Prosecutors Thursday described a white Florida man accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager during an argument over loud music as a cold killer who fired multiple times into an SUV. His defense countered during his retrial that the man felt threatened and fired in self-defense.
Michael Dunn, 47, is on trial for a second time, charged with first-degree murder in the November 2012 killing of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old from Marietta, Georgia.
No one denies that the shots fired at the SUV with four teenagers in it killed Davis. Prosecutor John Guy said Dunn fired at the SUV "with malice in his heart and intent in his hand" while the defense said it happened because he felt in imminent danger.
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Dunn was convicted previously of attempted second-degree murder for firing the shots, but that first jury deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge. He faces at least 60 years in prison for the previous convictions.
Guy said during his opening statement Thursday that Dunn's actions, such as not immediately calling 911 after the shooting, showed that he was unconcerned about repercussions.
"(Dunn) went back to his hotel, poured a tall rum and coke, took his little dog for a walk, ordered a pizza, watched some TV and went to sleep," Guy said. Defense attorney Waffa Hanania said Dunn didn't think he'd done anything illegal.
The argument at a convenience store began when Dunn, who is from Satellite Beach, Florida, and was in Jacksonville for his son's wedding, asked the teens to turn down loud rap music.
One teen in the car did turn it down, but Davis told him to turn it back up, and started arguing with Dunn.
After the argument, Dunn grabbed a pistol from his glove box and fired at the SUV, Guy said. The SUV left the scene, but Dunn got out of his car and continued firing, Guy said.
Guy said Davis had just been acting like a teenager, and "cowered" once he saw Dunn's gun.
"For all of his loud music and his four-letter words and teenage bravado, in the end, when it came right down to it, Jordan Russell Davis was just that, a teenager," Guy said.
But Dunn had had enough of the "mouthy, audacious" teenager, Guy said
Dunn's defense contends he made a split-second decision to fire out of fear, though prosecutors say no gun was ever found in or near the SUV.
"The only thing Jordan Davis ever had in his hands was a cellphone," Guy said.
Hanania said: "He acted to defend himself. And he believed that he acted lawfully."