Florida loud music killing trial coming to close
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Michael Dunn was shooting to kill, not defending himself, when he fired at 17-year-old Jordan Davis after the two had an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store, prosecutors said during closing arguments on Tuesday in the second trial in the case.
Closings began after the 47-year-old Dunn took the witness stand in his own defense, saying he feared for his life when he opened fire in November 2012.
“He wasn’t shooting at the tires. He wasn’t shooting at the windows. He was shooting to kill. Aiming at Jordan Davis,” prosecutor Erin Wolfson told jurors.
Jurors will hear instructions from the judge Wednesday morning, and then will begin deliberations.
Prosecutors say Dunn killed Davis, of Marietta, Georgia, when he fired 10 times into an SUV carrying four teenagers.
Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted second-degree murder in February and already faces at least 60 years in prison.
The jury in the first trial deadlocked on the first-degree murder count.
Dunn’s attorney, Waffa Hanania, told jurors that Dunn felt threatened, whether it was a real threat or not. She said he broke no laws, and acted in self-defense. She said the law is specific, and Dunn thought Davis had a shotgun.
“Was he supposed to wait until he had been shot, until he had been physically attacked? No,” Hanania said.
Wolfson argued to the jury that Dunn fired in anger after Davis disrespected him.
“Each time he is making a conscious decision to fire,” Wolfson said. “With two hands on the gun, taking aim at Jordan Davis.”
Dunn said the problems started when he and his fiancee heard loud bass thumping from an SUV parked next to them after they pulled into a convenience store to buy a bottle of wine. Dunn had just come from his son’s wedding.
“I put my window down ... and I said ‘Hey, would you mind turning that down please?’” Dunn said.
Testimony from the other teenagers in the case said Dunn was angry when he asked them to turn the music down.
The music was turned off for a short time, Dunn said, until he heard a voice from the SUV’s backseat yelling curse words, telling someone in front to turn it back up.
Dunn said he was not angry when the music was turned back up, but then things got heated.
“I hear ‘.... white boy’ just impolite things are being said,” Dunn said.
Dunn said the man in the backseat then rolled the window down and flashed a gun.
“I saw the barrel of a gun. I’m petrified. I’m in fear for my life this guy just threatened to kill me and showed me a gun,” Dunn said.
Police found no weapons in Davis’ car or near the crime scene.
Dunn said the back door of the SUV opened, and that he grabbed his handgun for which he had a permit.
“I reached for my weapon, in my glove box. I said, ‘You’re not going to kill me you son of a bitch,’ and then I was firing, in about two seconds.”
He continued firing as the SUV sped away.
“I would have pulled it 50 times if that’s what it took to save my life,” Dunn said.
On cross-examination, Prosecutor John Guy asked Dunn if he knew anyone had been hurt when he started firing into the rear passenger door, and Dunn said no.
“His door was open. It doesn’t mean he’s behind his door. I didn’t see him behind the door,” Dunn said.
Then Dunn told Guy that Davis was outside the car when he was firing
Dunn said he didn’t think that he’d hurt anyone, and prosecutors told jurors that he went back to his hotel, had a cocktail, walked his dog, ordered a pizza and went to sleep.
Dunn said he didn’t know Davis had died until he saw a report on his cellphone at 1 a.m.
“I went to the bathroom and vomited,” Dunn said.
He never called 911, prosecutors pointed out.
“And when he realized what happened, he just got in the car and drove home the next morning,” Wolfson said. When Jacksonville police called him after getting his identity from his license plate, Dunn was home.
Dunn, from Satellite Beach, Florida, said he wanted to go home to report the incident to his local sheriff because authorities there were familiar with him.