Family remembers victim as suspect requests youthful status
Published 9:50 am Monday, March 14, 2016
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
VINCENT – Vincent’s Municipal Park was filled with the silent glow of candlelight on March 12 as friends and family members came together to remember an 18-year-old who was slain in Clay County in 2014.
The vigil came a few weeks before a judge is set to rule on a youthful offender request from the 21-year-old Vincent man who has been charged with killing 18-year-old Vincent resident Jolee Callan.
During the vigil, more than 100 of Callan’s friends and family members donned purple shirts, lit candles and celebrated the memory of their lost loved one.
“Let us come together to support each other, pray for justice for Jolee and ask for peace through this difficult time,” Callan’s father, Michael, wrote in a Facebook post. “Jolee’s warm presence, kindness and love throughout our lives is greatly missed.”
On March 4, attorneys for Loren Daniel Bunner requested youthful offender status for Bunner, who currently is charged as an adult with Callan’s murder.
If he is granted youthful offender status, Bunner would waive his right to a trial by jury, and would be tried by the court without a jury. Bunner also would face a less-severe range of punishments if he is granted youthful offender status.
If found guilty as an adult on the murder charge, Bunner could face up to life in prison. The maximum sentence for youthful offenders is three years in jail.
Clay County Circuit Court Judge George Simpson is scheduled to rule on Bunner’s request during a hearing at the Clay County Courthouse at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Bunner, who lists an address on Shelby County 62 in Vincent, on Aug. 31, 2015, and charged him with murder.
On Feb. 23, a Clay County grand jury returned a one-count indictment against Bunner upholding the charge. He is scheduled for arraignment during his March 23 hearing.
Bunner’s arrest came one day after the sheriff’s office received a report of a homicide on the Pinhoti Trail in Cheaha State Park in Delta.
After searching the area, sheriff’s deputies discovered Callan’s body. Callan, a 2015 graduate of Vincent High School, was shot and killed with a .22-caliber Ruger Bearcat revolver, deputies said.
In addition to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Oxford Police Department, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville State University Forensics, U.S. Forestry Department agents, Cleburne County Search and Rescue and Clay County Search and Rescue assisted in the investigation of the crime.
Bunner was released from the Clay County Jail on Sept. 16, 2015, after posting a $150,000 bond.