(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — The fate of a Florida man accused of fatally shooting a teenager over an argument about loud music is now in the hands of the jury, who must decide whether to convict him of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors said in their closing arguments Wednesday that teenager Jordan Davis “didn’t stand a chance” when Michael Dunn, 47, opened fire in a Jacksonville convenience store parking lot on Nov. 23, 2012.
Dunn testified on Tuesday that he feared for his life and thought Davis was going to kill him, prompting Dunn to pull out his gun and fire nine times.
Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson told jurors that Dunn “fired round after round after round” at Davis and his friends as they sat in their car. She said Davis was inside the SUV when he was killed. Dunn claims the teen exited the vehicle.
In his closing argument, Dunn’s attorney Cory Strolla said that his client had a right to “meet force with force.” He said the state has the burden to prove that Davis didn’t brandish a gun at Dunn, as Dunn has claimed.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Dunn could face life in prison. The judge told the jury that they could also consider the lesser crimes of second-degree murder or manslaughter.
Before the jury retired to deliberate, Wolfson showed them photos of the bullet-riddled red SUV where she said Davis was sitting in the back seat when he was fatally hit with three bullets.
“It was target practice for this defendant,” she said. “They had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.”
It wasn’t until later that evening that Dunn said he learned one of the teens had died.
After the shooting, Dunn left the scene and returned to his hotel room with his fiancee, Rhonda Rouer, where they ordered a pizza and spent the night.
The video of Dunn’s interrogation with investigators, taken on Nov. 24, 2012, was played for the jury on Tuesday.
Dunn told police in the video that he was at the hotel, “sh—ing bricks, waiting for another carload of thugs to come. I’ve never been so scared in my life.”
Dunn testified in his defense on Tuesday about the fateful stop he and Rouer made at the convenience store on the way back to their hotel from his son’s wedding reception.
He parked next to a red SUV where Davis and his friends were sitting and listening to music, while Rouer went inside to buy white wine and chips.
“There was music and then it got really loud,” Dunn said. “Body panels on the SUV were rattling, [the] rearview mirror was shaking, my ear drums were vibrating….This was ridiculously loud music.”
Dunn said he politely asked Davis and his friends to turn down the music. One of Davis’ friends lowered the volume. However, Dunn claimed the music was then turned back up. Dunn said he heard a teen yelling over the thumping base.
“I hear, ‘I should kill that motherf—-r.’ I’m flabbergasted. I must not be hearing this right,” Dunn said.
He said he rolled down his window and tried to calm down the situation. At that point, Dunn said the teen in the backseat reached down and pointed what he said appeared to be four inches of the barrel of a gun at him.
Dunn said Davis then opened the car door and said, “You’re dead, b—-.”
“I thought he was coming to kill me. I thought he was coming to beat me,” Dunn said. He said he did not see what he believed to be a shotgun anymore.
“What went through my mind is, ‘This was a clear and present danger,’” Dunn said. “I said, ‘You’re not going to kill me you son of a b—-.”
At that point, Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, retrieved his pistol from his glove box and fired. According to a police affidavit, nine bullet holes were found on the SUV.
Dunn and his fiancee left their hotel the next morning and went home to Brevard County, where Dunn was arrested.
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