After two weeks of jury selection, testimonies and an emotional trial, a jury of 12 (and four alternates) will decide if Michael Dunn will be convicted of murder in the first degree for the killing of unarmed teen Jordan Davis.
During the trial, we’ve heard compelling testimony from Tommie Stornes, Tevin Thompson and Leland Brunson — all teens who were in the SUV with Jordan when he was shot — Jordan’s father, Ron Davis, and Dunn’s fiancé, Rhonda Rouer, who was with him at the time of the shooting.
Both defense attorney Cory Strolla and the prosecution team (made up of John Guy, Angela Corey and Erin Wolfson), brought forth witnesses from the gas station and the adjacent plaza parking lot. Expert witnesses, including a medical examiner who testified Jordan was seated when shot (contradicting Dunn’s testimony), were also put on the stand by the state.
But no testimony was as gripping (as it was contradictory) as Dunn’s.
Here are some of his statements during the trial.
1. On hearing threats and seeing a “weapon” before he pulled the trigger:
“After hearing the, ‘Something, something cracker,’ and this and that, I hear, ‘I should kill that mother f****r,’ and I’m flabbergasted — I must not be hearing this right,” Dunn said. “And in an even more elevated voice, ‘I should f******g killing this mother f****r’ — and now he’s screaming. There’s no mistake to what he said, that’s what he said. “I’m shaking, I mean I’m quivering like a leaf. Strolla: “Did [Jordan] act like a child…look like a child? Did he threaten you like a child?” Dunn: “No. He threatened me like a man.”
While Dunn repeated the sentiments above during the trial, prosecutor John Guy made it known that Dunn never mentioned these threats to police after he turned himself in.
2. On describing Jordan Davis and his friends:
Guy: “You thought everyone in the car was a thug or a gangster, right?” Dunn: “After the way they behaved…yes.”
While waiting to stand trial, Dunn wrote letters to unnamed fans and his family, associating black men with the term “thug.” After he asked to turn the music down in the SUV the boys were parked in, Dunn believed that the teens began to exhibit “gangster behavior.”
3. Describing the type of music Jordan and his friends were listening to:
Dunn: She could have imagined I said that “thug music”. Guy: You could have imagined the teens had a gun. Dunn: Anything is possible.
Dunn stated that he didn’t shoot the teen because of the music he deemed ‘rap crap,’ but because he believed his life, along with his fiancée’s, were in danger.
4. On the appearance of Davis and his friends:
“There was no mistake in what he said,” Dunn said from the stand. He went on to describe seeing “two young men with menacing expressions” in the car.
After claiming that Jordan said he was going to kill him, Dunn says the faces of the unarmed teens were “menacing,” causing him to fear for his life.
5. On deciding to defend himself:
“The music was turned back on,” Dunn testified, “I wasn’t going to ask for favors anymore.”
After Davis and friends allegedly called him a cracker and spewed threats, Dunn claims he saw the “top barrel of a gun” and that’s when he shot 10 times at the SUV. Police later found out that there were no weapons of any kind in the SUV.
6. On not calling the police after the shooting:
After the SUV drove off, Mr Dunn said he still felt threatened. “I shot at them, now, what are they going to do?”
Dunn still believed the teens had a weapon, even though bystanders ran to the car to try to save the 17-year old. He then states that he wanted to go back to his hotel room with his girlfriend to protect her and take care of their puppy. John Guy countered that statement, saying he didn’t call the police because he thought he got away with murder.
7. On his choice to fire his weapon:
“I had no choice but to defend myself…it was life or death.”
Dunn contends that his only choice was to pull out his weapon, but Guy points out later that if he wasn’t feeling a sense of superiority, this incident wouldn’t have occurred. During closing arguments, Guy points out that Dunn felt disrespected, so he challenged a mouthy teenager and escalated the situation.
8. After getting the phone call from police about the shooting:
Dunn claims that he wanted to wait until he was around officials he knew before talking to the police. He testified that he called his neighbor, also a law enforcement agent. But during the trial, it was revealed that he didn’t make the call, in fact, the police called him instead.
9. On having regrets about killing Jordan Davis:
“I don’t want to sound like an asshole, but if it happened tomorrow where a shotgun came up, I would do it again.”
Although Dunn says he has remorse for killing Davis, the statements made during the trial painted a different picture. Dunn continues to stand by his actions for the safety of himself and his fiancée.
10. On feeling impartial to Davis and his friends:
Dunn said Davis threatened his life “like a man.” He also said it was four against one and that he doesn’t body build or lift weights.
Standing at 6’5, Dunn says that although he was taller and bigger than all four of the teens in the car, he still believed that they would harm him.
11. The reason why he continued to shoot his gun:
“I was shooting to keep their heads down, not to kill,” said Dunn. When Guy asks why he put his gun back in his glove compartment even though he feared more “gangsters” coming to hurt him: “My gun was ready to fire at that time — it was fully loaded.”
Dunn was worried that more people were coming to harm him after the shooting. Even with the teens never retaliating after the first shot, Dunn fired his gun 9 more times.
12. Why he was worried about Jordan’s friends more than the police:
“You have to understand, we didn’t think anybody was hurt,” he testified. “We were not in trouble with police. We might be in trouble with the local gangsters, but did nothing wrong.”
Dunn returned to his hotel and spend time with his fiancée and puppy the first night of the shooting and planned on leaving town. Prosecutors believed that Dunn had no intention of calling the police to report what happened.
13. On the ‘premeditated thoughts’ argument:
“My intention was to stop an attack — not end a life. It worked out like that,” Dunn said.
Dunn bluntly says that he pulled his gun ready to defend himself, but still claims that his intentions were not to kill Davis — even though he believes Davis said he was going to kill him.
For more information on Jordan Davis and Michael Dunn’s murder trial, click here.
PHOTO CREDIT: Screengrab
1. Jordan Davis
Davis, an unarmed 17-year-old, was shot and killed by Michael Dunn at a Florida gas station after an argument over loud music. His killer is set to stand trial in 2014.
2. Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed by patrolman George Zimmerman after he mistook the Skittles and Ice Tea in Martin's hands as weapons. Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder.
3. Kendrick Johnson
Kendrick Johnson was 17-years-old when he was found dead rolled up in a mat at his high school in Valdosta, Georgia in January. The teen's death was initially named accidental, until more details regarding his death were brought to light last month. The federal government is now looking into the teen's mysterious murder.
4. Alaysha Carradine
Alaysha was killed during a sleepover in July. The 8-year-old was the only one killed during the shooting, while her friends Amara York, 7, and her 4 year-old-brother were wounded.
5. Renisha McBride
Renisha McBride was 19 when she was shot in the head by a man who believed she was trying to harm him. The teen was seeking help after she gotten into a car accident. Police are currently looking into the case.
6. Amanda Todd
Amanda Todd, 15, committed suicide after constant taunting and teasing from bullies online. Her death prompted worldwide recognition of bullying online.
7. Jonathan Ferrell
Ferrell (left) was shot 10 times by Officer Randal Kerrick (right) who thought he was a holding a weapon. The 24-year-old was dropping a friend off when he crashed his car in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Ferrell was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his death.
8. Darius Simmons
Darius, 13, was shot and killed by his neighbor over the summer. 76-year-old John H. Spooner was arrested and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
9. Shaniya Davis
Shaniya Davis was raped and killed by a family friend when her mother gave her away to support a drug habit in 2011. Davis was just 5-years-old when she died of asphyxiation and sexual abuse.
10. Andy Lopez
Andy Lopez was shot by Deputy Erick Gelhaus after he mistakenly mistook Lopez's pellet gun with a real one. Gelhaus is currently suspended while many are in protest of the 13-year-old's wrongful death.
11. Joshua Proutey
Proutey was 19-years-old when he was robbed and killed over $10 dollars, a sandwich, and a cell phone in North Carolina in 2012. Four people were arrested in connection to the teen's death.
12. Jonylah Watkins
Jonylah was just six months old when she and her father were shot several times outside a home in Woodlawn, a South Side Chicago neighborhood. Jonylah died on March 13, 2013, after hours of surgery failed to save the baby.
13. Steven Simpson
Simpson, a gay teen, was set on fire at his 18th birthday party by 20-year-old Jordan Sheard. Sheard has been sentenced to three and half years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
14. Leila Fowler
8-year-old Leila Fowler was killed by a home intruder in April. Her 12-year-old brother has been charged with second degree murder, although his parents believe he is innocent.
15. Shaneisha Forbes
Shaniesha Forbes, 14, disappeared while walking to school in January. Days late,r she was found partially buried in a nature reserve in New York City. Her boyfriend, 20-year-old Christian Ferdinand, was arrested after he suffocated and burned Forbes' body when he believed that she may have been pregnant.
16. D'aja Robinson
D'aja, 16, was shot to death as she sat on a city bus in Queens. The teen was not the target of the shooting. Queens native 50 Cent helped pay for her funeral expenses.
17. Brooklynn Mohler
13-year-old Brooklynn Mohler was killed by a friend when the gun she was holding accidentally discharged in June. Her friend was not charged in her death.
18. Ashley Qualls
Ashley Qualls, 25, was shot after getting into an argument with three bikers in Treme, LA. No arrests were made in her murder.
19. Nicholeia Taylor
The 25-year-old was struck and killed by a stray bullet in Brooklyn last month. Police are looking for her killer, Corey Brown, 21.
20. Trayvon Dodd
Trayvon Dodd was 15 when he was shot and killed by a friend by accident. His friend, a 12-year-old, has not been charged in Dodd's death.
21. Demarius Reed
Eastern Michigan football star Demarius Reed was shot to death in his apartment building hallway in October. Police are still looking into his death.
22. Jasmine Benjamin
Jasmine Benjamin was found in her dorm dead at Valdosta State University last year. In January, her boyfriend Darien Meheux turned himself into police and was charged with suffocating the 17-year-old freshman.
23. Autumn Pasquale
Autumn Pasquale was strangled to death by two teenage boys trying to steal her bike. The boys later dumped her body in a recycling bin.
24. Antiq Hennis
1-year-old Antiq Hennis was shot and killed in Brooklyn when the shooter, Daquan Breland, 23, tried to shoot his father. Breland was charged with murder and is currently facing up to 25 years if convicted.
25. Caleb Gordley
Caleb Gordley was shot and killed after mistakenly entering the wrong home in March. The teen went to a party with friends and tried to sneak back into his home but instead crawled into his neighbor's window when he was killed. His parents have forgiven his shooter.
26. Noel Polanco
The 22-year-old Army reservist was shot dead by an NYPD detective who thought he was reaching for a gun last year. His family is currently suing the city for the unjust murder.
27. Ramarley Graham
Police barged into the 18-year-old's home in August and killed him in his bathroom. The unarmed teen was targeted by the police when they believed he was in possession of narcotics. The officer who killed Graham will face no charges in the teen's death.
28. Marcos Arenas
Marcos Arenas was 15 when he was killed for his iPad in Las Vegas in May. While walking home from school, Arenas was approached by two men and later dragged by their SUV after he refused to give them his iPad. The two men have been arrested and charged with open murder, robbery and attempted robbery.
29. Steven Gregory Grich
Grich, a engineering student at Clemson State University, was murdered when four men broke into his off campus home and killed him.
30. Joshua Wood
The Houston native was just 16 when he was gunned down for his new Air Jordan sneakers he bought just minutes before.