Lawyers make arguments in loud music death trial

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm •  Published: February 12, 2014
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A 47-year-old Florida man reacted viciously to an argument over loud music with teenagers in a store parking lot and fired multiple shots into their vehicle, killing one of them, and then drove away as if nothing happened, a prosecutor said Wednesday in a closing argument at the man's trial.

However, defense attorneys maintained in their closing argument that the state failed to prove its case or show that Michael Dunn hadn't acted in self-defense.

Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson told jurors that the evidence clearly shows 17-year-old Jordan Davis was unarmed when Michael Dunn fired 10 shots at a Dodge Durango where Davis was sitting. Wolfson said no witnesses saw any of the four teenagers in the vehicle with a weapon and police searches turned up none.

"This defendant was disrespected by a 17-year-old teenager, and he lost it. He wasn't happy with Jordan Davis' attitude. What was his response? 'You're not going to talk to me like that,'" Wolfson said. "He took these actions because it was premeditated. It was not self-defense."

Later in the afternoon, Dunn's attorney Cory Strolla told jurors that the state had failed to prove its case or disprove Dunn's assertion he acted in self-defense.

"Not one single witness said this man (Dunn) showed any signs of anger," he said.

Strolla argued that there were no signs Dunn was planning to do anything that night and only asked the teens in the car to turn down the music. Strolla said they initially did, only to turn it back up again.

Strolla said Dunn only fired his gun when he saw Davis wielding a weapon from inside the Durango and felt threatened.

"He's had that gun for 20 years and never pulled it once," Strolla said. "He told you that nobody has ever scared him, no one has ever threatened him like that."

Police didn't find a weapon in the SUV, but Strolla contended that the teens got rid of it during the three minutes they were in an adjacent parking lot after fleeing the gunshots. He said detectives should have immediately gone to the area and searched, but didn't.

During its rebuttal argument, the state again dismissed the idea that Dunn acted in self-defense.

"That defendant didn't shoot into a carful of kids to save his life. He shot into it to save his pride," Assistant State Attorney John Guy told the jury. "Jordan Davis didn't have a weapon, he had a big mouth."

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations later Wednesday in Dunn's trial on a first-degree murder charge. Dunn faces life in prison if convicted. He also faces attempted murder charges related to the other vehicle occupants.

Dunn has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Davis, of Marietta, Ga., outside a Jacksonville convenience store in 2012.

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