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

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…