|Published:||Nov 28, 2012 12:00 AM EST|
|Updated:||Nov 27, 2012 4:46 PM EST|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The jury has reached a verdict in the Robert Dunn murder trial. Dunn was accused of shooting and killing his estranged wife Christine in 2008 at a Cape Coral day care where she worked.
He was found guilty of first degree murder, burglary while armed, and child abuse.
The jury deliberated for about 3 hours before reaching a decision.
We've been live blogging from inside the courtroom where Dunn was on trial.
10:21 A.M. - Judge Margaret Steinbeck has just delivered the Final Jury instructions packet to the attorneys to read over before the packet is given to the Jury.
10:32 A.M. - An incorrect word on the jury instructions has forced a short recess while the Judge Margaret Steinbeck and her staff manually correct the problem. As the judge was going over the instruction packet with the attorneys, it was discovered on one of the final pages, the word "information" was substituted for the word "indictment." All copies of the instructions had to be corrected. Court has since resumed.
11:19 A.M. - The Judge continues to read, (along with the jury), the verdict instructions. When the reading is complete, the jury will be sent back into the jury room to begin deliberations.
11:31 A.M. - Judge Margaret Steinbeck is preparing to dismiss the three alternate jurors. 15 jurors sat through all of the evidence and testimony but only 12 will deliberate Robert Dunn's guilt or innocence. The three extras are chosen just in case a juror cannot complete the trial for whatever reason.
11:42 a.m. - The jurors have been sent to deliberate.
1:30 P.M. - Jurors have sent a note to the judge stating that several of them need a smoke break. Judge Steinbeck is instructing the jurors to stop deliberating at this time. She is sending those in need of a smoke break out with a deputy.
2:10 P.M. - Jury deliberations continues...
2:15 P.M. - The jury has sent a question to the judge, "could you give me the legal definition of burglary." The judge is going to provide a written response.
3:01 p.m. - Jurors found Dunn guilty of 1st Degree Murder, child abuse and of burglary.
3:08 p.m. - Brenner is asking for a polling of the jury. He wants to know who voted for PREMEDITATED 1st degree and who voted for FELONY 1st degree murder.
3:09 P.M. - After returning a GUILTY verdict on all counts in the Robert Dunn murder trial, the jury is being polled by Judge Steinbeck. The question, "is this your verdict and the verdict of the jury as a whole." All have answered "yes." The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled for December 3rd.
8:55 a.m. - Court resumes. Dunn has undergone mental evaluations by 2 doctors over the 1-week break. Judge Margaret Steinbeck wants to take another recess to give the defendant time to review the results. The jury has not been brought in yet this morning.
9:18 a.m. - Dr. Douglas Shadle takes the stand. He is one of the doctors appointed by the court to evaluate Dunn mentally. Shadle testifies that he evaluated the defendant Friday, and Dunn indicated he felt he was competent to proceed with the trial. Dr. Robert Silver, the second to evaluate Dunn mentally, also takes the stand. Both doctors believe Dunn to be competent to go on with the trial.
9:23 a.m. - Having found Dunn competent, Judge M. Steinbeck revisits last week's question of whether Dunn would like to change his plea. Last week, the defendant indicated he wanted to plead "guilty." Today, Dunn says he does not want to change his plea anymore, but would rather represent himself in the penalty phase -- if there is one. He says this is based on his defense team's performance.
9:54 a.m. - The court is discussing instructions for the jury regarding giving a verdict. Dunn's defense team wants a special verdict form where jurors indicate whether they find Dunn guilty or innocent of 1st degree murder, but also indicate what kind of murder,
such as pre-meditated or felony murder. Defense says this will allow for lenience in sentencing. State prosecutors do not want to deviate from the general verdict form to avoid jury confusion. Judge M. Steinbeck sides with prosecutors on this matter.
10:28 a.m. - The court is still discussing the instructions the jury will use to reach its verdict on the 3 charges Dunn faces. The judge, defense team, and state prosecutors are currently talking about wording regarding the burglary charge.
10:54 a.m. - Court is taking a 10-minute break.
11:20 a.m. - The prosecution and defense continue going over the jury instructions with the judge. They are discussing the exact wording of the charges
the jury will read to reach a verdict on each one. The defense has made several objections to wording, and Judge M. Steinbeck has overruled many of them.
Noon - Discussing the wording for the child abuse charge, and now the defense and state are talking about the instructions on the verdict form for
Robert Dunn's not guilty plea. The court plans to break for lunch soon, and return at 1:30 with the jury present for closing arguments.
Attorneys will be back at 1:00 p.m. to get copies of the jury instruction packets. The jury is to be here at 1:30 p.m. to begin closing arguements.
1:30 p.m. - Judge met with attorneys and will now having a brief recess to work on the verdict form.The court is planning to recess by 5:30 p.m. The defense wants two hours for closing arguments.The judge plants to finalize the jury instructions overnight and submit it to the jury in the morning for deliberation. The jury should be brought in momentarily.
2:00 p.m. - The jury was brought back briefly after a lunch recess. They're on another short recess while the judge discusses the verdict
forms with lawyers. Verdict instructions will be given prior to closing arguments.
2:20 p.m. - Judge is going over the verdict form. Closing arguments should begin shortly. The prosecution will go first, followed by the defense, with the state getting the last word before court is recessed tonight. The judge expects closing arguments to take approximately 4 hours. She will sequester the jury during deliberations Tuesday. They have been instructed to plan to spend the night, so as not to have outside communication while they come up with a verdict.
2:27 p.m. - The state says, "When is this going to stop?" referring to the defense continuing to question some of the jury instructions. They have
settled on all instructions. Closing arguments about to begin. The judge says each side may need about two hours for closing. Jurors asked if it will be a problem for them to stay until 6:30. They are all fine with it. Jurors will come back in the morning to hear more instructions and then will begin deliberations. Jurors asked to come in tomorrow planning to spend the night, sequestered, in a hotel, if their deliberation takes that long. The judge wants the jurors to be prepared and pack and overnight bag for tomorrow in case it is needed.
2:23 p.m. - Closing arguments begin. Prosecutor says Robert Dunn shot his wife in front of children and their own 2-year-old daughter at the Bobbie Noonan Daycare Center. Prosecutor begins by saying "Not only did he kill her, but he carefully planned it out."
2:34 p.m. - Prosecutor has shown jurors diagrams and photos of the Bobbie Noonan Daycare Center, as well as a receipt for bullets purchased by Robert Dunn days before the shooting, and the alleged murder weapon. She's taking jurors back through the events of January 25, 2008 starting with when Dunn fired the gun on the playground, before going inside and shooting Christine Lozier-Dunn. "The fact that the gun discharged through that fence is significant. Why is that significant? The defendant knows the gun is loaded. It has just discharged onto a playground."
2:49 p.m. - Jurors have again been shown the small daycare bathroom covered in blood after the Christine was shot and killed. Prosecutors are referencing testimony from other daycare teachers as well as an 11-year-old girl who testified Robert Dunn shot the gun inches from her face twice. Prosecutors say he left and came back to check the body.
3:30 p.m. - Court is in a short recess. Prosecutors have finished the first part of closing arguments. In 15 minutes, when the trial resumes, the defense will have its turn to sum up the evidence. Prosecutors again showed jurors a photograph of the victim's wounds, two bullet holes in the neck. She ended by asking jurors to use common sense, saying this is not a case of who done it and to find Robert Dunn guilty of first degree murder, armed robbery, and child abuse.
3:50 p.m. - Defense begins its closing arguments by calling the prosecution's claims "preposterous." Defense attorneys say evidence does not prove that Dunn planned to kill his wife. She said there was no evidence saying what he did earlier in the day on January 25th. Defense attorneys say the day was chaotic and that first responders didn't know what was going on. She even referenced how they shot at another man's tires as he was pulling out of the daycare center, because they didn't know who the suspect was.
4:40 p.m. - The defense is continuing its closing arguments. Defense attorney Tracey Redd calls the case tragic, but says it is not clear what
happened in that day care. Of one of the witnesses, Redd says "how can you know what happened if you can't see the gun?" Defense says there is no proof that he went to the day care with the intent to kill his wife, or that he had a motive to kill her. The prosecution will have a chance for a rebuttal after the defense wraps up.
5:20 p.m. - Prosecutors present their rebuttal arguments now.They say drinking alcohol is not a defense for Dunn, can possibly explain some of his actions, but not a defense.The state goes back over the evidence that this shooting was premeditated because of the quick purchase of the gun and the admonition that was found. The state asks if the evidence that Dunn's lawyers say wasn't tested really make a difference in this case because it's not a "who done it" crime.
6:00 p.m. - Closing arguments have concluded. The judge denied another defense request for a mistrial. The jury has been instructed to come back at 9:30 Tuesday morning to begin deliberations. Prosecutors ended by saying there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence that the murder was pre-meditated and that Robert Dunn was "on a mission" the day he killed his wife Christine. Prosecutor Bob Lee said "His young child was right there. He was focused right there on killing."
8:42 a.m. - After attorney David Brener tells the court the defense plans to rest and Robert Dunn WILL NOT testify, Judge Margaret Steinbeck asks Dunn is that what he wanted to do and says, "Judge, I want to testify." David Brener looked over at Dunn, shocked. Dunn says he HAD NOT discussed this with his attorneys.
9:30 a.m. - After nearly a 45 minute break, the jury has been ushered back into the courtroom. During the break, defense attorneys, David Brener, Tracey Redd have been talking to Robert Dunn about his blockbuster announcement that he wanted to testify. When Dunn was escorted back into the courtroom he made another bombshell announcement, he no longer wanted to testify, instead, he wanted to plead guilty to all charges. The judge did not accept the plea.
9:51 a.m. - Judge Margaret Steinbeck has denied the defense's motion for a mistrial. At the moment she is ruling on a motion for acquittal.
10:10 a.m. - Judge Margaret Steinbeck has recessed the court for 30 minutes while defense attorney's confer with defendant Robert Dunn on his statement to the court that he now wishes to plead guilty on all charges. The request came after another recess when Dunn told the court he wanted to testify, unbeknown to his attorney.
10:46 a.m. - Court back in session. The jury is not present. Dunn says he still wants to plead guilty to all charges despite NOT being offered a deal from the State. He could still face the death penalty. His attorney's have advised him that this is an gross error in judgement.
11:07 a.m. - After making two shocking statements in court, defense attorney has asked for a "stay" in the current proceedings to have Robert Dunn evaluated by a mental professional. Dunn originally said he wanted to testify in his capital murder case. His attorneys discouraged that and then Dunn said that he wanted to plead guilty to all charges. The judge has yet to decide on whether to take Dunn plea.
11:15 a.m. - Judge has agreed that there are some competency issues regarding Mr. Dunn and the irrational behavior he has exhibited in court this morning. She is ordering Robert Dunn to be evaluated as early as possible. The court will arrange the evaluation. The jury is likely to be sent home and told to return next Monday.
1:06 p.m. - The judge is ordering two medical exams this week at the jail.
1:24 p.m. - The judge is telling the jury that they are being dismissed until Monday at 1:30 and they should expect to hear closing arguments. They will be able to deliberate on Tuesday.
1:45 p.m. - The court is in recess until Monday, November 26th.
8:50 a.m. - Court in session. Attorneys discussing scheduling as we draw closer to the Thanksgiving holiday. If there is a penalty phase, Judge Margaret Steinbeck says it will begin the week of the 26th. Today on the stand, Prosecutor Bob Lee says, the pawn shop owner where Dunn allegedly purchased the murder weapon.
9:14 A.M. - After a brief recess, court is back in session. Dr. Mark Schuman, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Christine Dunn is on the stand under cross examination from the defense.
9:40 A.M. - Dr. Mark Schuman remains on the stand under cross examination. He is testifying that as a result of the gunshot wounds sustained by Christine Dunn, she may have died within minutes. Robert Dunn is seated at the defense desk staring straight ahead, his head resting on his left hand.
10:07 A.M. - Dr. Mark Schuman remains on the stand under cross examination... the jury is intently taking notes as the listen to the testimony. Defendant Robert Dunn sits on the opposite side of the courtroom in a dark suit, emotionless, not looking at the witness.
10:44 A.M. - Cape Coral crime scene investigator on the stand describing "spent and intact bullets" found at the scene of the daycare in the parking lot.
11:00 a.m. - As testimony continues from a member of Cape Coral police department's CSI unit, the defense objects to a photograph of a bullet casing on a bloody floor, (presumably from the bathroom where Christine Dunn was murdered), being shown on a large video screen. The judge sustains the objection and the photo is handed to the jury to be individually inspected.
11:18 a.m. - Jury being shown photos taken by crime scene technicians who searched Robert Dunn's home in the wake of the shooting. There is a box of bullets and the box that contained the gun Dunn allegedly used in the shooting inside the washing machine of the home.
NOON - Jury has been dismissed for lunch while courtroom activity continues. The defense is arguing that divorce papers that the State has just introduced are unnecessary and irrelevant to the murder case. The Prosecutors say the papers could show a state of mind of the defendant.
1:30 p.m. - The jury has not brought back in yet, but court proceedings have resumed. Prosecutors are arguing for the admittance of divorce documents. Specifically, the state wants an intent for income deduction order to be allowed. The order is dated January 21st, 4 days before the alleged murder. The state says it should be allowed because it was dated the same week as the homicide and was referenced by Robert Dunn in his interview with investigators. According to prosecutors, Dunn told investigators he hated lawyers and that his wife Christine Lozier-Dunn was trying to take his money.
1:45 p.m. - Judge allows the state to introduce documents. Jury is being brought in from lunch recess.
2:00 p.m. - Testimony resumes with Jacqueline Caron, a Crime Scene Investigator with the Cape Coral Police Department on the stand.
2:15 p.m. - The crime scene investigator is being cross-examined by Dunn's defense attorneys. They're trying to prove Dunn hid a gun box and ammunition in a washing machine to keep it away from his 2-year-old daughter's reach, and not because he was trying to conceal evidence. The investigator discovered the gun box and bullets while serving a warrant at Dunn's home after the shooting.
2:45 p.m. - Brian Pfeiffer has been called to testify. He is a pawn broker who sold Robert Dunn a gun in January 2008 while working at Larry's Pawn on Cape Coral Parkway.
2:50 p.m. - Jurors have just learned Robert Dunn sold his wedding band to Larry's Pawn in December 2007 to purchase the 9 MM handgun a month later in January 2008.
3:05 p.m. - Court has taken a 15 minute recess. Attorneys have finished questioning of pawn broker. State will call another witness when court resumes.
3:42 p.m. - Court has resumed after a short recess. David Close, the manager at Larry's Pawn shop is on the witness stand. We expect the state to show a video recording of Dunn purchasing the 9 MM Kel Tek firearm.
4:00 p.m. - The State has rested.
1:35 p.m. - Cape Coral Police Department's Forensic Specialist Elizabeth Lansky on the stand. Testifying about the items she found at the scene. This includes several bullets and bullet casings. Also, a dark colored hat that was found in the parking lot. Witnesses have described seeing a "white male with a dark hat on" outside the daycare moments before the shooting.
1:50 p.m. - Cape Coral Police Department's Forensic Specialist Elizabeth Lansky remains on the stand. As she discusses collecting evidence on the scene, Robert Dunn continues to watch procee
- Person of interest in Lehigh Acres killings spotted in SC
- Gov. Scott wants to cut auto registration fees
- 3-year-old allegedly sets Cape Coral apartment fire
- LCSO investigates North Ft. Myers homicide
- Retired NFL player becomes head coach for NFMHS football
- Suspect cuts Punta Gorda horse's mane
- Fla man jailed after losing $100 in card game
- Woman allegedly caught on camera taking wallet, using card
- Lee-DOH reports 5 raccoon bites in less than 3 weeks
- Bike run to benefit Toys for Tots this Saturday