Officers testify in Michael Dunn trial
JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP) — Police officers testified Friday that a teen died almost immediately after a Florida man fired repeatedly into his vehicle following an argument over loud music outside a convenience store.
The case echoes a trial that received wide attention and happened only two hours away. George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, in Sanford in 2012. Zimmerman, a Hispanic, was acquitted of second-degree murder in July 2013.
In Thursday’s testimony, officers Robert Holmes and Dawn Valentine of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said they found 17-year-old Jordan Davis slumped against another young man in the backseat of the SUV. Blood was coming out of the back of the teen, Holmes said.
Michael Dunn, 47, is on trial for Davis’ death. He is pleading not guilty and says he shot Davis in self-defense.
Davis’ friend, Tevin Thompson, who was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time of the shooting, testified that he and his friends were playing music loudly in their SUV while they waited for another friend to make a purchase inside the convenience store.
Dunn pulled into the parking space next to theirs, so close that it would have been impossible to open the driver’s door, Thompson said.
Dunn seemed upset and shouted to them to “turn your music down. I can’t hear myself think,” Thompson said.
During opening statements Thursday, prosecutor John Guy told jurors that Davis posed no threat to Dunn and that there was no weapon in Davis’ vehicle.
“Jordan Davis was upset, no doubt. He was cussing, no doubt. He raised his voice, no doubt. But he never threatened the guy,” Guy said. “The only thing he had on his person was a cellphone and a pocket knife. They stayed in his pocket.”
Dunn’s attorney, Cory Strolla, told jurors Dunn felt threatened and fired in self-defense. Under Florida law, Dunn had every right not to be a victim, the defense attorney said.
During the argument, Davis brandished the pocket knife, which was 4 inches (10 centimeters) and serrated when opened, Strolla said.
Davis’ words to Dunn were, “I should kill you right now,” Strolla said.
Like Zimmerman, Dunn said he felt his life was in danger when he fired the fatal shots. But unlike the Zimmerman-Martin case, several people say they witnessed Dunn shooting Davis, and that there was no physical scuffle beforehand.
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