Michael Dunavant – District Attorney General
Michael Dunavant is the elected District Attorney General for the 25th Judicial District of Tennessee. A native of Ripley, Tennessee, he holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a J.D. with honors from University of Mississippi at Oxford.
In 2009, Michael and his office received a federal grant from the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs for the creation of a Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit that serves Tipton County. He is a member of the Tennessee Joint Task Force on Children’s Justice and Child Sexual Abuse, and serves on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Lauderdale County Carl Perkins Child Advocacy Center. In 2012, Michael was appointed by Governor Haslam to the Tennessee Medical Examiner Advisory Council.
Michael and his staff - Assistant District Attorneys Mark Davidson, Katie Walsh, and Jason Poyner - successfully prosecute animal cruelty. In one such case, defendants Bonnie Sheehan and Pamela King-McCracken were pulled over while driving a U-Haul truck, towing a van. Tennessee State Trooper Brad Simpson discovered more than 140 dogs crammed into crates, sometimes four animals to a crate, with most of the animals covered in feces and urine. One dog was dead, and others were bleeding and suffering from skin lesions. Dr. Jennifer Dunlap, DVM volunteered her time and services in the treatment of the 140 dogs and testified in the case. Bonnie Sheehan pled guilty to 14 counts of cruelty on July 19, 2012. She received two years of probation, a $500 fine, and was prohibited from owning animals for two years.
In another case, on September 17, 2012, Fayette County Animal Rescue Officers and local caregivers investigated a complaint of possible child and animal abuse. Officers found 168 live animals, including dogs, cats, ferrets, hamsters, birds, rabbits and guinea pigs, housed in cages covered in feces and urine. Over 20 dead animals were found in the home. The animals were removed and placed under the care of Dr. Jennifer Dunlap. The defendants, William and Rocio Parr, were charged with 168 counts of animal cruelty and two counts of child abuse.
Michael is the youngest elected District Attorney General in Tennessee, and lives in Tipton County with his wife, Marianne, and their 10 year-old son, Hutch.