September 24, 2018 - Press Release
Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton announced today that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld its previous ruling and denied a rehearing effort by Stevin Ra Dunning on his Capital Murder convictions. Dunning had previously appealed his convictions to the Court of Criminal Appeals and those jury verdicts were affirmed. The Court rejected arguments by Dunning that his actions did not rise to the level of showing his “intent” to kill, as required by statute. The Court rejected that argument and his assertion that he was not “in” the automobile when the fatal shots were fired. This argument was also rejected. The denial of rehearing was released Friday, September 21.
Dunning was convicted of three (3) counts of Capital Murder for the November 4, 2014 shooting death of Vincent Chancellor during a robbery and while Chancellor was inside his own automobile. The testimony indicated that Chancellor was in his car with his girlfriend and Dunning approached the car, demanding money at gunpoint. When Chancellor pulled a gun of his own, Dunning shot Chancellor twice. Chancellor was able to fire five (5) rounds of his own, hitting Dunning all five times. Chancellor attempted to drive himself to the hospital but passed out and died later at the hospital. Dunning arrived at UAB Hospital within 10 minutes of the robbery and Chancellor’s cell phone was in Dunning’s mother’s car at the hospital. Witnesses identified Dunning as the person who approached and shot Chancellor. Dunning is serving three (3) Life without Parole sentences. The cases were prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Mike Philpott and Lauren Breland.
Anderton said, “I am pleased that the Court of Appeals recognized the evidence in this case and the manner in which it was analyzed by the jury. It is a sad day when a case like this happens but it is satisfying to know that Mr. Chancellor’s family can rest easy, at least for now. This may still take some time but this office and the Attorney General’s office will be with them throughout the appeals process.”
A charge against a defendant is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.