Fiancee testifies in loud-music killing retrial
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The fiancee of a man accused of shooting a teenager during an argument over loud music outside a north Florida convenience store testified Saturday that she didn’t know the teen was dead until the next day.
Rhonda Rouer said she was inside buying chips and wine when the shooting began.
“I heard a pop, pop, pop,” Rouer said.
She said she didn’t know what was going on until she went outside and her fiancee Michael Dunn urged her to get into the car, then drove off quickly, before she could fasten her seatbelt.
Dunn, 47, is on trial for first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. He 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.
Rouer reiterated testimony she gave in Dunn’s first trial, saying the couple, who live together, went back to their Jacksonville hotel, ordered a pizza and drank rum and Cokes, then she fell asleep.
The next morning when she woke up, the TV was on and she said she saw that Davis had died and she told Dunn she wanted to go home. They drove straight back to Satellite Beach, canceling plans to have lunch with Dunn’s son. Dunn was arrested after they returned home that afternoon.
The prosecution spent a third day laying out its case that Dunn acted in cold blood when he killed Davis, who was sitting in the rear passenger seat of an SUV next to Dunn’s car. Dunn, who had just left his son’s wedding, asked Davis and the other teens in the car to turn down the music and a shouting match erupted between Dunn and Davis.
Dunn is accused of firing 10 times into the SUV, including several times as the driver tried to get away. One of the shots killed Davis. No one else in the SUV was injured.
The trial was halted briefly Saturday when a juror was dismissed.
The dismissal followed a column posted online by Jacksonville alternative publication Folio Weekly that quoted a one-time prospective juror who was not picked after he said he had written for the publication. Richard David Smith III told the publication that the juror who was picked had questioned State Attorney Angela Corey’s competence during jury selection and complained about her sense of humor.
Judge Russell Healey, Corey and other attorneys involved in the case questioned the columnist and Smith.
One of four alternate jurors will replace the dismissed juror.