Society

Michael Dunn Loud Music Murder Trial: Shooting Teen Was Matter of "Life or Death"

| by Allison Geller

This week, the defense rested in a controversial Florida murder case that has captured the attention of the whole nation.

The defendant, Michael Dunn, claimed that a teenager he killed threatened his life. The prosecution says that all the deceased can be blamed with is playing music.

Dunn pulled into a Jacksonville parking lot with his fiancée to pick something up from the store on the way home from his son’s wedding reception. In the parking lot, 17-year-old Jordan Davis sat with a group of his friends in the SUV with music blaring. The confrontation began when Dunn asked the teens to turn the music down. 

Dunn claimed that he was ”fighting for his life” during Tuesday’s testimony, according to CBS.

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“It was Jordan Davis who kept escalating this to the point where I had no choice but to defend myself,” Dunn said. “It was life or death.”

Dunn describes the music blasting from the SUV as loud enough to shake his own rearview mirror. The teens complied when he asked them to turn the music down, and Dunn thanked them and walked away.

Then he heard someone in the car say, “Something something cracker,” followed by, “I should kill that m-----------,” Dunn said.

Davis allegedly repeated the phrase.

“He was screaming,” Dunn said. “There’s no mistake of what he said. That’s what he said.”

Dunn then describes how Davis picked something up and slammed it against the car door. Four inches of a shotgun were visible out the window, Dunn says.

Then, according to the defendant, Davis got out of the car and headed for Dunn with the words, “This s---’s going down now.”

“My death is imminent,” Dunn said. “He’s coming to kill me, he’s coming to beat me. I’m not really sure what his intentions are – actually, he made it real clear what his intentions were.”

Dunn, a concealed weapons permit holder, took his pistol out of his glove compartment and fired, in fear, he said, of his life and his fiancée’s.

But the sticking point in Dunn’s testimony is that no gun was found in the teenagers’ car.

Prosecutor John Guy pointed out that Dunn didn’t mention seeing Davis’ gun to his fiancée.

“Isn’t it true you never told the love of your life that those boys had a gun?” Guy demanded.

“You weren’t there,” was Dunn’s response.

Additionally, a medical examiner found that Davis was most likely sitting in the rear right passenger’s seat of the Dodge Durango—not standing outside the car.

During yesterday’s cross-examination, the prosecution also pointed out that Dunn never called 911. Dunn claimed he believed no one was hurt and that he’d done nothing wrong.

“I have every right of self-defense, and I took it,” Dunn said.

Sources: CBS (2), USA Today