmakers. UNF joined the “Safer, Smarter, Stronger” initiative with the goal of adding six full-time employees to the Counseling Center staff. In total, the state’s universities are requesting $14.5 million to hire 137 staff members. UNF is asking for $578,760 from the state to fill its positions.  The director of the Counseling Center, Dr. Andrew King, says the wait time for students to receive non-crisis counseling services can be as much as three weeks, which he finds problematic to the state’s goals.  “The students will not get the help they need, when they need it, and things will get worse,” King told WOKV. “Even students who only come in and see us three time, their retention rates are better, their graduation rates and they graduate with fewer excess hours.” King says this success rate aligns with Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s “Finish in Four, Save More” campaign to have students finish college in four years.  According to date provided by the university, Counseling Center staff members had more nearly 8,000 appointments with students from 2015-16.  
  • JEA is investigating a 1-million-gallon sewage leak it says was the result of vandalism.  The leak happened here at a lift station along Lenox Avenue near Interstate 295 and Normandy Boulevard, and neighbors miles away are dealing with the stench  After the raw sewage leaked into the Wills Branch of the Cedar River, JEA issued a strong warning to neighbors: no drinking, swimming or fishing.  Amber Smythe and her family live along a nearby creek where some of the sewage ended up.  “There’s been like, a sewage smell coming from the creek behind our house,” Smythe said.  Smythe’s husband sometimes fishes in the creek and even though they don’t eat the fish, Smythe --the mother of two and expecting her third -- said the leak is a concern.  JEA said the leak was caused by wire and rags clogging the sewer line. It is investigating but believes the clog was intentional.  “You ride through here at night, all the roads, and you’ll be like, aw man. It's bad at night, it's bad at night,” Jacob Ellenburg said.  Ellenburg lives next to where the leak happened. He said there’s always a smell but the last few days have been especially bad.  Ellenburg said, “You don’t want to drive without your little circulatory air. Driving past here, you want to keep where it’s not fresh air coming in, 'cause it’s not fresh.'  JEA and the state Department of Environmental Protection are investigating.
  • An American Airlines pilot died Wednesday after he suffered an apparent medical emergency on a flight from Dallas to Albuquerque, New Mexico, airline and airport officials said. >> Read more trending news The pilot was identified as American Airlines first officer William “Mike” Grubbs, a company spokeswoman told the Albuquerque Journal. “We’re taking care of first officer Grubbs’ family and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time,” the spokeswoman said. Grubbs, who was based in Dallas, collapsed in the cockpit Wednesday afternoon as the crew of Flight 1353 prepared to land in Albuquerque, WFAA reported. Dan Jiron, a spokesman for Albuquerque International Sunport, told KOB that the flight crew warned of a medical emergency as the plane approached Albuquerque. After it landed, authorities found Grubbs dead. Jiron told the Journal that the emergency didn’t affect the airport. No passengers were injured.
  • For the fourth time in the past six days, President Donald Trump has used his platform on Twitter to take a swing at a group of more conservative Republicans in the House, this time raising the specter of using the bully pulpit against them in the 2018 elections, if they don’t get on board with his legislative agenda. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Trump said on Twitter. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” he added. The Twitter jabs against the Freedom Caucus are becoming somewhat routine for Mr. Trump, who was frustrated that he was unable to convince those lawmakers to back a GOP health care bill last week. Even before today, those type of tweets by the President have drawn frowns from some members of the Freedom Caucus, who say they’re not budging on their conservative principles, just to give Mr. Trump a legislative victory. “I disagree with him,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) said earlier this week, after Mr. Trump signaled his displeasure with the Freedom Caucus opposition to the GOP health bill. “My conscience was to get rid of Obamacare; this doesn’t do it,” Yoho said of the GOP plan that had the blessing of the White House. “Some of the constant tweeting is at minimum distracting, and at maximum, counterproductive to a legislative agenda,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who also knocked the President for using Twitter to keep grousing as well about Hillary Clinton. “You’re fighting yesterday’s story if you are fighting against a candidate you were once running against that is no longer the candidate you might be running against,” Sanford said.
  • A principal at a Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is facing child porn charges. Jeff Goss is the principal at the Christian Education Alliance in west Tulsa. Goss was arrested Tuesday morning by federal officials after they reportedly caught Goss using an online application to view child pornography. >> Watch the news report here Authorities said the application lets people enter chat rooms and share videos, pictures and more. Agents from Phoenix said Goss showed his face in the chat room, and they were able to track his IP address. Goss reportedly confessed to using the app at least five times. >> Read more trending news Agents said he preferred children ages 10 to 12 and did not care if they were girls or boys. Goss allegedly told officers that he primarily teaches children ages 12 and 13. School officials said they did not find out about the allegations against Goss until FOX23.com called them. They said he did not show up to work Wednesday. The station confirmed that he is in the Tulsa County Jail. The school's website says that it has served home-school families for more than 20 years.

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