After more than thirty hours of jury deliberations, a Florida judge declared a mistrial on the first-degree murder charge in the trial of Michael Dunn, accused of fatally shooting Jordan Davis—an unarmed, black teenager—during a dispute over loud rap music.
While the jurors could not reach a verdict on the charge of murder, they found Dunn guilty of four other charges, including three counts of attempted murder and one count of firing into a vehicle. A sentencing date has not been set. He faces at least sixty years in prison.
In November 2012, Dunn, who is white, opened fire at an SUV carrying four black teenagers, including Davis. He continued to fire at the vehicle as it fled the scene. Three of ten bullets hit Davis, puncturing his diaphragm, liver, lungs and aorta, according to a medical examiner who testified in court this week. The teen was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Dunn drove back to his hotel with his fiancée, where he ordered pizza and walked his dog. He did not call the police. The next day, he was arrested at his home in Brevard County.
According to court testimonies, the incident happened after Dunn and his fiancée attended the wedding of his son, where Dunn says he had three or four “small drinks.” They stopped at a gas station for wine and chips, parking next to the teenagers’ vehicle, which was blaring loud rap music. Dunn’s fiancée, Rhonda Rouer, testified that he told her “I hate that thug music,” before she left the car for the store. An argument ensued between Dunn and the teenagers over the volume of the music. The dispute ended when Dunn pulled a handgun from his glove compartment and shot at the vehicle, fatally wounding Davis.
Prosecutors argued that Dunn, feeling angry and disrespected, acted with premeditation when he “wantonly and maliciously” shot Davis. State attorneys said Dunn “went crazy” and fired “round after round after round” at a vehicle filled with unarmed teenagers. The fact that Dunn did not call police, attorney Erin Wolfson argued, suggested “he thought he got away with murder.” The prosecution also highlighted inconsistencies between Dunn’s court testimony and what he said to police the night of the shooting.
Dunn’s attorneys argued that he shot Davis in self-defense, saying the teen threatened him with a gun—though police found no weapon at the scene. The 47-year-old software engineer said Davis posed a “clear and present danger,” claiming he saw a four-inch barrel poking out the window of the SUV, resembling a shotgun. Dunn testified that he saw Davis exiting the vehicle when he fired at him.