It appears that Michael Dunn will be retried for the murder of Jordan Davis in Jacksonville FL. He will not be proceeding with same Florida criminal attorney that represented him in this case for over a year. A jury convicted Michael Dunn “on four charges related to the November 2012 death of Jordan Davis, 17. Jurors did not reach a verdict on one count of first-degree murder.” Michael Dunn’s attorney filed a motion for a new trial for the attempted murder convictions. Duval County Judge Russell Healey denied his motion for a new trial. Since the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict on count one murder, Dunn will have a new trial on that count only.
Cory Strolla is the south Florida attorney that originally represented Dunn in this murder case. First Coast News stated, “Strolla said Monday he will not be representing Dunn in a re-trial. The Florida Times-Union reports Strolla is leaving because Dunn is broke and can no longer pay him.” When you hire a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, you usually sign a fee agreement with the attorney. Most Jacksonville criminal attorney-client contracts include a section that discusses the event of a retrial. If a retrial is necessary, another retainer fee is normally due. While retrials are rare, they do occur. In this case, a retrial is necessary because of the hung jury.
Which Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer is going to represent Michael Dunn in his second murder trial? An attorney at the public defender’s office in Duval County will not be representing Dunn. This is because “there’s possible conflict with the public defender’s office because it represented witnesses in the case.” Instead, Waffa Hanania from the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel will be taking over Dunn’s representation. Hanania is a seasoned and knowledgeable homicide attorney. She spent years at the Office of the Public Defender in Duval County before moving to the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel. Despite her extensive experience, she will need ample time to prepare for this trial. She will need time to review transcripts and evidence. She will want to speak to witnesses herself. She may want to hire her own expert witnesses. This means that Dunn’s retrial may not occur as soon as it would have had Strolla still been the criminal defense lawyer on the case.
“Dunn is scheduled to be back in court March 24 to set a sentencing date. He faces at least 60 years in prison.” We do not know if Dunn will actually be sentenced or if the sentencing hearing will be postponed until after the retrial. Attorney “Strolla did file a motion to delay Dunn’s sentencing on the guilty verdicts, but that motion was put on hold until another hearing on Friday. Healey indicated he needed more time to reach a decision.” Read Florida Criminal Attorney Requests Extension in Dunn Sentencing for more information about the Dunn’s motion to continue the sentencing hearing.