Shooting of Jordan Davis

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Murder of Jordan Davis
Duval County Florida Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Jacksonville Highlighted.svg
Location 8251 Southside Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Date November 23, 2012 (2012-11-23)
7:30 pm
Weapons Taurus PT 99 AF[1]
Victim Jordan Davis
Perpetrator Michael Dunn
Verdict Guilty of first-degree murder
Guilty of attempted second-degree murder (3 counts)
Guilty of firing into a vehicle
Charges First degree murder, attempted murder, firing into an occupied vehicle

The shooting of Jordan Davis occurred on Friday, November 23, 2012, at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, United States by Michael David Dunn, a 47-year-old software developer, following an argument over the loud music played by Davis and/or his three friends. Jordan Russell Davis was a 17-year-old high school student. Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted second-degree murder for firing at three other teenagers who were with Davis and one count of firing into a vehicle.[2]

The shooting[edit]

The shooting took place in Duval County. Dunn was visiting the city for a wedding.[3] The incident began when Dunn allegedly confronted Davis and his companions, objecting to the volume of the music being played in their vehicle. A verbal argument ensued to which Dunn responded by retrieving a loaded handgun from his car and shooting ten rounds into the teenagers' car, fatally injuring Jordan Russell Davis.[4]

Around 7:30 p.m., four teenage boys (Leland Brunson, Jordan Davis, Tommie Stornes, and Tevin Thompson) stopped at the Gate gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. While the driver, Tommie Stornes, was inside making the purchase, Michael Dunn and girlfriend Rhonda Rouer pulled into the adjacent parking spot. Rouer left the car to purchase white wine and chips.[5] She testified that Dunn told her, "I hate that thug music" before she left the car for the store, although Dunn claims he used the phrase "rap crap".[6][7]

The bass from loud hip-hop music ("Beef" by Lil Reese) playing in the teens' SUV started to shake both cars and bother Dunn, who asked for it to be turned down.[5][8] Front seat passenger Tevin Thompson initially complied, but then Jordan Davis objected and Thompson turned the music back up.[9] According to the other teens, Davis and Dunn continued to talk to each other, with Davis cursing, becoming "extremely upset" and allegedly referred to Dunn as a "cracker".[10] Dunn remained relatively calm. Meanwhile, Stornes returned to the vehicle.[5]

According to Dunn's testimony, Davis threatened to kill him, then opened his car door and pointed what appeared to be a shotgun at him.[7] Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit,[3] took a handgun out of his glove compartment and started firing at Davis' door, hitting him in the legs, lungs, and aorta. As the SUV backed up to evade his gunshots, Dunn opened his own door and continued firing at the car, later testifying that he still feared for his safety as well as that of Rouer, who was to return to the vehicle imminently.[11]

After the shooting, Stornes drove the SUV a short distance away to a nearby parking lot and stopped to find Davis "gasping for air".[5] Rouer returned to Dunn's car and they went back to their hotel where they ordered pizza. Dunn did not contact the police. The next morning, Rouer saw a report about the shooting on the news, indicating that Jordan Davis had died. At her request, the couple abandoned their prior plans and headed straight home. On the drive home, Dunn testified, he called a neighbor who works in law enforcement to arrange to speak to him about the shooting, but phone records indicate that the neighbor actually called him, and Rouer testified that the shooting was never mentioned during the call.[12] Dunn returned to his home in Satellite Beach the following day at 10:30 a.m., where he was arrested, his license plate having been reported to police by an eyewitness.[13][14][15]

Investigators later searched the SUV and found no weapons. Dunn's attorney claimed that detectives did not search the area for a weapon for several days after the shooting and that the teens had "ample time to get rid of a firearm or pipe."[16][17] Davis' friends testified that he could not have opened his door because the child lock was set. Contrary to Dunn's claim that he mentioned the shotgun to her several times, Rouer testified that he never mentioned a gun either that night or the next day.[7][9]

Legal proceedings[edit]

Shortly after Davis' death, his parents, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, and some of the other vehicle occupants, filed civil complaints against Dunn. They were represented by John M. Phillips in wrongful death and defamation lawsuits against Dunn. The cases were settled for an undisclosed amount in January 2014. Dunn’s insurance company, Progressive Select Insurance, challenged its duty to cover the lawsuit, but dismissed its lawsuit in conjunction with the settlement.[18][19] In his criminal trial, Dunn had been declared broke.[20][21]

In closing arguments at the first trial, the defense lawyer for Michael Dunn cited the language of Florida's stand-your-ground law.[22] The jury was unable to return a unanimous verdict on a charge of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Jordan Davis. The judge declared a mistrial on that count.

On February 15, 2014, after more than thirty hours of deliberation, the jury reached a guilty verdict of attempted murder. The jury could not reach an agreement on Dunn's first-degree murder charge and a mistrial was called. Florida state attorney Angela Corey stated that her office would seek a retrial for this charge.[23] Dunn's attorney subsequently requested that sentencing on the four counts of which Dunn already had been convicted be delayed until after Dunn's retrial.[24] Dunn could have faced up to 75 years in prison on these counts, with each attempted second-degree murder charge carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years and the firing into a vehicle charge carrying a maximum of 15.[25][26]

Jury selection in Dunn's retrial began on September 22, 2014, and opening statements took place on September 25. Dunn was found guilty on October 1, 2014 at the conclusion of the retrial.[27][28][29][30]

Following the trial, Dunn's attorney filed for appeal with the First District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida.[31] On November 17, 2016 his appeal was denied.[32]

Reactions[edit]

Michael Dunn's former neighbor, Charles Hendrix, said he was not surprised by Dunn's behavior.[33][34] Hendrix commented on Dunn, whom he described as arrogant and controlling, adding that Dunn's ex-wives told him that Dunn was violent and abusive toward them, although he never personally witnessed this.[34] Hendrix spoke of a previous discussion where Dunn asked him if he knew anyone who would "take care of" someone who infuriated him in an unrelated incident, and Hendrix interpreted further discussion as Dunn wanting to send a hit on this person.[33]

Davis's father Ron Davis said, "I'm in constant contact with Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, and I text Sybrina [Trayvon's mother] all the time and I just want to let them know, every time I get justice for Jordan, it's going to be justice for Trayvon, for us."[35] He said he wanted to confront Michael Dunn in jail about his son's murder.[36][37]

Rebecca Dunn, Michael Dunn's daughter, defended her father's story, by her statement during an interview, "He is going to protect himself if he sees no other way than to bring out his gun, then that's what he's going to do."[38][39] She described Dunn as "a good man. He's not a racist. He's very loving."[25]

Documentary[edit]

In January 2015, the documentary 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (then titled 3 ½ Minutes) premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 24. The documentary is about the shooting, the trial and Florida's Stand Your Ground laws and was directed by Marc Silver. The documentary won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.[40] The film distribution was sold to HBO.[41]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neale, Rick (September 28, 2014). "Dunn jury hears from former fiancee, juror dismissed". Florida Today. Gannett. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ Tienabeso, Seni (February 17, 2014). "'I Was the Victim,' Says Loud Music Trial Shooter in Jailhouse Phone Call". abcnews.go.com. ABCNew. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Kinner, Derek (February 15, 2014). "Michael Dunn Verdict: Florida Man Found Guilty Of Attempted Murder In Loud-Music Trial". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ Boroff, David (February 18, 2014). "'Loud Music' case: Michael Dunn portrayed himself as 'f-----g victim' in Florida shooting death of Jordan Davis". Daily News. New York: Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Dahl, Julia (February 7, 2014). "Teens testify shooter Dunn said "Are you talking to me?"". CBS News. 
  6. ^ Hsieh, Steven (February 15, 2014). "Jury Fails to Reach Verdict on Murder Charge in Michael DunnTrail". thenation.com. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Alvarez, Lizette (February 11, 2014). "Florida Man's Fiancée Contradicts Parts of his Testimony in Killing of Teenager". New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Song played in Jordan Davis shooting revealed". First Coast News. February 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Sloane, Amanda (February 7, 2014). "Friends describe moments before Jordan Davis died". HLN. 
  10. ^ BBC.co.uk Feb 11, 2014
  11. ^ McLaughlin, Elliot C. (February 11, 2014). "Did Jordan Davis have weapon? Attorneys spar in loud music murder trial". CNN. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Michael Dunn testifies; fiancee says he never told her about gun; closings Wednesday". The Florida Times-Union. February 11, 2014. He also said he was going home to talk with a law enforcement neighbor about the shooting, and that he called him on the way home. Phone records produced by Guy indicated that the neighbor called him, not vice versa. In a rebuttal, fiancee Rhonda Rouer repeated that Dunn did not tell her about the gun and that the neighbor called him and the shooting didn't come up. 
  13. ^ McLaughlin, Eliott (February 11, 2014). "Did Jordan Davis have weapon? Attorneys spar in loud music murder trial". CNN. 
  14. ^ Wallace, Kamal (February 10, 2014). "Michael Dunn's girlfriend: 'I heard pop, pop, pop'". HLN. 
  15. ^ Brevard man charged in homicide: Another stand your ground showdown?, Florida Today, December 15, 2013.
  16. ^ McLaughlin, Elliot C. & Karimi, Faith. (February 14, 2014). "Florida jurors continue deliberations Saturday in loud-music murder trial". CNN. 
  17. ^ McLaughlin, Eliott (February 11, 2014). "Did Jordan Davis have weapon? Attorneys spar in loud music murder trial". CNN. 
  18. ^ Pantazi, Andrew (January 5, 2014). "Jordan Davis' parents settle wrongful death suit with Michael Dunn". The St. Augustine Record. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Progressive Select Insurance Company v. Dunn et al (3:13-cv-00402), Florida Middle District Court". www.pacermonitor.com. January 13, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  20. ^ Lee, Trymaine (September 13, 2013). "Attorney for Jordan Davis' family says it's about hate, not race". msnbc.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  21. ^ Ross, Janell (January 25, 2013). "Ron Davis, Father Of Slain Florida Teen Jordan Davis, Ready To Fight". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Juror: Some On Panel Thought The Killing Of Unarmed Teen Jordan Davis Was ‘Justified’". Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ Malbran, Pia & O'Donnell, Noreen (February 17, 2014). "Michael Dunn, in just released phone calls, describes himself as victim after killing teenager". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  24. ^ Hannan, Larry (June 9, 2014). "Michael Dunn won't be sentenced till after new Sept. 22 trial on 1st-degree murder charge of Jordan Davis". jacksonville.com. The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "EXCLUSIVE: Dunn's daughter, 'It should never have happened.'". First Coast News. February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  26. ^ Muskal, Michael (February 15, 2014). "Michael Dunn convicted on 4 of 5 charges in loud-music murder case". LA Times. 
  27. ^ http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/local/michael-dunn-trial/2014/10/01/michael-dunn-verdict/16528531/
  28. ^ Kinner, Derek (September 25, 2014). "Florida Man on Trial Again in Loud Music Killing". abcnews.com. ABC News. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  29. ^ Larry, Larry (May 26, 2014). "Prosecutors want to put Michael Dunn in prison before murder retrial". jacksonville.com. The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  30. ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/17/justice/michael-dunn-sentencing/index.html
  31. ^ Appeal filed in Michael Dunn's conviction in teen Jordan Davis' death, The Florida Times-Union, Mar 16, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  32. ^ [1], "USA Today"
  33. ^ a b NANCY GRACE: "Loud Music Murder" Jury Still Deliberating, February 13, 2014 
  34. ^ a b He's a very angry man. CNN. February 17, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Ron Davis in contact with Trayvon's father", abcnews.go.com; accessed February 21, 2014.
  36. ^ Jordan Davis’ dad wants to confront son’s killer in jail. CNN. February 20, 2014. 
  37. ^ Grace, Nancy (February 20, 2014), Victim`s Father Wants to Meet "Loud Music" Shooter, CNN 
  38. ^ "Hear Dunn's daughter react to verdict". CNN. February 17, 2014. 
  39. ^ Associated Press (February 17, 2014), Daughter defends father found guilty of attempted murder in loud music trial, Cox Media Group 
  40. ^ "Sundance Institute - Award Winners". sundance.org. 2015. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  41. ^ Peter Sciretta (February 26, 2015). "Movies Sold at Sundance 2015: A Complete & Updated Guide". /Film. Archived from the original on March 23, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 

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