Michael Dunn took the stand today to testify in his defense at his murder trial in Duval County FL. He took the stand and claimed that he was defending himself against Jordan Davis. Dunn has been charged killing Davis, “a 17-year-old boy after an argument over loud music.” Dunn stated, “he thought he saw the barrel of a gun from a neighboring vehicle pointed at him in the moments before he fired his weapon.” Dunn claimed that “he tried to de-escalate the confrontation with three teens in a neighboring SUV outside a Jacksonville convenience store in November 2012.”
Dunn set a background for the Jacksonville murder case by telling the jurors why he was at the gas station that night. Dunn stated:
“He was in Jacksonville with his fiancee to attend his son’s wedding. He had brought along on the trip his 7-month-old dog, and at one point in testimony he wiped away tears when talking about his fiancee and dog. Dunn said he and his fiancee went to the convenience store after the wedding for wine and chips. He said he pulled into a spot next to an SUV where music with a ‘thumping’ bass was playing. ‘It got really loud,’ Dunn said. ‘My rear view mirror was shaking. My eardrums were vibrating. It was ridiculously loud.’” (Bay News)
Dunn claims that “he asked the three men in the SUV to turn down the music and they turned off the music.” He stated that the occupants of the SUV turned the music down, but shortly thereafter they turned the music up louder. “Dunn said he heard someone in the SUV shouting expletives at him and the word ‘cracker.’ Dunn is white and the teens in the SUV were black.” After this, he stated that “the men in the SUV had ‘menacing expressions’ and he asked the teens if they were talking about him. He said he wanted to de-escalate the situation but he saw a teen in the backseat reach down for something which he slammed into the car door. Dunn said it looked as if the barrel of a shotgun was sticking out the window. One of the teens stepped out of the SUV, Dunn said, and he felt ‘this was a clear and present danger.’ He reached for his pistol in a glove box. Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, fired nine shots into the car, according to an affidavit.”
One of the problems with Dunn’s version of the facts is that the police did not find any weapons or guns in Jordan’s vehicle. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I see another problem, Dunn’s demeanor. Even if he acted in self defense, he is not showing remorse for shooting Davis. This may negatively influence the jurors. He also keeps speaking in legal terms to the jury about Florida’s self defense laws. There also appears to be small conflicts in his testimony and prior statements about the events of that night. This could affect his credibility with the jurors. Another issue that I see is that Dunn did not call the police after he opened fire and fired nine gunshots at a gas station. Then, he left.
The jurors will look at the evidence and listen to the testimony. At the end of the trial, they will either decide to believe or disbelieve Mr. Dunn’s testimony. This could happen as early as today.