Judge releases Dunker from jail

Jessamen Dunker met with a judge Thursday morning but he still needs to meet his Florida Gators judge, jury and — perhaps — executioner.

At last check, Florida coach Will Muschamp is in Mississippi recruiting, according to sources close to the team. He’s due back in Gainesville on Thursday evening. He also is scheduled to meet with the media at noon Friday.

Dunker, a 6-foot-4, 301-pound offensive guard, appeared in court Thursday after being arrested and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, a third degree felony, and driving with a suspended license, a second degree misdemeanor. He was released on his own recognizance after appearing before Alachua County judge Denise R. Ferrero, who instructed Dunker not to have contact with the victim.

The victim in this case is the one who reported their scooter was stolen near Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Dunker was pulled over by at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday near the south end zone of the stadium after he was observed by UPD following a UF vehicle too closely.

After Dunker was pulled over, it was discovered he was driving on a suspended license, there were no plates on the scooter and it has been reported stolen. Dunker told police he purchased the scooter for $600 and was not aware it was stolen. He still was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday.

Dunker’s license was suspended when he failed to pay fines on time after he received a citation for failure to wear a seatbelt on Nov. 12.

Gainesville attorney Huntley Johnson is representing Dunker. Johnson has represented countless UF football players in the past such as former Gators running back Chris Rainey, who was arrested on simple battery charges last week.

The state now will decide whether to continue its case against Dunker. Third degree grand theft is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison.

Dunker redshirted this past season but was expected to vie for time at guard next fall.

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of GatorCountry.com and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.