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Feb. 5, 2010: Cape Coral day care murder suspect reads law, religion

Feb. 4, 2010


Robert Harold Dunn spends much of his time reading books on criminal law and Christianity in cell 2D1 while awaiting his trial on charges he killed his wife two years ago.

Meanwhile, his 4-year-old daughter remains in therapy, recalling the tragic events at Bobbie Noonan's Child Care in Cape Coral when her father allegedly gunned down her mother, teacher Christine Lozier-Dunn, 36.

Allyson is learning to cope with the horrible memories, said her grandmother, Kathy Lozier, 61, of Cape Coral, who, with her husband, Thomas, 64, is the girl's legal guardian.

"Allyson is doing quite well. She's growing and is as smart as can be," the proud grandmother said.

The second anniversary of the traumatic event was recognized last week when the day care's staff laid flowers at a garden memorial made for Lozier-Dunn.

Dunn, 46, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree armed burglary and child abuse in the Jan. 25, 2008, shooting at the day care that sent teachers and children, including his daughter, who was with her mother, running for cover.

Some of them were covered in his dying wife's blood.

Dunn, who is being held without bond in the Lee County Jail, faces the death penalty.

While waiting for a firm date to be scheduled for his trial, Dunn, according to jail records, has spent the past year reading books and articles from the jail's law library, including case law on blood spatter evidence, testimony of gun and ballistics experts, direct evidence and witness testimony and police procedures.

"He's doing something that every defendant does who is facing first-degree murder," said Stephen B. Fisher, assistant regional counsel for the Office of Criminal Conflict in Bartow.

Reading law books "is a coping mechanism. It helps them understand the process," Fisher said.

Dunn's other favorite topic is religion. He's read "Mere Christianity" and the "Screwtape Letters," both by C.S. Lewis and biographies of the apostles John and Paul, which he requested from the jail chaplain, records show.

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That, too, is not unusual for someone in Dunn's circumstances, said Fisher. "A majority of my clients seek refuge in religion," he said.

When Dunn's trial will be held hasn't been determined, Fisher said.

"It's a very complex process in first-degree murder cases. They take anywhere from one and a half to three years to bring to trial," Fisher said. He is completing depositions of the prosecution's witnesses.

Fisher said the trial may be delayed until later this year because the prosecutors in the case are scheduled to go to trial in May in another Cape Coral first-degree murder case involving Kenneth Lopez, 21, charged with killing Alexis Sosa, 18, and his nephew, Jeffrey Sosa, 14.

Lopez is the last defendant to go to trial in what is known as the Cash Feenz gang case.

Fisher said attorneys will know more about a trial date following a March 4 status conference in Fort Myers with Lee Circuit Judge Margaret Steinbeck.

"They say the wheels of justice turn slowly," Kathy Lozier said. She plans to attend the trial, whenever it is held.

Her husband said he will be at her side. "I'd like to try and figure out why he did what he did," Thomas Lozier said.

It doesn't matter to him whether Dunn gets life in prison or the death penalty, he said.

"I just never want him to be able to get out and to see his daughter. That would be a bad thing," the grandfather said.

The staff at Bobbie Noonan's placed purple flowers in the garden to remember the second anniversary of the shooting.

"Purple was her favorite color," said Renee Dick, director of the day care.

Louise Zoller, 35, a parent credited with wrestling the gun away from Dunn following the fatal shooting, said she solemnly placed flowers at the memorial.

Then, "I said a little prayer," she added.

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