By Andy Furillo
A Sacramento judge today ordered that Aaron Norman Dunn be executed by lethal injection for his 2006 shotgun killing spree in which he murdered two men who had just finished dining with their families in Elk Grove.
"It is the judgment and sentence of this court that you, Aaron Norman Dunn, should be put to death within the walls of San Quentin in the manner proscribed by law upon the date to be fixed by this court in the warrant of execution," Superior Court Judge Michael W. Sweet told the 32-year-old defendant.
Dunn (left) was convicted of murder April 13 in the March 25, 2006, slayings of Michael John Daly, 45, and Jon Johnson, 46. The two men were leaving popular Laguna Boulevard restaurants when they were killed by Dunn, who was distraught over the break-up of his marriage and had been ingesting methamphetamine.
The same jury that convicted Dunn voted on May 12 to recommend he face the death penalty. Dunn also was convicted of trying to kill four other people in the spree, two of whom were Elk Grove police officers.
Wearing a yellow jail T-shirt and flanked by three defense lawyers, Dunn remained silent but fiddled with a pencil at times during the sentencing hearing. At one point, he turned to look at Karen Johnson, the wife of victim Jon Johnson, who told the court, "Satan worked through that man that night."
Still, Johnson told the killer, "Aaron Dunn, I have forgiven you."
In a letter read to the court by Deputy District Attorney Scott Triplett, Daly's older sister, Dianne McGarry, refuted the defense contention that drugs, depression and a lousy upbringing combined to lead Dunn to murder.
McGarry said in her letter to Dunn that he had a choice in the events that have sent him to California's death row.
"Aaron Dunn, you have brought these consequences upon yourself with the actions you chose in March 25, 2006," McGarry wrote. She told Dunn in the letter, "You are truly a cold, ruthless killer."
Earlier in the hearing, Sweet rejected a defense motion to exercise "independent mercy" and refrain from sentencing Dunn to death.
The judge said the aggravating circumstances of the killings were "so horrendous" that they outweighed the defendant's problematic upbringing of a drug-abusing father and an indifferent, uncaring mother.
Sweet then delayed the sentencing hearing for a half hour while he read the probation report on Dunn that had been filed under seal.
Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141.
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Jury convicts man of gunning down 2 in Elk Grove - April 14, 2010
Jury deliberating fate of double-murder defendant Aaron Norman Dunn - April 13, 2010
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