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Judge Delays Decision On Dunn Change Of Venue; Jury Selection Will Take Place In Jax

Sep 11, 2014
Originally published on September 11, 2014 1:57 pm

Attorneys for Michael Dunn will have to wait a little longer to find out if his second murder trial will stay in Jacksonville.

Circuit Judge Russell Healey told the court Thursday he would not make a decision on whether to move the second trial of Michael Dunn until attorneys have a chance to search for impartial jurors in Jacksonville.

"We'll do the best we can and see where we go," Healey said. "Time has passed since the last case and so, for the general public it's out of their mind."

Dunn is accused of murder in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn has argued that he acted in self-defense during the confrontation with the teen in a Southside Jacksonville gas station.

During Thursday's hearing, the judge granted several other defense motions, including a ruling prohibiting the term “victim” when referring to Jordan Davis and another that would prevent those in attendance from wearing anything showing support for either party.

Healey also reviewed a motion from the defense to order letters and calls made by Dunn from jail in the months following the shooting as inadmissible. However, Healey denied that motion calling it too broad. He said the defense can object to any letters or phone calls introduced into evidence on a case by case basis.

Healey also ruled that once selected, jurors would be sequestered.

He said that a juror's knowledge of the case does not necessarily disqualify them.

"It doesn’t mean you have to get a jury that knew absolutely nothing about the case," he told attorneys. "They just have to not have formed a fixed opinion one way or another about the case."

Jury selection is set to begin September 22.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.

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