The jury is still deliberating their decision in a Florida trial in which Michael Dunn was charged for first-degree murder of teenager, Jordan Davis, over an argument involving loud music. The jury asked to be excused on Friday, after the group of jurors have deliberated for a reported 16 hours for a decision. The jurors examined the evidence in their deliberations of the trial, and Dunn is arguing that he acted out of self-defense in the case.
Friday marked the third day of the jury’s deliberations. They are to meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning to continue their deliberations for the trial. The jury in the controversial trial is made up of seven women and five men.
With the jury currently deliberating a decision, this high-profile case about a murder that involves loud music and self-defense has become a hot topic as of late. On November 23, 2012, Michael Dunn fatally shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. As Dunn testified, he described how there was “obnoxious” music coming from a Dodge Durango, in which Davis and his three other friends were sitting. Dunn approached the car and said that the young, African-American men threatened his life.
Dunn stated that he fired 10 shots at the Durango, and Jordan Davis was hit three times that ultimately took his life. Authorities say that Dunn argues that he was at fear for his own life. But Assistant State Attorney, Erin Wolfson, went on record to claim that there was no gun in the Durango after all, and also mentioned that Dunn’s claims are not adding up. Michael Dunn never took cover as he fired at the SUV, although he told detectives that he saw a gun. If Dunn is found guilty by the jury, then he will face life in prison. The death penalty was not sought after by the prosecution.
The jurors were reportedly wanted to view the surveillance video from the gas station of where the shooting took place on Thursday’s deliberations. The surveillance tape shows 20 full minutes of footage from different angles of the gas station. The jury also wanted to see a demonstration of a mannequin again to view the different angles that the three bullets entered into Davis’ body. Judge Russell Healey allowed this on the terms that both the prosecution and defense agree to it, but it was decided to not be shown to the jurors because the bullet directions could have been repositioned differently.
The current Michael Dunn case is quite comparable to the George Zimmerman trial in some ways. Zimmerman, who is half-white and half-Hispanic, was acquitted on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting of African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin. The act of self-defense was key in the verdict that led to Zimmerman being found not guilty, and Dunn is using self-defense to back up his shooting. Race has also taken center stage in these two similar trials. But the public’s attention is nowhere near as focused on Dunn’s trial as opposed to the Zimmerman case.
The jury may or may not have a decision in the coming days. After the jurors have been deliberating for the past few days in the loud music murder trial of Jordan Davis by the shooter, Michael Dunn, the viewing of evidence seems to be crucial in their long deliberation process. The jury has even gone as far to ask if they can consider the claim of self defense separately.
By Glen Parris