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Dunn trial eight weeks away

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Updated: 1/04 12:21 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Michael Dunn walked into court Thursday in shackles. He's been locked up for a year, ever since police say opened fire on an SUV full of teenagers at a Southside gas station after they argued over loud music.

Jordan Davis, 17, was killed.

[Special coverage: Jordan Davis Murder]

"It's been a long year in jail," said Dunn's attorney, Corey Strolla. "He doesn't like being there."

Attorneys on both sides worked to tie up any loose ends before the February trial. The state asked that Jordan's father, Ron Davis, be allowed to sit through it, even though he will likely be called to testify.

To his relief, the judge granted that motion. Davis said the judge realized that "if somebody kills your son, that you should be there to witness whatever happens."

Judge Russell Healey denied a motion to allow the jury to visit the crime scene during the trial.

"There would be no way to protect the jury if we took them to the scene," he said.

One of the only questions left now is just how protected the jury will be. Dunn's attorney said he plans to ask they be sequestered.

"There's no reason why this jury shouldn't be brought away from all the media attention and everyone's opinion," said Strolla.

That media attention is expected to bring out hundreds of spectators. Those wanting to watch the trial inside the courtroom will have to abide by a newly-established dress code.

Healey ruled that spectators not be allowed to wear any items that show support for the victim or the defendant.

That's just fine with Jordan's parents.

"As far as I'm concerned, me and Lucy, you don't need to see a t-shirt on us. You don't need to see a wrist band on us. You know that we are his parents. You know what side we're on. So that's OK," said Davis.

Jordan's parents were asked to do the impossible, and control their emotions during the trial.

His mother, Lucia McBath, said, "That will probably be very difficult for both of us. But we want to do what's best for the trial. We want to do what's best for Jordan."

Dunn's trial is scheduled for Feb. 3 at the Duval County Courthouse.

He has pleaded not guilty to murder charges. He claims he fired his weapon in self-defense. He faces life in prison, if convicted.

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