Murder case of former Lakeland commissioner to be heard in court

Hillsborough County
MICHAEL DUNN MUG_1540040226063.jpg.jpg

The murder case of a former Lakeland city commissioner accused of shooting and killing a man at his store will be heard in court Friday. 

Michael Dunn is on house arrest as he awaits trial after the shooting was caught on camera back in October. Dunn resigned from his position shortly after the incident. 

He ran from reporters and chose not to answer questions after being released from jail shortly after his arrest. 

He’s now facing a second-degree murder charge. 

The shooting was caught on camera at Dunn’s military surplus store in Lakeland. Police say he shot and killed Cristobal Lopez after Lopez tried to steal a $15 hatchet from the store. 

Dunn says he felt threatened and claimed Lopez lifted the hatchet toward him.

The former commissioner didn’t tolerate shoplifters. According to court documents, he told investigators he’s chased down shoplifters in the past.

Lopez was homeless and, according to an autopsy report, his blood alcohol level at the time of his death was four times the legal limit for driving. 

Dunn is represented by Mark O’Mara, a high-profile attorney who defended George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin near Orlando. 

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