After more than 30 hours of jury deliberations over four days, a mistrial was declared on the murder charge that Michael Dunn faced in the fatal shooting of one of the black teens. The 12 jurors found him guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and a count of firing into an occupied car.
Dunn was emotionless as the verdicts were read. Each attempted second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years and a minimum of 16 3/4 years in prison, while the fourth charge he was convicted on carries a maximum of 15. Barring a successful appeal, Dunn is looking at spending the rest of his life in prison.
Davis' parents expressed their sentiment concerning the verdict: his mother, Lucia McBath, expressed gratitude saying, "We are so grateful for the charges that have been brought against him. We are so grateful for the truth. We are so grateful that the jurors were able to understand the common sense of it all." On Dunn's potentially lengthy sentence, Davis' father, Ron Davis, said: "He's going to learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son, that it was not just another day at the office."
Earlier in the day, the panel said in a note to Judge Russell L. Healey that they couldn't agree on the murder charge. Hence, a mistrial. However, Dunn will be retried on a first-degree murder charge.
Dunn claimed he acted in self-defense, testifying he thought he saw a firearm pointed at him from the SUV as the argument escalated. No weapon was found in the SUV. He told jurors he feared for his life, perceiving "this was a clear and present danger." Dunn, who has a concealed weapons permit, fired 10 shots, hitting the vehicle nine times. The question I have is if Dunn was so afraid, why did he park next to a car that was playing loud music? A fearful white man would have parked somewhere else or simply waited for the the "thugs" to leave. A scare white man wouldn't have confronted the youth about the loudness of their "thug" music.
The young men complied and turned the music down. Davis sitting in the back seat told his friends to turn the music back up, which they did. An argument ensued. According to authorities, Dunn became enraged about the music and ensuing argument. Dunn testified he heard someone in the SUV shouting expletives and the word "cracker," which is a derogatory term for white people. One person walking out of the convenience store said he heard Dunn say, "You are not going to talk to me like that." Prosecutors contended that Dunn opened fire because he felt disrespected by Davis. "That defendant didn't shoot into a car full of young men to save his life. He shot into it to save his pride," Assistant State Attorney John Guy told the jury earlier in the week. "Jordan Davis didn't have a weapon, he had a big mouth."
Dunn defense attorney Strolla told reporters before the verdict that he believed there was political pressure on the prosecutors and an excess of media attention because of Zimmerman's acquittal. I believe there is a lot vested in this case, politically," Strolla said. "The case, on the heels of not guilty in George Zimmerman, just escalated that political pressure."
oments before the Dunn verdict, Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, appeared on CNN urging viewers to "respect" the jury's decision. "Do not do like the killers of our children, who have taken the law into their own hands," he said. After the verdict, Crump said: "As black males and black people in America, and other minorities and Hispanics as well, it is somehow, if you kill us, the justice system isn't equal. It is almost as if your life is less valuable ... The rules are different. If it were equal, I believe Michael Dunn would have been convicted of first-degree murder."
Well I hope the message is clear: you cannot kill Black youth with impunity. But there is an appeal and strange things have happened in the history of American jurisprudence. Keep your fingers crossed folks!