Ahmad Dunbar, one of two men facing charges in the January 2016 slayings of Karl Tuxford and Jordan Finlon, has been assigned a new court-appointed defense attorney.
On Jan. 19, 2016, Bradenton police officers were called to the 1100 block of Eighth Avenue East to reports of a shooting and found Tuxford in his Jeep shot dead. Less than an hour later, deputies with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office were called to Bishop Harbor Road in northern Manatee County after motorists saw a body alongside the road. The body was later identified as Finlon, who had been stabbed more than 40 times.
Dunbar, 39, is charged with one count of second-degree murder in Tuxford’s death. He has not been charged in Finlon’s death but still could be.
Dwayne Cummings, 39, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and armed kidnapping.
On Wednesday morning, Circuit Judge Hunter Carroll granted court-appointed defense attorney Charles Lykes Jr.’s request to be removed from the case after he cited health reasons.
“I have determined that I must begin to end my career and have a plan to do so by the end of the year or sooner,” Lykes wrote in his official request to be removed. “I honestly felt last fall that I would be able to manage this case and did not foresee that I would encounter this difficulty.”
Lykes acknowledged Dunbar’s displeasure with him in recent months. Dunbar stormed out of the courtroom in November after Carroll denied for a second time removing Lykes as his attorney, despite Dunbar telling him he did not feel Lykes could handle the case.
“He's got life at stake and I don't hold that against him,” Lykes said Wednesday.
Lykes was removed from the case effective immediately, with the exception of two tasks. Carroll granted him permission to complete the serving of a subpoena to ADT Security Services regarding surveillance video he had been trying to obtain at Dunbar’s request. Also, he will have until Feb. 24 to deliver all his case files to Dunbar’s new attorney and provide Dunbar with copies of all the depositions.
“The court wants to thank you for your years of service,” Carroll told Lykes and wished him well with his health.
Dunbar’s case was scheduled to go to trial next week but will now be delayed. His tentative next scheduled court appearance will be at 8:45 a.m. March 6 for a case management hearing with his new court-appointed attorney.
Cummings’ trial was also delayed earlier this month and he is now set to stand trial during the two-week trial week beginning April 24.