UPDATE: Thursday 12:15 PM EST
Live stream for Michael Dunn’s retrial:
On Monday, the retrial of Michael Dunn began with prosecutors and defense attorneys screening individuals for jury selection.
Florida teen Jordan Davis was killed on November 23, 2012 after a verbal altercation with Dunn, fueled by the teen’s loud music. Davis was unarmed. Dunn opened fire on the SUV, hitting the teen with three bullets. He attempted to claim self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
It’s been seven months since Dunn first stood trial for the shooting of the 17-year-old — his February trial ended in a deadlocked jury, failing to reach a decision about the first-degree murder charge. Dunn was, however, found guilty of three counts of attempted murder for firing a dozen shots into the SUV carrying Davis and three of his friends.
He was also found guilty with one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile.
Disturbingly dubbed the “loud music trial” by many media outlets, Dunn’s winter trial lasted only a week, seeing testimony from the three teenagers in the vehicle when Davis was shot, Dunn’s fiancée (who testified that the 47-year-old failed to call the police after the shooting), and Dunn’s estranged son. After 31 hours of deliberation, the jury of 12 declared a mistrial.
During his second trial, Dunn will be tried for first-degree murder again, and faces a minimum of 60 years if convicted.
Here are five things you should know about Dunn’s second go-around.
The Trial May Be Moved Out Of Jacksonville:
Dunn’s defense attorney, Waffa Hanania, has argued that the 47-year-old cannot get a fair trial in Jacksonville because of the high-profile case. Citing the heavy pretrial publicity, Hanania has asked for a change of venue. Judge Russell Healey is allowing jury selection to continue, but said he will consider moving the case if there is difficulty seating an unbiased panel. Angela Corey, the State Attorney who prosecuted both George Zimmerman and Dunn, is opposing the move.
Jurors That Know About The Case Are Fair Game:
While Judge Healey reserves the right to move the trial if the defense and prosecution cannot find an impartial jury, he does understand that “no one lives in a vacuum.” He previously stressed that he wasn’t hell-bent on finding jurors who didn’t know about the case — only those who could keep an open mind. According to News4Jax, Healey asked potential jurors if they could do just that. “No matter what you read or saw, can you set it aside and sit as a juror in the courtroom and render a verdict based on what you see and hear in the courtroom, not in the media?” the judge told the jurors.
The Same Witnesses May Be Called:
Testimony is to begin later this week and prosecutors are expected to call many of the same witnesses, including the three teens in the car with Davis when he was shot — Tevin Thompson, Tommie Stornes, and Leland Brunson — as well as the medical examiner, Dunn’s former fiancée Rhonda Rouer, employees at the Southside Gate convenience store and gas station where the shooting occurred, and police officers.
The Defense May Call A New, Surprising Witness:
Dunn’s original defense attorney Cory Strolla is out. His retrial will be headed by a new defense, court appointed attorney Waffa Hanania. And with different attorneys come different witnesses. According to News4Jax, Levar Floyd, a man who was locked up in the Duval County jail at the same time as Dunn, may be called for the defense. If you recall, Dunn scribbled the word thug, among other artwork, on his jail cell walls.
Dunn May Testify Again:
Dunn is expected to testify a second time around given his first testimony led a number of jurors to believe his life was in danger. Dunn told the court in February that he saw a gun in the SUV before he pulled out his weapon to defend himself. Investigators, however, never recovered a weapon.
Jury selection continues, but testimonies are tentatively scheduled for Thursday. We’ll keep you updated with the latest.
SOURCE: Jacksonville, News4Jax | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout
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