The second jury came back and found Michael Dunn guilty of first degree murder. Michael Dunn, known as the Loud Music Shooter, for because his complaints about the victims playing music too loudly precipitated his shooting of a car full of teenagers. Dunn and Jordan Davis, the 17-year-old he shot, apparently exchanged heated words at a gas station when Dunn pulled out a firearm and began firing. He killed Davis and was charged with first degree murder, and attempted murder for the other three individuals in the car with Davis.
Michael Dunn mug shot
Dunn argued self-defense at trial, saying he thought Davis had a weapon. No weapon was recovered, and Dunn, instead of calling law enforcement, continued on his trip to another city where he stayed in a hotel room. The jury hung on the first degree murder count in the first trial, but convicted him of three counts of attempted murder, which he was sentenced to 20 years each, consecutively, as required by 10/20/Life. The second jury found him guilty at the retrial, and the first degree murder charge mandates a sentence of life in prison without parole under Florida law.
Dunn will assuredly appeal, but it will be difficult to overturn, as the appellate courts do not usually like to disturb a jury’s findings about the credibility of a justifiable use of force defense. All areas of the trial will be examined to determine if there are errors that warrant a new trial.
Michael Dunn mug shot
Dunn was previously convicted of several counts of attempted murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. The first jury hung on the First Degree Murder count, and jury selection for the retrial has begun today. He is claiming justifiable use of force (self defense). His attorneys attempted to move the case due to the local publicity, but the judge declined to do so. He faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the final charge. He already faces a mandatory 60 years combined on the charges fro which he has been convicted, but not yet sentenced, which makes the cost of a retrial seem to be not very cost effective. Keep in mind the first trial cost nearly $100,ooo!
The jury is still out in the ‘loud music shooting’ case. They will continue to deliberate, starting today at 9:00 a.m. in addition to the 1st degree murder charge, there are several lesser offenses and attempted murder charges for the other boys in the truck. The first degree murder charge is probably a reach, any premeditation was minimal at best. If the prosecutor tries to oversell the case, they lose credibility on the lesser charges. That may help Dunn’s attorney on his self-defense claim. This is the same prosecutor that overcharged on the George Zimmerman.
Un fortunately, I wil be out of town this weekend, so I may not get to comment right away when the verdict comes in.
Accused killer Michael Dunn mug shot
Closing statements were yesterday, and the jury broke for the night, to continue deliberations today for Michael Dunn, accused of murder and three attempted murders in the so-called loud music shooting.
Accused killer Michael Dunn mug shot
After three days of jury selection, opening statements were today in the first degree murder trial of Michael Dunn. It’s being referred to as the Loud Music Murder, as Dunn’s complaint about loud music being played by the alleged victim, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, and his friends precipitated the congrontation. What happened next is up for debate, and how much proof the state can provide regarding the next moments will decide the case. The state says Dunn became incensed from the disagreement about the bass, and intentionally shot at the car with the young men. Dunn claims that he was afraid for his life, thought he saw a weapon, and was justified in firing to protect himself.
It sounds like there are some inconsistencies in the witnesses’ different telling of events, which is a hurdle for the state to overcome. No weapon was ever found, which hurts the Defendant’s story. It should be noted that there would have been time for the young men to have disposed of a weapon, or that Dunn could have been afraid for his life if he thought there was a firearm. Still, without a gun, it will be hard for the defense to convince a jury that Dunn was justified in shooting the young man. Also, he drove several miles to his hotel, and never contacted police.
The story has gained national attention due to the similarities to the George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case. As in Zimmerman’s defense, a white man shot and killed a young black man. It happened in the same region of Florida, and this case is being handled by prosecutor Angela Corey,
State Attorney Angela Corey
who oversaw the prosecution of Zimmerman. This is also a self-defense case, and no motion to dismiss has been filed under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. That’s the Stand Your Ground Motion that people often think of, though Zimmerman’s defense did not argue it, either. Dunn will be helped by the law, because another provision removed the ‘duty to retreat’ requirement. If Dunn was in reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm, he is allowed to use deadly force. He does not have to try to get away under Florida law. It will be up to the jury to determine whether his stated fear was reasonable.
More details on the case can be found on our earlier post, or click the Michael Dunn tag for the full Crimcourts treatment.
Posted in 10-20-Life, Criminal Law, Florida, Stand Your Ground
Tagged #standyourground, angela corey, jacksonville, jordan davis, michael dunn, murder, stand your ground, trial
Michael Dunn has been accused of murder for shooting at a car full of teenagers, killing 17 year-old Jordan Davis. The alleged victim’s friends say Mr. Dunn became enraged and shot them because they were playing music too loudly, while Mr. Dunn says they pointed a firearm at him, and that he was acting in self-defense. The State Attorney for the circuit, Angela Corey, has announced she will be personally handling the prosecution. We have discussed Ms. Corey multiple times on this blog, including highlighting how her aggressive tactics recently caused a murder conviction to be overturned.
Ms. Corey was also recently in the news for using $235,000 in taxpayer dollars to upgrade her pension payout for she and her chief assistant, as pointed out by blogger Matt Dixon. She has been criticized many times for her demeanor, as laid out by blogger Ron Littlepage, and overseen some highly controversial prosecutions, such as Cristian Fernandez, Kenitra Casper and Marissa Alexander. A change.org petition to have her removed from office has already garnered over 1,000 supporters. Her personal handling of the Dunn case and her involvement on the George Zimmerman case promise to add intrigue to some of the most heated cases pending in Florida.
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, George Zimmerman, Stand Your Ground
Tagged angela corey, cristian fernandez, george zimmerman, jacksonville, kenitra casper, marissa alexander, matt dixon, michael dunn, ron littlepage
Accused killer Michael Dunn mug shot
A few weeks ago in Jacksonville, Michael Dunn shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a gas station lot. The shooting was preceded by an argument over loud noise that was being played in the vehicle that Mr. Davis was in with three friends. Reports indicate Mr. Dunn fired 8 rounds into the vehicle, resulting in Mr. Davis’ death. Dunn initially left the scene, but called to turn himself in the next day. He was charged with murder for Mr. Davis, and three counts of attempted murder for the other teens in the car. Mr. Dunn is white, and Mr. Davis was black.
Recently, the State Attorney’s Office announced that they had sought and received an indictment upping the primary charge to First Degree Murder. Apparently, they do not intend to seek the death penalty, but First Degree Murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. In Florida, life means life: there is no possibility for parole if convicted. The case is being handled by the 4th Circuit SAO, which is the office of State Attorney Angela Corey, whose aggressive prosecutorial style this blog has previously discussed. To charge First Degree murder, the State must be able to prove there was premeditation or that there was another specific aggravator. Based on the facts that have been discussed in the media so far, the State is likely proceeding on a premeditation theory. The premeditation does not mean “advance-planned” as we often think, but the case certainly sounds like a heat of the moment act as opposed to one of premeditation.
Attorneys for Mr. Dunn have claimed that their client acted in self-defense. He apparently gave a statement to law enforcement that while he was arguing with Mr. Davis, he was threatened and thought he saw a shotgun being pointed in his direction before shooting. No weapon has been located in the vehicle, but there are reports the teen’s vehicle initially left the scene before returning. Mr. Dunn’s first attorney tried to distance his client from the Trayvon Martin situation, but his new attorney, Cory Strolla, has acknowledged that they may try to use Stand Your Ground in his defense. They better, because Mr. Dunn will need to show that he had a reasonable belief that he was in danger of death or great bodily harm for his actions to be justified. There are certainly differences between the cases, but they both come back to the simple question of justification. And that justification does not require a showing of actual danger, merely that a reasonable person in their shoes would have felt the danger.
Thanks to Dan for the heads up on this case. #standyourground