Michael Dunn found guilty of 1st Degree Murder

Jacksonville, Florida (CNN) — Jurors found Michael Dunn guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

via Michael Dunn found guilty of murder in loud-music trial – CNN.com.

 

Some of you may remember this case. Michael Dunn was charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of murder in the first degree after shooting at a group of teens he confronted over loud music at a Florida gas station in 2012. Dunn was convicted earlier this year for the three counts of attempted murder but, the jury deadlocked on the 1st degree murder charge and the judge declared a mistrial.

With all the other goings on of the world, no one noticed Dunn was retried for 1st degree murder. As of yesterday, Dunn was convicted on that charge for the shooting death of Jordan Davis, an adolescent male that Dunn claimed was getting out of the car and producing a weapon when Dunn opened fire. One of the things that led to Dunn’s conviction for the original attempted murder charges is the fact he continued shooting at a vehicle that by all accounts, was trying to get away from him by the time he fired his last four rounds. There was no articulable threat at that point and Dunn exhibited post offense behavior that made his self-defense claims a little difficult to swallow. Specifically, he went home before police arrived and made no effort to contact police before they knocked on his door to arrest him.

It can be argued that Dunn is suffering a from biases in the wake of the Zimmerman case but, unlike the Zimmerman case, there were witnesses to the original incident. Zimmerman also did not leave the scene of the shooting. There was also little evidence that alcohol might have been a factor in George Zimmerman’s decision to shoot Trayvon Martin.

With this conviction, Dunn now faces life in prison. Much like the Marissa Alexander case, the use of a firearm means there’s a minimum sentence of 25 years because a firearm was involved. Surely there will be a request for an appeal but, it may be a tough sell among potential jurors in Florida.

-GM

His last four rounds may have led to Dunn’s conviction in Florida

THE FINAL THREE BULLETS

Earlier on Saturday, the judge said questions posed by the 12-member jury indicated they thought Dunn was initially justified in firing the first seven bullets to defend himself from Davis, but then went too far by continuing to pull the trigger as the fleeing teens drove off.

The judge speculated that jurors felt Dunn overstepped the limits of self-defense law by shooting a final volley of three bullets after he got out of his car, when the teens no longer represented any kind of threat.

via Florida man faces 60 years in prison for shooting teens over loud music | Reuters.

Long time Harris County District Attorney, John B. “Johnny” Holmes, was once quoted saying “…if it is OK to kill a guy dead, it is OK to kill him dead, dead, dead.”  Many people have borrowed that quote in the years since he uttered them, relating to an officer involved shooting in the late 1990s. It could be argued that it’s a standard that has been applied not just in Harris County but across the country in many other cases. Well, MIchael Dunn, may have just proven that standard wrong, wrong, wrong.

The original incident was overshadowed by the Zimmerman case in which Trayvon Martin was shot to death in February of 2012.  It was in November of 2012 that Michael Dunn pulled into a gas station and parked next to a SUV in which Jordan Davis and three of his friends were sitting. Davis and friends were playing loud music and Dunn confronted them about it, It turned into a heated argument and each party alleges the other threatened them. What is known for sure is that Dunn reached into his glovebox, retrieved a pistol and fired a total of ten rounds into the SUV, ultimately killing Davis.

What may have ultimately “hung” Dunn in this case is clear audio of him firing, pausing, and then firing four more rounds from his Taurus PT-92 as the vehicle departed. Rounds that apparently entered the rear of the vehicle as the driver sped away from the scene.  Other potentially significant factors are Dunn’s own video statements and the fact police had to track him down via his license plate. Now, we can make plenty of statements about talking to the police without an attorney but, that really goes without saying.

Among the most incriminating things Dunn did here is not that he left but, that he didn’t call the police. They had to come find him. He’d gone home. Ordered a pizza. And it could be argued that he was dealing with a traumatic incident in which he was quite literally in denial, one of the phases of dealing with a traumatic incident.  Either way, if the jury watched the video of his interview (seen here), his own statements and actions are largely responsible for his convictions.

GM