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On Trial For Murder, Michael Dunn Explains Why He Shot And Killed Jordan Davis

Michael David Dunn, Loud Music Killing

Posted: 02/11/2014 1:30 pm EST

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida man charged with fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy after an argument over loud music testified Tuesday that he thought he saw the barrel of a gun from a neighboring vehicle pointed at him and that he feared for his life before firing his weapon.

Michael Dunn said he tried to de-escalate the confrontation with three teens in a neighboring SUV outside a Jacksonville convenience store in November 2012.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing," Dunn said.

Dunn is charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty and says he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis of Marietta, Ga., outside a Jacksonville convenience store in 2012.

The defense rested its case Tuesday, and then prosecutors called Dunn's fiancee back to the witness stand. Rhonda Rouer contradicted Dunn's assertion that he had told her he had seen a gun in the teens' SUV.

In his testimony, Dunn told jurors he was in Jacksonville with his fiancee to attend his son's wedding. He had brought along on the trip his 7-month-old dog, and at one point in testimony he wiped away tears when talking about his fiancee and dog.

Dunn said he and his fiancee went to the convenience store after the wedding for wine and chips. He said he pulled into a spot next to an SUV where music with a "thumping" bass was playing.

"It got really loud," Dunn said. "My rear view mirror was shaking. My eardrums were vibrating. It was ridiculously loud."

Dunn said he asked the three men in the SUV to turn down the music and they turned it off. "I said, 'Thank you,'" Dunn said. But soon afterward, Dunn said he heard someone in the SUV shouting expletives and the word "cracker" at him. Dunn is white, and the teens in the SUV were black.

The music was turned back on, and Dunn testified, "I wasn't going to ask for favors anymore."

Dunn said the men in the SUV had "menacing expressions," and he asked the teens whether they were talking about him. He said he wanted to de-escalate the situation but saw a teen in the backseat reach down for something which he slammed into the car door. Dunn said it looked as if the barrel of a shotgun was sticking out the window.

One of the teens stepped out of the SUV, Dunn said, and he felt "this was a clear and present danger." He reached for his pistol in a glove box.

Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, fired nine shots into the car, according to an affidavit. Once his fiancee returned to the car, he drove off out of fear of the SUV returning, he said.

He described having "tunnel vision," with everything focused on his target.

No weapons were found in the SUV.

Dunn said he told his fiancee on the drive back to the hotel that he had shot in self-defense. The fiancee, Rouer, testified Saturday.

"I didn't do anything wrong," Dunn said he told his fiancee.

Dunn and Rouer drove back to their hotel without calling police. Dunn said he didn't call the police because his focus was on the well-being of Rouer, whom he described as in hysterics. The next morning, Dunn said, Rouer insisted they wanted to go home and they drove back to their home in Brevard County, 175 miles away. There, Dunn said he contacted a neighbor who is in law enforcement for advice on how to turn himself in to authorities.

During cross-examination, prosecutor John Guy challenged Dunn's assertion that he had told his fiancee after the shooting that he thought one of the teens had a gun.

"You never told the love of your life that those guys had a gun," Guy said. "Did you?"

Dunn responded, "You were not there."

Guy challenged Dunn on other parts of his story, citing letters Dunn had written from jail and interviews with investigators. The prosecutor said Dunn had told detectives the day after the shooting that it could have been a stick he saw pointing from the vehicle. But Dunn countered he was just suggesting a far-fetched possibility.

Guy also suggested that Dunn was angry because he was being disrespected by a young black man. Dunn responded, "I was being threatened, not disrespected."

The prosecutor also said Dunn had stated in a jailhouse letter that his car was parked so close to the SUV that it would have been hard for him to exit. Guy said that mean Davis also would have had a hard time getting out of the SUV.

"Jordan Davis was never a threat to you, was he, Mr. Dunn?" Guy said.

Dunn responded, "Absolutely, he was."

Join the discussion

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Dr. Kelly February 12 2014 at 11:38 AM

Michael Dunn is a racist coward. Employed, engaged to a wonderful woman, living in a nice neighborhood--living the American Dream. But he wanted to feel something he and others like him will never be--superior. Now everything that he has will be taken away from him if he is convicted. Dumb-ass. Even if he is acquited he will still be less of a man than the kid he killed and the only respect he will get is from others (ie, ed.brantley) suffering from the same fears and sickness.
"Avoid, evade, resist."

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2 replies
afronomics Dr. Kelly February 12 2014 at 11:49 AM

Thanks for that comment. They both were wrong. I am black and maybe for a certain song I will blast my music and then it goes back down. Music takes your mind away from the outside world especially while driving. It is hectic enough with everyone tailgating and beeping so why not go someplace with nice music. I believe as an adult we have the upper hand. I know better than to say something to these kids/adults because I don't want any confrontations. I hear the rock music in the big black F-140 or the loud engines, who am I to ask them to turn it down. It would have been easier for him to go in the store get his girlfriend and leave. They are not his neighbors what was the big deal.

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savannahswithgod Dr. Kelly February 12 2014 at 12:00 PM

Your last line there sounds as if the Gestapa has arrived. I've heard those speakers, both white and black. Shakes the windows in the old house, street probably 50 to 100 feet away. Silly ass people there. But using a gun to solve anything besides someone definitely trying to take your life or harm you is a no-no.

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Helen February 12 2014 at 10:43 AM

Being upset over loud music is one thing...firing 9 shots - WOW! Why not call the police? No, go to a hotel and order pizza. Young black male, mean-spirited white man in Florida who can stand behind the "stand your ground law" - sure recipe for murder.

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Hello Web Master February 12 2014 at 10:43 AM

Who knows maybe murdering a young black man in cold blood and getting away with it was on his bucket list.

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swedej February 12 2014 at 10:42 AM

It was loud music and he was black so I had to shoot him. This man clearly made up his story on the stand and deserves to think about what he did for the rest of his life, behind bars

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Robert Alderman February 12 2014 at 10:41 AM

The moral to this story? Respect the rights of others. The white man and the black men were both disrepectful. I've heard thummping from cars also. It's like the occupants could care less about the rights of others.

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2 replies
d1anaw Robert Alderman February 12 2014 at 10:47 AM

Yeah, we all have. And it's annoying. And it's just as annoying when the rednecks play their stupid country "music" as loud as possible. And their wannabe cowboy clothes look stupid. Does that mean I have the right to shoot them? Oh yeah, they are white, that's different. I'm supposed to walk away if I don't like it.

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xraybrain Robert Alderman February 12 2014 at 10:57 AM

my motto is "do not engage in any confrontations with "anyone". It's just not worth it. Walk away (or run away). You'll never live to collect your social security retirement being a macho hot head. I've known some pretty able people who got in confrontations they thought they could win and nearly got their head handed to them.

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knorman1969 February 12 2014 at 10:41 AM

The only time he cried was over his dog and how his girlfriend was scared but she said he never mentioned a gun, this is just a lunatic that feels he can kill and get away with it but I hope he just gets life and becomes the gift that keeps on giving in prison

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rwitchwoman63 February 12 2014 at 10:30 AM

The guy should have done the more intelligent thing and left the vicinity...I am all for using a gun when you are being physically attacked or someone breaks into your house then by all means I will shoot to kill....However, I do not believe this guys story not one little bit...This is a man that decided to take the law into his own hands and meted it out with extreme prejudice and is now making up a story about feeling he was being threatened by these kids to try and get off....But I would also like to know what the kids that survived have to say, nothing has been said about what they saw!!!....There is a lot more to the story than everyone is being told!!!!

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tdiplaci February 12 2014 at 10:29 AM

Why on earth would you confront a vehicle filled with blacks? If the music was too loud, move your car and do your business and leave. This was totally avoidable. As for the anti gun creeps--not everyone who carries a gun does bad things with it. Drunks is cars kill way more people a day in this country than are killed by guns in a year, but we do not clammor to ban cars. Get with the real program.

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1 reply
barackhusseinobamakillingamerica tdiplaci February 12 2014 at 10:32 AM

Why on earth would you confront a vehicle filled with blacks? .....
Proof that young black males are violent killers - more often than not.

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4 replies
endmillll February 12 2014 at 10:25 AM

As a retired police officer i'm up in the air on this one because i wasnt there and two by him driving off wasnt a good idea eather it makes him look bad and two i would have stayed and called the police right away.

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turnersawman February 12 2014 at 10:15 AM

Loud music , disrespect and name calling is no reason to kill. so he says i thought i saw a gun no defense there either because if you don't know for sure if there was a gun you should never pull yours. if he was saying I saw a gun and I defended myself and was still standing there when the cops showed up like a law abiding citizen with a gun ...not guilty, but this fool with a gun took a life before he even knew it and run like a coward , put him in jail for a long time.

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