An alleged dead-beat dad, who was on the run for 17 years, appeared in court Monday in Hinds County. Michael Dunn, 50, pleaded "not guilty" to felony charges.
Dunn was arrested in Long Beach last week after a single mother helped lead investigators to him. Lisa Bolton has been fighting for years to get Dunn to pay $36,000 in child support he owes for their daughter Jillian.
"You just have to stay on them and try to get what you can," Bolton said.
Bolton got help from the Attorney General's Child Support Unit, which takes on the worst cases in the state.
"How bad do you have to be to not want to pay for your own child?" Attorney General Jim Hood asked.
The AG's unit has 100 open child support cases. Right now, ten are under indictment and five are set to go to trial.
"Once you put it before a jury and you can show them he can pay and doesn't do it, they're going to convict," Hood said.
Dunn could serve up to five years in prison, but Bolton worries she won't ever see a dime of the money he owes. That's because the Department of Human Services handles civil cases, and without a mailing address, they haven't been able to serve Dunn the papers. But they had a perfect opportunity while he was in custody.
Bolton fears Dunn will post the $20,000 bail and flee before DHS can get to him. Dunn told the judge he makes $600 a week as a construction worker.
"He obviously has the ability to pay, and those are the ones we have to make examples of," Hood said.
The case goes to trial January 18th in Jackson.
by Wendy Suares
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