JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man who shot and killed a 17-year-old teenager after an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store said Tuesday that he feared for his life when he opened fire.
Michael Dunn, 47, took the stand as the second witness called by his defense team. He is on trial for first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Jordan Davis of Marietta, Ga., in November 2012.
Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted second-degree murder in February and already faces at least 60 years in prison. The jury in the first trial deadlocked on the first-degree murder count.
Prosecutors say Dunn fired 10 shots into the SUV carrying Davis and three other teenagers.
Dunn said he and his fiancée heard loud bass thumping from an SUV parked next to them when he pulled into a convenience store to buy a bottle of wine. He had just come from his son's wedding.
"I put my window down ... and I said 'Hey, would you mind turning that down please?,'" Dunn said.
Testimony from the other teenagers in the case said Dunn was angry when he asked them to turn the music down.
The music was turned off for a short time, Dunn said, until he heard a voice from the SUV's backseat yelling curse words, telling someone in front to turn it back up.
Dunn said he was not angry when the music was turned back up, but then things got heated.
"I hear '....Cracker something, white boy' just impolite things are being said," Dunn said.
Dunn said the man in the backseat then rolled the window down and flashed a gun.
"I saw the barrel of a gun. I'm petrified. I'm in fear for my life, this guy just threatened to kill me and showed me a gun," Dunn said.
Prosecutors say there was no gun, and no gun was ever recovered from the car or the area nearby.
Dunn said the back door of the SUV opened, and that he grabbed his handgun. He had a permit for the gun.
"I reached for my weapon, in my glove box. I said 'You're not going to kill me you son of a bitch,' and then I was firing, in about two seconds."
He continued firing as the SUV sped away.
On cross-examination, prosecutor John Guy asked Dunn if he knew anyone had been hurt when he started firing into the rear passenger door, and Dunn said no.
"His door was open. It doesn't mean he's behind his door. I didn't see him behind the door," Dunn said.
Then Dunn told Guy that Davis was outside the car when he was firing.
Dunn said he didn't think that he'd hurt anyone, and prosecutors told jurors that he went back to his hotel, had a cocktail, walked his dog, ordered a pizza and went to sleep.
He never called 911, prosecutors pointed out.
Dunn said he didn't know Davis had died until he saw a report on his cell phone at 1 a.m.
"I went to the bathroom and vomited," Dunn said.
Dunn, from Satellite Beach, Fla., said he wanted to go home to report the incident to his local sheriff because authorities there were familiar with him.