The cautionary tale that is the first degree murder trial of Michael Dunn of Satellite Beach, Florida encompasses the issues of racial prejudice, generational ignorance and just plain ignorance of the law played out this in Jacksonville Florida.
Dunn, a licensed recreational pilot, computer programmer, was in a parking space at a Gate Gas station the night of November 23, 2012, where his girlfriend had just entered to pick up a bottle of wine and chips. Next to him a red SUV was blasting Lil’ Reece’s version of “the Beef” at a “ridiculously” loud level. Dunn upon pulling into the space had remarked to Ronda Rouel, that he could not stand that “rap crap,” “thug music”.
Dunn told jurors and investigating detectives that he asked politely the persons in the van to turn the music down. Which they did. But the music started again, this time with cuss words from the passenger in the rear seat. Those words contained threats of harm to Dunn. Those words escalated into that rear SUV passenger door opening and a man getting out screaming the phrase: “you’re dead,b..tch!” Followed by the words: “this sh..ts goin’ down now!”
At this point Dunn, pulls his 9 milimeter luger from the glove compartment of his late model Jetta, while saying to no one in particular the words:”You’re not gonna kill me you S.O.B.” He fires three shots from his car window. The red SUV pulls away, Dunn gets out and fires more shots, three of which strike a 17 year old Jordan Davis. There is no return fire.
Dunn, 47, and his girlfriend leave the scene, return to their hotel, 3 miles away, order pizza, walk the dog, sleep, watch the news reports at 7am the next morning and leave Jacksonville at 8am. Anxious to get back to familiar surroundings and tell his story to “his own” police, Dunn refuses to call Jacksonville Police or return to the scene of the shooting. By early afternoon, he is arrested after a call from Jacksonville Detectives results in Brevard County officers making the arrest.
After 10 days of trial and 3 days of deliberation, the jury of 4 men, 4 women, 2 African American women, 1 Asian woman and 1 Hispanic woman found Dunn guilty on 4 counts of attempted murder. A mistrial was declared on the 1st degree murder charge of shooting and killing Jordan Davis.
Sentencing is set for no earlier than March 24th.