No bond for Lakeland commissioner charged in fatal shooting

Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn is being held at the Polk County Jail without bond after appearing before a judge Saturday morning. 

It took all of fifty seconds for Michael Dunn to make his first court appearance in a Polk County courtroom. 

No bond, and no questions from the Lakeland commissioner. Dunn appeared via satellite from the Polk County Jail, less than 24-hours after he was arrested and charged in the October 3rd shooting death of Christobal Lopez, a suspected shoplifter at Dunn’s military surplus store.

This second-degree murder charge follows a similar storyline of a convenience store robbery in July, also in Polk County. A man was shot and killed over stealing $36 of beer. The 22 year-old store clerk was charged with second-degree murder. Carrie Horstman with the Polk County Sheriff's Office said this at the time:

"You can't take justice into your own hands at this point, arm yourself with a weapon and run out after someone and shoot them when they commit a retail theft."

The difference between the two cases is Dunn told investigators he pulled the trigger out of fear.

“Mr. Dunn then was confronted with a situation where he sees an ax and an ax is coming toward him,” said Rusty Franklin, Dunn's attorney. 

Franklin hasn't said if they will claim self-defense using Florida's stand your ground law. But State Attorney Brian Haas says it doesn't apply.  

“I have determined that this case and the actions of Mr. Dunn fall outside of the protection of the stand your ground law," Haas said Friday afternoon at a press conference. 

Arrest paperwork released to the public this week show Lopez did not make any verbal threats, and did not appear to make any threatening movements towards Dunn during the incident.

Dunn's next court appearance will be on Tuesday, November 6.