Ahmad Dunbar, one of two suspects facing charges in the January slayings of Karl Tuxford and Jordan Finlon, stormed out of a courtroom Tuesday afternoon after a judge refused to remove his court-appointed attorney.
Just before 1 p.m. Jan. 19, Tuxford, 38, was found shot to death in his jeep when Bradenton police arrived on scene in the 1100 block of Eighth Avenue East after they received reports of the gunfire. Less than an hour later, deputies with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office were called out to Bishop Harbor Road in northern Manatee County after motorists driving by spotted the body of Finlon, 23, on the side of the road, where she had been fatally stabbed dozens of times.
Dwayne Edward Cummings, 39, the first suspect identified, charged and arrested in the case, has been indicted by a grand jury on two counts of first-degree murder, armed kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The sheriff’s office later identified Ahmad Leon Dunbar, 38, as a suspect after detectives had obtained a warrant for his arrest Feb. 15 charging him with second-degree murder with a firearm in the fatal shooting of Tuxford, but has not been charged in Finlon’s death.
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On Tuesday afternoon, Dunbar appeared before Circuit Judge Hunter Carroll as his defense attorney, Charles Lykes Jr., argued that he had the right to be released on bond. But later, Dunbar had his own argument — that Lykes be removed as his attorney for ineffective counsel.
After hearing from Dunbar and attorneys on both sides in the case, Carroll denied Dunbar’s request.
“I am not going to trial with him,” Dunbar interjected, speaking as Carroll spoke.
Carroll finished addressing his reasoning, before addressing Dunbar’s outburst.
“Ultimately, you say what you are saying about not going to trial with Mr. Lykes, but because the court has found that he is not performing ineffectively, the government’s not going to pay for a different attorney for you,” Carroll told him. “Your attorney is Mr. Lykes.”
Dunbar again interjected and said, “Not mine.”
Carroll continued to speak, and Dunbar got up and walked toward the door where deputies took him back to a holding cell as he continued to mumble along the way.
Earlier in a separate bond hearing, Carroll ruled that Assistant State Attorney Art Brown had demonstrated the burden of proof to met the standards of the Arthur rule, based on a 1980 Florida Supreme Court ruling that allows for a defendant to be held in pretrial detention without bond if “the proof of guilt is evident and the presumption of guilt is great.”