Bush trial will last well into next week, lawyers tell judge

The murder trial for Sean Alonzo Bush will last well into next week, lawyers on both sides told Circuit Judge Howard Maltz on Wednesday afternoon at the end of the trial’s third day.


So far, assistant state attorneys Jennifer Dunton and Mark Johnson have called 22 individual witnesses (two have been called twice) as they lay out their case against Bush, whose estranged wife, Nicole Bush, was found beaten, shot and stabbed in her Julington Creek home on May 31, 2011.

She died later that day at a Jacksonville hospital.

Bush, who stands charged with first-degree murder and burglary with an assault in connection with her death, faces the death penalty if convicted.

After jurors had left the courtroom Wednesday afternoon, Johnson told Maltz he still has about 16 witnesses to call but imagines he will be done by Friday.

Lead counsel for the defense, Ray Warren, with the Public Defender’s Office, said he will then need two to three days of his own.

“I have subpoenaed a total of about 28 people now,” Warren told Maltz as they discussed scheduling.

“I would anticipate that I will be calling a number of the state’s witnesses back, plus a number of our own,” he added.

With no court scheduled for Monday because of a scheduling conflict known before the trial began, that could push closing arguments to late Thursday of next week.

Jurors ended their day on Wednesday hearing a recording of a phone conversation that Sean Bush had with St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sean Tice.

It was the third such recording they have either watched or listened to, with Tice on the witness stand, since the trial began.

They will begin their day tomorrow listening to another roughly 50-minute recording.

Wednesday’s testimony also included analysis from a Florida Department of Law Enforcement analyst about bloody shoe prints that were found at the scene as well as morning testimony from another Sheriff’s Office detective who found the aluminum baseball bat believed to be responsible for the blunt force trauma that Nicole Bush suffered.

Much of today’s testimony is expected to be about DNA evidence.