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

Michael David Dunn, Loud Music Killing

by DEREK KINNER
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."

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c1d1v3a4 February 12 2014 at 9:51 AM

He managed to get back in his car to get his gun, but couldn't get in his car to drive away? Was it the ONLY place in town he could get wine and chips from? @@ Some people are so stupid.

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2 replies
fwlrcj c1d1v3a4 February 12 2014 at 9:56 AM

I have to agree with that. If I could get back to my car, I would have drove away and called the police and told them the plate numbers.

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blessedmarie c1d1v3a4 February 12 2014 at 9:57 AM

I agree

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Mary M. Revis February 12 2014 at 12:02 PM

This man is a liar...pure and simple. The fiance shot down his claim that there was a gun used by the 17 year old, and that he felt in fear of his life. Router ( the finance) stated Dun never told her, he was threaten with a gun or saw a gun. Dunn DID NOT call 911 nor the police. If you are in fear that way..a NORMAL person's reaction is to get help, seek protection by reporting you were threatened with a gun. to the proper authorities. Dunn is FULL OF B.S. If the 17 year old and his friend were asses or being rowdy with loud music, MOVE ON QUICKLY AND GET AWAY don't engage them!...then if they follow you ..there would be just cause/concern to protect yourself. It doesn't take rocket science, to figure out this FOOL has holes in his story (AND HEAD) big enough for a damn mack truck to go through.

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1 reply
arnie Mary M. Revis February 12 2014 at 12:17 PM

I'M IN TOTAL AGREEMENT

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belldn3 February 12 2014 at 10:14 AM

And yet another murderer saying he's the victim......................

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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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jwlacher February 12 2014 at 9:28 AM

Dunn's fiancee testified that he never told her the teens were armed. She was questioned, and each time contradicted his testimony. His demeanor on the stand was chilling...quiet, even, almost smug. He used language taken directly from "stand your ground" law, obviously well prepared.

I do not believe this man who had tears in his eyes talking about his dog, his fiancee, and absolutely no regret taking the life of a teen.

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JERRY February 12 2014 at 8:31 AM

No gun,that means the driver that was shot and died,drove away far enough to dump the gun ,than drove back so he could die again. Dunn saw no gun because there was no gun.

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HANK February 12 2014 at 11:42 AM

Why didn't he just start his car and go somewhere else? I always thought better safe then sorry.

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kaosandme1 February 12 2014 at 11:40 AM

They are kids! Of course the music is loud. You're at a convenience store. Get your chips and wine and get out. Good grief. So many lives ruined by something so incredibly stupid.

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1 reply
savannahswithgod kaosandme1 February 12 2014 at 11:54 AM

Which side the loud music or the guy firing the gun? I mean I like the Pretenders 'Twilight Time' too but it needs to not be too loud where the speakers are making my eyes jump out of the socket. Of course that goes for the Whites in the pick-up trucks too playing my 'Tractor is Sexy'.

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marshallcoid February 12 2014 at 11:39 AM

Thoughts:

Was the volume and high bass bias excessive and obnoxious? Probably (admittedly subjective).

Is any degree of rudeness worth risking an escalation to violence? Hardly. Should be avoided at all costs.

Is violent/rude "bluster" part of the problem? Always in such circumstances where behavior is fueled by hatred of some kind and any form of macho posturing.

Was asking to turn volume down appropriate? Not wise under any circumstances. Better to move on with a roll of the eyes and hope the loud music lovers grow up eventually. Not worth any confrontation. Risk of some kind of road rage, etc should make one think better of it.

Was his knowing that he had a gun a source of extra "boldness" and thinking he would be "safe" making such a request? Seems quite possible. Not indicative of great wisdom. also a fantasy view of the ramifications.

Did he not have any idea that things might turn ugly in some way? Did he care, knowing he had the possible use of deadly force as an option? One must wonder.

The ultimate indictment should be leveled at ALL the contributing bad behavior and primitive thinking that added up to a disastrous and tragic outcome. This was all entirely avoidable with alternate behavior ON BOTH SIDES. The selfishness on both sides is indicative of pervasive bad behavior that is on display on a regular basis. This is not to equate killing with obnoxiousness. But both WERE part of the totality.

Inability to communicate and handle conflicts in a mature fashion seems on the rise along with various forms of paranoia and reactivity replacing listening and calm discussion. Hair trigger tempers of reality TV "stars" provide terrible behavioral examples some actually emulate. The current atmosphere seems one of increased primitivism and selfishness. We need more sustained consideration of the OTHER as a norm.

With hope for better personal skills, increased intelligence, patience, restraint and less prejudice in dealings with one another.....And an end to violent choices and HATE......

SAD WASTE!!!!

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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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