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Charged With Murder, Lakeland City Comissioner Michael Dunn Resigns

Oct 23, 2018

Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn has resigned less than four days after a grand jury indicted him on charges of second-degree murder.

His wife hand-delivered his resignation letter to City Hall Monday afternoon. Dunn, who was less than one year into his four-year term representing Southwest Lakeland, remains in the Polk County jail without bond.

In the four-sentence letter, Dunn thanked residents for allowing him to serve.

"It is with a heavy heart that I submit this letter to you," it read. "Being born and raised in Lakeland, this city means a great deal to me and always will."

The commission is holding a special meeting on Friday, where they will likely decide on Dunn's temporary replacement. State law requires a special election to be held within the next 90 days.

Dunn stands accused of murdering 50-year-old Christobal Lopez at his Vets Army and Navy Surplus store near Downtown Lakeland. Police said Lopez was attempting to shoplift a hatchet from the store. Video surveillance released shows Dunn confronting Lopez, who appears to be attempting to flee the store when he is shot and killed.

Dunn's lawyers are arguing that he feared for his life and should be released from jail, but Polk County State Attorney Brian Haas says he does not believe the shooting qualifies as self defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law.