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Robert Dunn
Robert Dunn

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A man accused of killing his wife at a Cape Coral day care three years ago appeared in court Monday afternoon and is scheduled for trial in November.

Robert Dunn, 47, faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree armed burglary and child abuse in the Jan. 25, 2008, killing of Christine Lozier-Dunn at Bobbie Noonan’s Child Care.

Dunn’s attorneys — David Brener and Tracey Redd, who were appointed by the court less than a year ago — said they still have to take depositions of more than 60 witnesses, and they must get more money from the state to pay for an expert who does research to prevent defendants convicted of first-degree murder from being executed.

Brener said the state agency that pays for court-appointed attorney expenses will only pay $40 per hour for the expert, which Brener said is too low to find someone to do the work, and that has caused some delay.

The attorneys are scheduled to meet in April to discuss an increase in funding for the specialist.

“The state spends millions of dollars to execute someone,” Brener said. “But it won’t adequately pay for an expert to entertain the argument of life.”

The attorneys are also in the process of rescheduling depositions of witnesses who Brener said weren’t properly questioned by Dunn’s previous attorneys from Regional Conflict Counsel.

The Regional Conflict Counsel attorneys withdrew amid Dunn complaining about them pinching pennies in his defense. One of the attorneys testified during hearings in October they were told not to order transcripts because of budget concerns.

Brener and Redd said January or February of next year would be a reasonable trial date, but Assistant State Attorney Marie Doerr said the state was hoping not to delay the case for an additional year.

Steinbeck ordered a Nov. 7 trial date.

“This case is older than any other murder case on my docket,” the judge said. “I think this case is old enough to warrant putting this case on everyone’s front burner.”

4:25 p.m. update

A man accused of killing his wife at a Cape Coral day care in 2008 appeared in court this afternoon and is scheduled for trial in November.

(Page 2 of 2)

Robert Dunn, 47, faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree armed burglary and child abuse in the Jan. 25 killing of Christine Lozier-Dunn at Bobbie Noonan's Child Care.

Dunn's court-appointed attorneys David Brener and Tracey Redd, who were appointed less than a year ago, said they still have to take depositions of more than 60 witnesses and they hope to get more money from the state to pay for a mitigation specialist — someone who does research to prevent defendants from being executed if they are convicted of first-degree murder.

Brener said the state agency that pays for court-appointed attorney fees will only pay $40 per hour for a mitigation specialist, which Brener said is too low to find someone to do the work, a cause of some delay.

The attorneys are also in the process of re-scheduling depositions of witnesses who Brener said weren't properly questioned by Dunn's previous attorneys from Regional Conflict Counsel. The Regional Conflict Counsel attorneys withdrew amid Dunn complaining about them pinching pennies in his defense.

Brener and Redd said January or February of next year would be a reasonable trial date, but Lee County Circuit Judge Margaret Steinbeck ordered a Nov. 7 trial date.

"This case is older than any other murder case on my docket," she said. "I think this case is old enough to warrant putting this case on everyone's front burner."

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