Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Good afternoon to all of our friends:
Duvall County Judge Russell L. Healey is the third judge to handle the Michael Dunn case.
Scott Butler of the Florida Times-Union has the story:
A second judge has removed herself from the high-profile Jacksonville murder trial of Michael David Dunn, charged with killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music.
Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper had been appointed in May following the defense team’s request for Judge Suzanne Bass to step down due to concerns for a fair trial.
Bass denied him bail, refused a motion to have the state declare him indigent and pushed to have the trial in September even though his attorneys said it was unrealistic. Defense attorney Cory Strolla also said Bass failed to control her courtroom, including warning the victim’s father about his outburst, the Times-Union previously reported.
Cooper was replaced by Circuit Judge Russell Healey, court records show.
I previously wrote about the first and only hearing so far before Judge Healey. He denied Dunn’s motions seeking reconsideration of Judge Bass’s denial of bail, denial of indigency status, and denial of a motion to continue the trial date.
DISCLOSURE: Although Judge Healey and I were members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers when I was a member of the Board of Directors, I do not recall his name. It is possible that I may have met him during our midwinter meeting in Jacksonville in the late 90s, or at one or more of our other meetings, but I do not recall doing so. Therefore, I have no opinion about him.
The odd thing about Judge Healey’s appointment is that he is not a Circuit Court Judge. He is a Duvall County judge and I do not believe county judges can preside over felony trials without some sort of special appointment and or the consent of both parties to the case.
Could the Dunn case be the case that no circuit court judge wants to handle because of its high profile and possible voter backlash from the verdict?
Why Judge Healey?
Does not appear that he has any experience presiding over any felony trial, let alone a high profile felony trial.
Did he volunteer for this duty?
Who in their right mind would volunteer for a baptism by fire?
This oddity does not inspire confidence that the outcome of this trial will not be rigged.
Zoom has the skinny on Judge Healey.
Russell L. Healey was a law partner for 14 years in Mahon, Mahon & Healey, P.A. where he practiced criminal law specializing in marital and family law.
He was a board certified Marital and Family Law attorney and a former member of the Jacksonville Planning Commission.
Before joining Mahon & Mahon, he worked in private practice with Tassone and Healey after serving as an assistant state attorney and state attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida in Jacksonville.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of South Florida, a JD degree from the University of Florida and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981.
Before becoming a Duvall County judge in 2002, he was a member of the American Bar and Florida Bar Associations, the National and Florida Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Association of Trial Lawyers.
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Fred and Crane-Station