Category Archives: Robert Dunn

Robert Dunn trial, 11/14: Jury Selection Complete

Rob Spicker reports on Twitter (@RobSpickerWINK) that the jury has been sworn in the Dunn trial, and opening statements will be this afternoon.  Crimcourts won’t be able to attend, but I will try to track down a story on it. #robertdunn

Robert Dunn, 11/12: UPDATE

Jury selection is continuing in the Robert Dunn – Bobbie Noonan Day Care murder trial.  The courthouse is closed today, but the judge and attorneys will be back at it on Tuesday.  This means the jury selection has now been going on for a full month.  Again, it makes sense to spend as much time as needed on the jury selection, so that it doesn’t have to be redone at a second trial.  #daycarekilling

UPDATE: the News-Press has done at article on the jury seleciton, to date: http://t.co/XuyS6DYd  I hear they are hoping to comclude jury selection this week, but that’s obviously very up in the air…

Robert Dunn, 11/7

According to Wink’s Rob Spicker, the Dunn trial has moved toe the second part of the jury selection.  That is, a panel of jurors who were not disqualified by previous knowledge from the media coverage are now being questioned to see who is actually on the jury.  There are probably about 60 jurors on the panel now, which is a lot for a non-serious case, but still may not be enough to seat a death-qualified jury. #robertdunn

Robert Dunn trial jury selection continues

Alleged Day Care Killer Robert Dunn

I was able to stop by and peek in briefly on the jury selection today: it was remarkably like the first day of jury selection.  Several dozen jurors were brought in this afternoon, and broken down into smaller groups for individual questioning.  The publicity this case has received is making it difficult to find jurors who do not have any preconceptions about the facts of the case.  Recall the Fred Cooper case that went to trial here a few years ago (The Gateway murders case).  A jury was sworn and the trial took place, only to have to be retried when it came out that the jurors had let outside coverage influence their deliberations on the case.  Legend also has it they ran up an incredible bar tab while they were sequestered, but I don’t have any documentation of that!  The difficulty in finding a jury will extend the expected length of this trial… I suspect a month or more would not be out of the question, if they are able to empanel a jury.

Aside

Jury Selection is continuing slowly in the Robert Dunn Day Care Killing trial.  They are referring to it in court as the Bobbie Noonan Day Care Murder case.  The attorneys didn’t get through as many potential jurors today as they … Continue reading

Robert Dunn trial appears to be a ‘go’ for tomorrow

The clerk hasn’t update the abstract yet, but according to Judge Margaret Steinbeck’s calendar, the Robert Dunn / Cape Coral Day Care Killing trial is slated to start tomorrow morning.  The State is seeking the Death Penalty for pre-meditated, First Degree Murder.  Mr. Dunn allegedly shot his estranged wife in front her class of small children.  The State has charged both pre-meditated murder and felony murder, that is: that the murder occurred in the course of a burglary.  If either of those aggravators are proven, he can be convicted of the capital offense of First Degree Murder, and therefore be subject to the death penalty.

The State has also charged him with Armed Burglary, and Child Abuse, for committing murder with a firearm in proximity to the aforesaid children.  These other offenses are among the aggravators that the State will use to say the death penalty is appropriate.

Day Care Killing case set for trial this week

Alleged Day Care Killer Robert Dunn

According to witnesses, on Jan. 25, 2008, Robert Dunn walked into the day care where his estranged wife worked, and shot her to death in front of the children she cared for.  Louise Zoller wrested the firearm away from him, but not until fatal shots had been fired.  An injunction had been previously entered against Mr. Dunn, prohibiting him from contacting the ex, Bobbie Noonan, or to go to her place of employment.

The state is seeking the death penalty in his first degree murder case, which is set for trial this week.  Trial call is on Monday, which will be a preliminary hearing to see if there’s any reason the trial shouldn’t proceed, probably on Tuesday.  There’s always the possibility of a last-minute continuance, but buzz around the courthouse is that the case should begin on Tuesday with Jury selection, and last at least until next week.

In a fascinating peek into the Defense planning for the case, Mr. Dunn filed a motion to have his attorney removed from the case.  That’s not unusual, but what is unusual is that his motion described his theory of the case.  According to Mr. Dunn, he was unloading the weapon (making it safe) when Ms. Zoller took it and accidentally killed Ms. Noonan.  This is rather far-fetched.  Dunn’s attorney David Brener apparently declined to proceed under this theory of defense, and according to Dunn, admonished him for wanting to go after “the hero.” In spite of Mr. Brener’s wise counsel, Dunn wished to proceed under that theory, and tried to have Brener taken off the case in order to do so.  His request was denied at hearing.

While the motion will not prevent Mr. Brener from proceeding on a more logical defense theory, it will prevent Mr.Dunn from taking the stand and trying to tell a different story, now that he has given his version of events.  He could try to change the story, but he will have zero credibility.  Such are the difficulties of “allegedly” being caught red-handed after committing a crime in front of multiple witnesses.  This may not be a case where Dunn has a shot at getting off, and it may take an exceptional effort by Brener to keep his client out of the electric chair, as the case is strong.  Perhaps a lesser-charge can be obtained, but it certainly looks like premeditated murder when if he obtained a weapon, went to her place of work when he wasn’t allowed to go there, and blew her away.  Mr. Dunn’s iffy mental state will certainly be an issue, if not for guilt, then for mitigation at the death-penalty stage of the case, if it goes that far.

Crimcourts will have updates as the case progresses.  The last couple of times the State has sought the death penalty in the 20th Circuit, they were able to convict the Defendants (Fred Cooper in the Gateway murders, Kemar Johnson in the Cash Fienz murders, and the Justin Grodin baby murder)  of First Degree Murder, but were unable to secure death sentences.  The last death penalty handed down in Lee County was Mark Twilegar in 2007.  #robertdunn