Michael Dunn, the 45-year-old man who shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a Florida parking lot, has pleaded not guilty and is using the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law in his defense.
Dunn was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Davis and is being denied bond at a jail in Florida's Brevard County. The two had a confrontation at a gas station in Jacksonville over the volume of the music coming from the car Davis and his three friends were in. Dunn's lawyer, Robin Lemonidis, said that he thought he saw a shotgun in Davis' SUV and he heard the teens verbally threaten to kill him.
The Huffington Post reports:
According to Dunn’s attorney, Robin Lemonidis, he saw a shotgun in the SUV, while the teens yelled threatening, obscenities.
“Kill that mother**er, that mother**er dead, you dead bi**h, and then he sees that much of the shotgun coming up over the rim of the SUV which is up higher than his Jetta, Lemonidis told reporters. And it’s-all he sees are heavily tinted windows, which are up and the back windows which are down, and the car has at least four black men in it. And he doesn’t know how old anybody is, he doesn’t know anything, but he knows a shotgun when he sees one.”
No weapons were found in Davis' car.
Dunn also believed that the teenagers were going to tell their friends to kill him. He said that he didn't believe anyone was harmed after he let off eight to nine shots at the vehicle.
“He didn’t think he had harmed anybody and he just thought he had scared them off and he wanted to report it, but he didn’t want to go in a sense throw himself to the wolves, in a strange city without representation.”
After the shooting, Dunn and his girlfriend drove 159 miles to his home in Brevard County, where he was arrested the next day.
We've seen this case unfold before. In February, George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, claiming that he posed a threat. He also used the "Stand Your Ground" law in his defense, which allows someone to use deadly force when they are attacked and feel that their life is being threatened. However, the law does not specify the terms of a "threat" that allow someone to kill another person. It's time to repeal the law.