|By: 174. The sacramento Bee | Date: May 12, 2010 |
|Dunn jury ends 8th day in death penalty deliberations
By Andy Furillo
Jurors in the Aaron Norman Dunn murder case today completed more than
eight days of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the penalty
phase of the convicted spree killer's trial.
The panel took a little more than one day to return first-degree murder
convictions April 13 against Dunn for the shooting deaths of Michael
John Daly, 45, and Jon Johnson, 46. The two were shot down while out
with their families in Elk Grove.
Dunn, 33, also was convicted of trying to kill four other people the
night of the March 25, 2006, shootings. Police and prosecutors, as well
as his defense attorneys, said Dunn was distraught over the breakup of
his marriage and his estranged wife going out with other men.
Jurors haven't had any more questions for Sacramento Superior Court
Judge Michael W. Sweet since they asked last week whether they could
consider remorse as an aggravating factor in the case.
A Sacramento jury has not sentenced a defendant to death since April
25, 2007, when a panel recommended capital punishment in a penalty
phase retrial for James Leslie Karis Jr.
Karis, a paroled rapist, had been convicted and sentenced in 1982 for
the kidnap-murder of a woman in Placerville. His trial had been moved
to Sacramento from El Dorado County because of pre-trial publicity.
The last death penalty murder sentence in Sacramento that also included
a guilt phase in the trial was returned on Dec. 21, 2006 against Joseph
Moreno Aguayo for the kidnap, rape and murder of a woman in 1979.
Both Karis and Aguayo are on California's death row.
|By: 174. patti mathews | Date: May 10, 2010 |
|love to you all
|By: 172. Diane McGarry | Date: May 10, 2010 |
|For those keeping track of the penalty phase in this horrendous trial, the jury got the case on Thursday April 29th about 3pm PST. So far they have not been able to produce a verdict. At some point last week they asked the judge if they could see the shotgun, and they also asked him if they could consider remorse (or lack thereof) a factor when considering the penalty.
The judge responded that they could consider remorse in their deliberations if they felt the defendant showed no remorse at the crime scene. And he told them to let him know if they wanted to see the shotgun again. They had seen it early on in the guilt phase of the trial, and they were shown exactly what it took to shoot, reload, and shoot again...eight times the night of the shooting spree.
Dave and Kris, and Mo have been standing by waiting for the jury to come in with their verdict. The only decision to be made is a choice between life without parole or death. This must be a very difficult and intense decision for the twelve who pronounced him guilty of first degree murder in both counts, and attempted murder in five of six counts. They have deliberated for more than seven full days, and they will be back again on Tuesday morning.
I wish them well in their deliberations.
|By: 171. The Sacramento Bee | Date: May 5, 2010 |
|Dunn death-penalty jurors ask if lack of remorse is factor
By Andy Furillo
Jurors have now completed more than three days of deliberations without deciding whether Aaron Norman Dunn should get the death penalty for shooting two men to death during a March 25, 2006, rampage in Elk Grove.
The six-man, six-woman panel did send a question to Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet late in its deliberations today asking whether it could consider Dunn's lack of remorse as an aggravating factor in deciding whether to impose the ultimate term.
In his response to the jury's question, Sweet wrote to the jury that it could consider it as a factor in aggravation if the panel found that Dunn exhibited a lack of remorse at the crime scene. Witnesses testified at trial that after the second of his two fatal shootings, Dunn held his shotgun with both hands over his head in celebration.
Sweet also told the jury it could not consider any evidence of his lack of remorse after the crime as an aggravating factor, but that it "may make remorse unavailable as a mitigating factor."
Deputy District Attorney Scott Triplett chided Dunn during his closing argument for his lack of remorse throughout the case, while defense lawyers Amy Rogers and Hayes Gable III did not offer remorse as a mitigating factor on behalf of their client.
The jury convicted Dunn, 33, on April 13 of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders for the killings of cameraman Jon Johnson, 46, and Xerox salesman Michael John Daly, 45.
The jury also found Dunn guilty of trying to kill four other people in the spree that was set off by his rage over the breakup of his marriage.
The panel has been deliberating since Thursday afternoon whether to sentence Dunn to death or to life in prison with no chance of parole.
|By: 170. t. daly | Date: May 3, 2010 |
|Our judicial process does not seat jurors in capital murder cases that would object to the imposition of the death penalty. So what the Jury is doing in the penalty phase of deliberations in the Laguna Boulevard murders in Elk Grove in 2006, that claimed the lives of Jon Johnson and Mike Daly, has been nothing less than profound. It is their given task, imposed on them by the State of California to choose the penalty of death or the possibility of life in prison without parole. It is now their sole task to condemn Aaron Dunn to death or send him to prison for the rest of his life. That they have now taken three days to talk about this amongst themselves speaks to what a horrible imposition this is placed on their conscience for the rest of their own natural lives.
The State in our name wants twelve of its citizens to choose death, a sentence that most certainly will not occur in the jurors own lifetimes. So they would condemn a man to death, an outcome that will not take place until a generation or more has passed, and the responsibility of putting this man to death will be carried out by someone possibly yet unborn who will have no stake in what occurred that horrible night. Their thoughtful consideration of what they are about to do should be entertained by all of us. It is probably the most important decision they will ever make. I appreciate that this jury heard the evidence and convicted this man for what he did do to two outstanding men, loving fathers and husbands, brothers and friends, and what he also did to countless family members. Should they choose death for Aaron Dunn it will be largely symbolic and won’t mean anymore that the life in prison he will surely serve.
My hope is that they are resolved through thoughful process, to do what they think is right.
|By: 169. The Sacramento Bee | Date: May 1, 2010 |
|The Sacramento Bee
April 30, 2010
No verdict from death-penalty jury on Elk Grove spree killer
By Andy Furillo
Jurors went home today without reaching a decision in the penalty phase of the Aaron Norman Dunn murder trial.
The six-man, six-woman panel began deliberations Thursday on whether Dunn should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole for the March 25, 2006, shotgun spree-shooting deaths of Michael John Daly, 45, and Jon Johnson, in Elk Grove.
Dunn, 33, was convicted April 13 on two counts of first-degree murder. He also was convicted of trying to kill four other people, including two Elk Grove police officers, in his drug-fueled rampage on a Saturday night on Laguna Boulevard.
The jury is scheduled to resume deliberations Monday in Sacramento Superior Court.
|By: 168. Diane McGarry | Date: May 1, 2010 |
|Hi All, The jury went home for the weekend without reaching a decision on the verdict. This must be a very difficult decision for them. And they need to be unanimous. They will reconvene on Monday at 9AM PST. Diane
|By: 167. The Sacramento Bee | Date: Apr 30, 2010 |
|By Andy Furillo
Published: Friday, Apr. 30, 2010
Six men and six woman walked out of a Sacramento courtroom Thursday with grim looks on their faces and the weight of a man's life on their shoulders.
In deliberations that began in midafternoon and will continue today, the Sacramento Superior Court panel will decide whether convicted spree murderer Aaron Norman Dunn lives or dies for killing two men and trying to kill four others on a spring night in Elk Grove four years ago.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Triplett argued that the circumstances of Dunn's March 25, 2006, attack should tip the scales toward a death sentence. Dunn, enraged over the breakup of his marriage, shot up a Saturday night on Laguna Boulevard and killed cameraman Jon Johnson, 46, and Xerox salesman Michael John Daly, 45.
The shootings "annihilated" the men's lives right in front of their wives, and, in Daly's case, his two young children, Triplett said. The random shootings that night could have taken out "anybody you know," he said.
After Dunn, 33, killed Johnson, he danced in the street and waved his shotgun over his head. He told his mother afterward in a jailhouse conversation he didn't regret a bit of it.
"This man does not deserve the gift of leniency," Triplett told the jury.
Assistant Public Defender Amy Rogers and her partner, Hayes Gable III, acknowledged the horrific nature of the crimes. But they said Dunn's life was shattered by the loss of his wife and job, that he was set on a sick life's path by a father who shot up heroin in front of him and a mother who emotionally abandoned him, that his methamphetamine ingestion ruined his capacity to reflect on what he was doing that night.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm asking you to be compassionate, strong and noble," Rogers said. "Reject death. Come back with a verdict of life without possibility of parole."
Judge Michael W. Sweet gave the jury a list of 12 aggravating and mitigating factors it can consider in deciding whether to impose the death penalty on Dunn or to send him to prison for the rest of his life.
In going down the list, the deputy district attorney cited two recent attacks by Dunn on other inmates in the downtown jail, his 1993 assault of another Marysville High School student and his jumping of a bouncer during a 2005 bar fight. Triplett said Dunn's upbringing wasn't the best, but wasn't the worst, either.
The prosecutor asked the jury to stick by its finding in the guilt phase of Dunn's trial that dismissed the methamphetamine psychosis defense. He told them to remember what happened the night Dunn loaded up his shotgun and headed down to Elk Grove from Olivehurst.
"Now you're being asked to speak the conscience of the community," Triplett said. He added, "Capital punishment would be meaningless if it doesn't apply to this man."
In separate arguments, the two defense lawyers recounted Dunn's bizarre upbringing that set him on a path of drug use and juvenile delinquency.
His life stabilized, they said, with his marriage and the birth of his daughter. It lost its tether again, they said, when his wife dumped him for guys she met on the Internet. Then she took their daughter and walked out of his life.
Rogers and Gable said Dunn's methamphetamine use in the hours and days ahead of the murders did not excuse his attack but did help explain it.
Gable said that Dunn will die in prison no matter what, but that a jury ordering up his execution would only compound the tragedy.
"I submit to you, you do not have to kill Aaron Dunn to see that justice is done in this case," Gable said. The jury "can't undo the damage done," he said, "but what you can do is stop the killing right here … while at the same time seeing that justice is done for Jon Johnson and Michael Daly."
|By: Grass | Date: Apr 28, 2010 |
|Diane - Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts from the courtroom. More important, thanks for keeping this site, the memories, the music and the connections in a place where your family and Mike's friends can come together.
I know the birthday party would have been a ball.
Peace - Grass
|By: 165. The Sacramento Bee | Date: Apr 27, 2010 |
Family describes killer's grim life
By Andy Furillo
Published: Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2010
When Dad didn't beat on the kids himself, he got his kicks watching Aaron Norman Dunn punch it out with his little brother. Occasionally, he ordered the boys outside to fight the neighborhood kids.
Later, when Dunn was about 12, their dad brought home a prostitute. So their mom left him and left the boys to live with a father who tied off his arm with a belt and shot up heroin in front of them. He also sold every piece of furniture in the house for dope, before he was imprisoned for ripping off his elderly mother.
"I cut it off from my memory," younger brother Patrick Dunn testified Monday about an early family life so bad the defense team for his older brother has made it Exhibit A for why its client shouldn't be executed.
Dunn, 33, has already been convicted in the March 25, 2006, Elk Grove shooting-spree murders of Jon Johnson, 46, and Michael John Daly, 45. A Sacramento Superior Court jury is now hearing evidence in the penalty phase of his trial to determine if he will be sentenced to death or life in prison with no chance of parole.
The defendant rested his head against a closed fist most of the day while his younger brother, sister and mother told of the family dysfunction while Dunn came of age in a Marysville apartment.
They attributed the ruin of Dunn's life to Vincent Thomas Dunn, who they said cheated on his wife with men as well as women, drank himself mean and nasty and moved into hard dope with abandon, even smoking crack with his younger boy.
Aaron Dunn's mother, Sandra Alice Adams, testified that her husband stayed home and tormented the kids while she worked 10-hour days at the local Salvation Army thrift shop.
"He just flew off the handle sometimes," she said.
Patrick Dunn and his sister, Sarah Parker, spoke warmly of their brother. Patrick Dunn called the defendant "the best" uncle. Parker said Aaron Dunn taught her how to tie her shoes and ride a bike and was there for the birth of her first child.
They said their brother was big on family gatherings, but that it all stopped when their mother remarried and moved to New Mexico.
Then he went into a downward spiral when his wife left him for men she met on the Internet, his siblings said.
"He was always kind of depressed," Parker testified. "He always wanted to keep to himself," sometimes in tears.
The worst part for Dunn, they testified, was the forced estrangement from his daughter. "That's the one thing that he loved the most," Parker said. "I think at times it got unbearable."
Parker said she called her mother the day before Dunn took off from Olivehurst to shoot up Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove, killing Johnson and Daly, wounding another man and shooting at three other people, including two police officers.
"He's an adult," Parker said her mother responded. She said he'd be able to get through it, Parker said.
The sister said she would be "devastated" if the state puts Dunn to death, and so would her kids and those of her other brother, as well as the defendant's daughter.
"Terrible" is how Sandra Adams characterized the potential execution of her oldest boy. "You don't want to lose your son."
The defense is expected to conclude today before the jury deliberates on Dunn's punishment.