Jury divided, Judge declares mistrial in Gary Dunn Murder Trial

    10:23 PM, May 1, 2010   |    comments
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    Here is a recap of what happened in court all three days of deliberation:

    Saturday, jurors began the third day of deliberation at 10 a.m., but after 3-hours they returned to the court room, the jury foreman stated they were still at a deadlock.

    Like earlier this week there have been several obstacles.

    The defense made closing arguments, making it sound more like murder victim, Nona Dirksmeyer's boyfriend Kevin Jones was back on trial. They reminded the jury it was Jones' bloody palm print on the lamp found near Dirksmeyers body.

    Prosecutors countered expert testimony that the person who beat and stabbed Dirksmeyer is right handed, saying that it doesn't clear Dunn who is left handed. They stated he could have held her down with his dominant hand.

    The condom wrapper found in Dirksmeyer's Russellville apartment has been an important part of the investigation, but the State Crime Lab testified they didn't find any DNA evidence linked either man to more than a dozen items.

    The jury went into deliberations at 3:30 Thursday afternoon, but just an hour in Judge Bill Pearson called them back and replaced one juror with an alternate without any explanation.

    Deliberation had to be started over when a third juror was replaced, leaving one alternate remaining.

    They resumed behind closed doors as a packed court house waited for a verdict.

    Instead, jurors sent a question to the judge asking "If no verdict is reached, does G. Dunn simply go free or is he subject to being tried again?"

    The note also questioned if the accusation of Dunn's previous conviction for assaulting a jogger, which wasn't supposed to be mentioned in the trial can't be considered to establish behavior?

    The jury was dismissed for a second night after the jury foreman said they were divided.

    At that point the defense asked for a mistrial, but it wasn't granted. Judge Pearson instructed jurors saying it's in the defendants and states best interest to come up with a verdict. He continued saying it's the jurors obligation to make every effort without rendering their belief.

    That brings us back to Saturday
    Within 3-hours Judge Pearson declared a mistrial because jurors couldn't reach a unanimous decision.

    He explained a new trial will be scheduled and the gag order is still in place for all parties involved in the case.

    Until then, 30-year-old Gary Dunn will remain behind bars. He can not post bail because of the capital murder charge.

    Judge Pearson concluded by thanking everyone for their time in the past 3-weeks and shaking hands with prosecutors and the defense.

    Attorney's packed weeks of paperwork in their cars while Gary Dunn's family, Nona Dirksmeyer's parents and Kevin Jones mom left quietly out of separate exits.

    But Dunn's fate still remains unknown as he is once again escorted out of the court house in hand cuffs to await a new trial.

    Dunn lived upstairs from Dirksmeyer who was found dead in her apartment in 2005. In 2007, her boyfriend Kevin Jones was tried for her murder, but acquitted.

    For more information on all the events that happened during the three-weeks of trial, click on the links under the picture.


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