FLORIDA MUSIC-SHOOTING CASE Man guilty of lesser counts; mistrial declared
A 47-year-old software developer was convicted Saturday of attempted murder for shooting into a carful of teenagers after an argument over what he called their “thug music,” but jurors couldn’t agree on the most-serious charge of first-degree murder.
After more than 30 hours of jury deliberations over four days, a mistrial was declared on the murder charge that Michael Dunn faced in the fatal shooting of one of the black teens. The 12 jurors found him guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and a count of firing into an occupied car.
Dunn was charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis, of Marietta, Ga., in 2012 after the argument over loud music coming from the SUV occupied by Davis and three friends outside a Jacksonville convenience store. Dunn, who is white, had described the music to his fiancee as “thug music.”
Dunn showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. Each attempted second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, while the fourth charge he was convicted on carries a maximum of 15. A sentencing date will be set at a hearing next month.
Davis’ parents left the courtroom in tears, and afterward his mother, Lucia McBath, expressed gratitude for the verdict. Today would have been the teen’s 19th birthday.
We are so grateful for the charges that have been brought against him,” McBath said of Dunn. “We are so grateful that the jurors were able to understand the common sense of it all.”
State Attorney Angela Corey said her office planned to retry Dunn on a first-degree murder charge, and she hoped jurors would come forward and tell prosecutors where they questioned their case.
Earlier in the day, the panel said in a note to Judge Russell L. Healey that they couldn’t agree on the murder charge. They also had the option of convicting him of second-degree murder or manslaughter. The judge asked them to continue their work, and they went back to the deliberation room for two more hours before returning with a verdict.