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Jury selection for Fla. man in fatal shooting of black teen

Michael Dunn smiles at family and friends at his bond hearing in Jacksonville, Fla; Dunn is about to go on trial for the alleged murder of black teenager Jordan Davis Will Dickey, AP

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in Florida in the trial of 47-year-old Michael Dunn, a software developer charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the November 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside a Jacksonville convenience store.

Authorities say an argument over loud music led to the shooting. Davis was parked in a vehicle with three friends outside the store. Dunn and his fiancée had just left a wedding reception and were heading back home when they stopped at the store and pulled up next to the sport utility vehicle that Davis was sitting in.

An argument began after Dunn, who is white, told them to turn the music down, police said. One of Davis' friends turned the music down, but Davis, who is black, then told him to turn it back up.

According to authorities, Dunn became enraged and he and Davis began arguing. One person walking out of the convenience store said he heard Dunn say, "You are not going to talk to me like that."

Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled a 9 mm handgun from the glove compartment, according to an affidavit, and fired multiple shots into the SUV, striking Davis in the back and groin.

Dunn later told police he felt threatened. His attorney has said Dunn saw a gun and shot in self-defense, perhaps laying the groundwork for a case under Florida's "stand your ground" law. Under Florida's self-defense law, Dunn could fire if he believed his life was in danger.

According to Jacksonville police, Dunn fled with his fiancée and drove south more than two hours to his home and never called them. They arrested him the next day after tracking him down through his license plate number.

Dunn told officers that Davis threatened him and he thought he saw someone point a shotgun at him from inside the SUV, or maybe it was a stick to make him think it was a gun.

But police recovered no weapon from the crime scene, and witnesses said they never saw a weapon. There was no surveillance video taken outside the store.

Dunn's attorney, Cory Strolla of West Palm Beach, said in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that his client "feels that he was the victim of a political system pressured to appease a certain body of constituents."

"It has been a very long and tenuous year for my client, spent in isolation in the Duval County jail. Mr. Dunn has been continually threatened, harassed and tormented by inmates for over a year now, and has received almost no mental health counseling by staff," Strolla wrote.

Davis' mother, Lucia McBath, said that before her son's death, she never thought much about guns or Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law that Dunn has hinted he will use at trial.

"I couldn't understand what or who he was defending himself against," she said. "In this regard, there was no credible threat to him whatsoever."

The church-going Davis was a good student, had never been arrested or in trouble and was thinking about going into the military, his parents said.

He loved being with his parents — roller skating with his mom in Atlanta and swimming with his father on Jacksonville Beach. His mother, who lives in Atlanta, home-schooled him as a boy.

According to his father, Ron Davis, the two were talking about buying golf clubs so they could play together.

"I've been thinking about all of the things I've stopped doing since Jordan died," said Davis in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "The golf bag's empty in the house. I just can't seem to get motivated to get the clubs. It's just taken so much away from me. A lot of me died with Jordan."


  • Crimesider Staff

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