Michael Dunn, the Florida man who shot at an SUV full of teenagers playing loud music in 2012, killing one boy, was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury Wednesday afternoon after more than four hours of deliberation. The State Attorney’s Office had devoted two years of effort to the prosecution.
Seventeen-year-old Jordan Davis died in September 2012 after three of the 10 bullets Dunn fired at the teens hit his chest and torso. The shooting followed a dispute over how loudly the teens were playing music when their vehicle pulled up to a Jacksonville gas station.
Dunn, 47, argued that he feared for his life and thought Davis had a gun. The state argued that Dunn’s actions after the shooting, which included returning to his hotel with his fiancé for pizza and a cocktail without calling the police, showed his indifference to the crime and victim. Investigators said Davis never had a weapon and none was found in the teens’ SUV or the surrounding area.
A jury found Dunn guilty of four charges in February, which already could amount to 60 years in prison, but the jury was hung on the murder charge related to Davis’ death. First-degree murder requires that the perpetrator premeditated the killing, while second-degree murder means the perpetrator killed in a criminal or depraved act, and manslaughter means the perpetrator unlawfully caused the death. The jury could have also found Dunn not guilty if he was in danger, acted in self-defense and used a justifiable amount of force.
Duval County Judge Russell Healey set a tentative sentencing hearing for Oct. 17 but said he would wait until Tuesday to ensure the date worked for Dunn's defense attorneys, CNN reported.
The November 2012 Davis killing followed by several months the slaying of another black youth in Florida by a man of another race -- Trayvon Martin. His killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted.