Mobile County

Judge defends decision to give accused downtown attacker $40k bond

Mobile, AL (WKRG) - In an unusual display, a judge defended the bond he set for a man accused of a brutal attack in downtown Mobile. District Judge Bob Sherling pulled a poster board out from behind the bench Wednesday in a hearing for Douglas Dunson. Dunson is accused of beating and trying to rape a woman in a downtown parking garage as she was going to work one morning.

The poster board was an excerpt of the Alabama constitution, the judge saying every accused criminal has a right to bond. Sherling then set a total bond of $40 thousand, $15,000 for assault and $25,000 for attempted rape.

"We believe based on case law that the defendant can forfeit his right to a bond based on the fact that he was out on bond and he's deliberately breaking the conditions of bond over and over and over," said Assistant District Attorney Tandice Hogan. "The purpose of a bond is to protect our community and to hold the defendant accountable since we're pending these criminal cases."

Dunson made an impression in court as well. When he came into court he walked around the room saying he was guilty, until his lawyer asked him to stop talking. He also told the guards not to touch him. 

New information on the attack was also revealed in court. Prosecutors say Dunson hit his victim in the head with a 2x2 before beating her and trying to rape her. The victim saw a car and yelled for help. A man ran to her aid and Dunson ran away, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors say they have surveillance video showing Dunson running from the garage with a board in his hands.

A judge ruled there is enough evidence to move the case forward. Dunson's case will now be heard by a grand jury to see if it will go to trial.

ORIGINAL STORY:

It’s a crime that stunned Mobile and today we may learn more about what happened early last month.  Police say 43-year-old Douglas Dunson approached the woman last month as she was getting out of her car inside the RSA Tower parking garage in downtown Mobile.  Investigators say Dunson first asked the victim for money then he attacked her, beating her for almost 30 minutes.  Dunson's hearing is scheduled for 8:30 this morning.  During a bond hearing outbursts from the suspect forced the judge to take him out of court.  Dunson also has a criminal history including other sex crimes.  
    
The incident itself changed the tenor downtown leading to increased police presence in the hopes people would feel safer.  The crime is so seemingly random that it’s had a lot of people worried something like that could happen again.  
 


Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida