Breakdown of Criminal Bond Hearing Coming in The State of Florida (Jordan Davis) v. Michael Dunn
Michael Dunn’s lawyer, Cory Strolla, has moved to have his client released on Bond. The court postponed the 9 AM hearing this morning to 1:30 to have time to review the matter and likely hear it.
The Florida Constitution (Article I, Section 14) gives a criminal defendant the right to be released from custody, pending the outcome of his or her criminal case. Furthermore, Rule 3.131 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure requires the court to conduct a hearing to determine such a pretrial release. Release on Bail is not mandatory and, in fact, does not often occur for such serious crimes as charged here. Further, there are some aggravating factors that stand in the way of release in this matter.
At the bond hearing, the presiding judge must consider a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the factors that are set forth in Rule 3.131(b)(3):
“In determining whether to release a defendant on bail or other conditions, and what that bail or those conditions may be, the court may consider the nature and circumstances of the offense charged and the penalty provided by law; the weight of the evidence against the defendant; the defendant’s family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, need for substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment, and mental condition; the defendant’s past and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings; the nature and probability of danger that the defendant’s release poses to the community; the source of funds used to post bail; whether the defendant is already on release pending resolution of another criminal proceeding or is on probation, parole, or other release pending completion of sentence; and any other facts the court considers relevant.”
We are told the Bond hearing has been scheduled for 1:30 today. The offense charged is obviously the most serious possible- first degree murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder. Although the Defense characterizes the evidence to the contrary, the weight of the evidence against the defendant is extraordinarily heavy. An investigative officer is expected to testify about the evidence thus far.
Dunn admits the shooting, but says it was self-defense. The 911 calls clarify the Defense’s position is mere unsubstantiated conjecture. The defendant has family ties to the area, but reportedly has only seen the son that lives here twice since he was age 13, including the night of the killing. Otherwise, little is known about his family ties, but they are not to Jacksonville. As for flight to avoid prosecution, he not only owns a plane, but fled the scene without calling the police or rescue the night of the killing. On this point alone, we’d expect the Judge to take a stern look at the case. Several weapons were found in his car and he has been described as a very avid and experienced gun user. His team has even “downplayed” the nun-chucks and silencer as “novelty items.” Is a device used to silence a bullet really a novelty? 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.
Dunn’s team recently was quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, stating the young men hid the alleged shotgun in a garbage can, noting there were about a dozen large trash receptacles in the vicinity of the shooting. They have also repeatedly overstated and created conspiracy theory that they boys left the scene. They were always within a few hundred feet of the shooting and always in the very same parking lot. Further 911 calls reveal, they never left the immediate vicinity of the truck. In the 911 call by the brother and sister, they describe the entire timeline from the time the boys leave the parking spot to traveling a few hundred feet away to check on Jordan and call the police.
Dunn’s team also offensively depicted the tone of one of the victims during his 911 call as, “The kid is as cool as a cucumber,” further stating, “If someone had shot at you unprovoked wouldn’t you be calling the police?” Did they review the evidence? In that very same 911 call, the young man who had just had three bullets pierce his car door and his friend murdered, said not once, but twice that the police were “there.” He wanted an ambulance for his dying friend. Yet, these facts – these pieces of evidence- do not fit into Stand Your Ground or self defense.
We’d fully expect the Court to deny Bond and hope this matter can be expedited.