Jury in Florida ‘loud music’ murder trial stuck on murder charge

Michael Dunn returns to the courtroom during jury deliberations in his murder trial over the killing of Jordan Davis, in Jacksonville, Florida February 13, 2014. Dunn is accused of first degree murder in death of unarmed teenager Davis after an altercation over loud rap music at a Florida gas station. Credit: Reuters
Michael Dunn returns to the courtroom during jury deliberations in his murder trial over the killing of Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Fla.
Credit: Reuters

Update: The judge has told the jurors to continue deliberating upon hearing they had reached a verdict on four of the five charges.

A Florida jury deliberating for a fourth day in the trial of a middle-aged man who shot and killed a teenager during an argument over blaring rap music said on Saturday it had reached a verdict on all counts except a first-degree murder charge.

Michael Dunn, 47, a white software engineer, fired 10 rounds at an SUV carrying four teens in a Jacksonville gas station parking lot in November 2012, killing 17-year-old black teen Jordan Davis.

Jurors told Judge Russell Healey in a note that they had reached a verdict on four counts, including three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of firing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle.

After jurors said they had been unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the murder charge, Healey instructed them to make one last effort to find a consensus.

Earlier on Saturday, Healey said questions posed by the 12-member jury indicated they believed Dunn was not guilty of first-degree murder, and was justified in using deadly force to defend himself from Davis.

But the judge speculated that jurors might feel Dunn went too far by shooting the final volley of three bullets after he got out of his car as the teens were driving away.

“They may say justifiable use of deadly force was in play to (a) certain point and then it went away — there was no justification for those last set of shots,” the judge said.

The trial has drawn international attention because of racial overtones and Dunn’s claims of self-defense.

The sequestered jury began deliberating on Wednesday afternoon after a week of testimony and has so far spent more than 25 hours trying to reach a verdict.

Dunn testified earlier this week that he began shooting in a state of panic after he thought he saw the barrel of a gun in the back window as Davis started to get out of the car.

Prosecutors said Davis, who had no arrest record, used foul language when confronting Dunn after the argument broke out, but was unarmed and never posed a physical threat.

Legal analysts said questions asked by jurors in recent days suggested they may be deadlocked on at least one of the five charges.

If the jury acquits Dunn on the charge of first-degree murder, or they are hung, it would be a blow for the prosecution and the Davis family.

But if found guilty on the remaining three charges of attempted murder against the other teens in the SUV, Dunn would still be facing a lengthy sentence of at least 60 years in prison, legal analysts said.

He could also be retried for first-degree murder if the jury is unable to reach a verdict on that charge.

“It does sound like that the defense has raised enough reasonable doubt to keep the jury out deliberating for a while, and maybe even come back with a lesser charge on the main count, perhaps second-degree murder or manslaughter,” said David Weinstein, a former prosecutor in Miami now in private practice.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.