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Michael Dunn has his first court hearing in Jacksonville in the Jordan Davis killing

9:10 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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Michael Dunn is arrested in Brevard County for a Jacksonville warrant on murder and attempted murder charges.
Michael Dunn, Jordan Davis coverage
     More coverage of the Davis/Dunn case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One day after being transported from Brevard County to Jacksonville, the accused shooter in the Gate gas station murder Michael Dunn's first court appearance in Duval County took place. But he did not attend.

Dunn is charged with second degree murder and attempted murder for the shooting that claimed the life of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The suspect did not appear in court for his first appearance in Jacksonville on Wednesday, but for the first time, both the state and defense attorneys addressed the case.

"In the state of Florida you're not allowed to charge first degree murder without an indictment by a grand jury. We're going to wait for JSO to finish their investigation and we'll review all of the evidence and the State Attorney's Office will make the appropriate charging decision at that time," said assistant state attorney Mark Caliel.

Dunn pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance Monday in Brevard County, where he was arrested. He is expected to appear in court December 19 for his arraignment. As the investigation continues, prosecutors have until December 19th to decide if other charges will be filed.  

"To charge someone with first degree murder, we have to have evidence of pre-meditation that goes beyond just a snap," said Caliel.

Attorneys Robin Lemonidis and Mitch Stone are defending Dunn. Lemonidis has made several public comments about how her client reacted to feeling threatened by the teenagers in the car.  

"You can confirm that Mr. Dunn's defense is that he did see a shotgun in the car?" asked First Coast News' Michelle Quesada.

"Absolutely," said Lemonidis.

Dunn's account of the gas station shooting contradicts JSO's findings that teenagers were unarmed. Lemonidis did not comment on why Dunn fired eight or nine rounds into the victim's car, but only that her client did not cause the altercation that led to the shooting over loud music.

"By asking politely a fellow citizen of this world 'would you mind turning that down' in that tone of voice, if that's precipitating violence, then we are all in trouble," says Lemonidis.

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Dunn's attorney also did not answer questions on why he and his girlfriend fled the scene without calling police.

"I think that at this time the best thing for us to say is that we will have our day in court and all of the evidence will come out and we are confident that Mr. Dunn will have shown to have been acting appropriately under the circumstances."

Dunn's girlfriend is not facing any charges, but State Prosecutor Mark Caliel says if there are any further charges, they will be filed once the investigation is complete.

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