Wrongful death lawsuit pending against Vincent murder suspect

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – The family of a slain Vincent teen is seeking monetary damages from the suspect facing a murder charge tied to her death, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Shelby County Circuit Court.

Bunner

Bunner

Michael Callan, the father of Jolee Callan, filed the civil suit in June 2016 seeking monetary damages from 22-year-old Vincent resident Loren Daniel Bunner. Bunner is facing a murder charge in Clay County for allegedly shooting and killing Jolee Callan on the Pinhoti Trail of Cheaha State Park in Delta on Aug. 30, 2015.

According to the civil suit, Bunner allegedly “lured (Jolee Callan) on a nature hike” before he allegedly shot her “in the back of the head, and again in the face, before throwing her body off a cliff.”

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages, plus interest from the date of Jolee Callan’s death, and all court costs.

An answer filed by Bunner’s attorney in August 2016 denied the allegations laid out in Michael Callan’s complaint.

The wrongful death lawsuit was placed on hold in September 2016, citing the pending criminal charge against Bunner, and is now set for a status conference on June 22 at 9 a.m. in front of Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Hewitt Conwill.

Bunner was granted youthful offender status in his murder case in Clay County in May 2016 by Circuit Court Judge George Simpson, but Simpson overturned Bunner’s youthful status in November 2016.

After Bunner’s youthful offender status was revoked in the murder charge, his attorney, Gregory Varner, made a motion requesting Simpson reinstate the youthful status, claiming no new charges or additional evidence have been filed against Bunner. Simpson denied Varner’s motion on Dec. 12.

Bunner is now set to appear in court for an arraignment on Jan. 11 at 9 a.m.

If found guilty on the murder charge, Bunner faces up to life in prison.