Lottery begins for Michael Dunn trial

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A public lottery for the upcoming Michael Dunn murder trial began at 6 a.m. Friday.

Dunn is accused of fatally shooting Jordan Davis, 17, in late November 2012 after a dispute over loud music at a gas station.

The trial is expected to garner extensive local and national media attention. So far, 20 news outlets and 170 journalists have sought access to covering the legal proceedings.

As such, space in the assigned courtroom at the Duval County Courthouse is going to be limited. Supporters of Dunn and Davis are also expected to turn out.

So, members of the public wanting to attend the trial must enter a lottery the day before they wish to be in court. They must re-enter every time they wish to attend again.

Applications should be taken to the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center in downtown Jacksonville between 6 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

There is an assigned drop-off spot in the 1000 block of W. Bay St. that's marked by a portable JSO information board.

You can go there to get an application or visit the website

Chief Michelle Cook with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said background checks will be done on all applicants.

"We are going to be checking for active warrants. We need this to be secure. We want to make sure folks don't have backgrounds," she said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.

It's expected the number of people from the public allowed into court will change daily.

If you're notified you've received a court credential, you must go to the Prime Osborn to pick it up no later than 8 a.m. the day the credential is needed. A photo I.D. will be required.

Michelle Quarterman, a family friend of the Davis family, was the first person Friday to drop off an application.

She told First Coast News she was there "...because I want to be a representation to his mother and his father because I have children too. And I want someone to represent mine, too."

Quarterman was the only person to show up early Friday morning.

No one from the lottery or news media will be able to attend jury selection, which starts Monday, February 3.

A final hearing in the case is expected to be held Friday to address a new motion filed by State Attorney Angela Corey.

She is seeking to ban audio recordings of jury selection in addition to the ban on video recording that's already been enacted.

First Coast News, along with other Jacksonville media outlets, is prepared to fight this motion to preserve public access to the criminal justice system.


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