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Preliminary Hearing Set for Case Against Ava Teacher

By Jason Hoekema

An Ava Elementary School teacher’s attorney, Joseph Passanise made an appearance on behalf of his client, Doris Chunn, on Tuesday, December 4, at the Douglas County Courthouse in Ava, Missouri. 

The special-education teacher allegedly “brandished a firearm and threatened a neighbor,” on Oct. 11  according to an Ava Police Department press release.

Chunn entered a plea of not guilty during a hearing on Nov. 6.

The defendant has sought counsel from the office of Dee Wampler, whose practice is in Springfield. 

The alleged offense, listed under Missouri Code 571.030 subsection 4, states “1. A person commits the crime of unlawful use of weapons if he or she knowingly: (4) Exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.”

A warrant for Chunn was issued setting a $15,000 bond and orders to possess no firearms or ammunition, consume no alcohol, and a protective order for the alleged victim(s). The warrant was served by the Ava Police Department on Oct. 12. 

Doris Chunn submitted her retirement, effective December 21, to the Ava school board according to an email received from district superintendent Jason Dial. Chunn has worked for the district since August 2004.

The Tuesday hearing was held to set a date for the preliminary hearing, which will be on January 24, 2019.