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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."

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Practical Nomad February 13 2014 at 3:18 AM

Michael Dunn: The death penalty or life imprisonment. Taking a human life over a car stereo you felt was too loud? Leaving the scene with no call to the Police or Ambulance? Lying on the stand as caught by your own fiance? You pulled your vehicle in "after" the SUV was parked there. You stated it was too close to your vehicle? You parked next to them, just how much did you have to drink at the wedding? You lied about seeing a gun, just so you could attempt to claim self defense? It's a fool who represents himself in court, however, doing so shows just how superior you think you are. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family and friends of Jordan Davis. We are so very sorry for your loss! This young man was denied tomorrow Dunn, and all because you thought his car stereo was too loud and you wanted to play "tough guy" with your gun.

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sunnyhoney95 February 13 2014 at 2:40 AM

This is another bully. A little powerless man who wanted to feel like he could control others. I think he was abusive to his fiancée when you observe her demeanor. She was afraid of him but I guess the fear of perjuring herself on the stand caused her to tell the truth. The "Stand your ground Law" in Florida is being abused by too many trigger happy older men. Dunn was drinking and driving and from his behavior enraged by this music he hated. I wonder if it would have been different if he was hearing loud country music? He acted like he was in the wild west literally shooting at these kids as they were trying to get away from him. He deserves to pay for this murder.

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bassidan February 12 2014 at 7:32 PM

I've been watching this on HLN the last two days. I assumed by listening to the pundits this guy was fried, 100% guilty. Watching the video of the police officer cuffing him (arm full of body art) I began to question the police. If I was a juror, I would see a gang banger cuffing the defendant. No self respecting human being would do that to his body.
Second, the police refused to investigate the scond crime scene where "state" witnesses saw the young men in the Durango dumping evidence. Too many inconsistencies in the states case. Personally I thing Dunn is a white trash tea bagger that took it too far. But, legally the state fell short with it's incompetant police force. I would hope for a mis-trial and have professionals take over the case.

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agranon2 February 14 2014 at 5:32 PM

Cops are a gang. A gang of nitwits. This guy will get off cause cops are stupid.

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kathy February 12 2014 at 7:22 PM

He valued the life of his puppy more than the 17 year old boy, that was the ONLY time he got teary. He tried to get away with it and he was going to hang low and see what happened, he knew what he did was wrong, but he wasn't contacting the police.

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Jim Williams February 12 2014 at 6:50 PM

Why would this seemingly healthy grown man feel so threatened by a few black teens in their SUV that he felt he had to go back to his car, carry his gun back to the SUV and open fire? Because of Loud Music?? This is some kind of vendetta killing by a very unstable person.

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agranon2 February 14 2014 at 5:33 PM

Because blacks b bangin fool. Are you hiding under a rock.

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talktomrwilkins February 12 2014 at 6:38 PM

To see that many people could agree with murder, is a sign that things have gone very wrong in society. Rather than humility, I'm seeing a competitive hostility. Nobody wins when we have a dead unarmed person on our hands. If you think its 'better' because of what the person looks like - you are against the idea of supporting a better country, and basic justice for all. Who can argue for taking innocent lives based upon hate? only the blindest, and truly the most at risk of attracting negative energy their way. If this "unknown fear" is strong enough to kill, and lie, and flee, and say "I didn't do anything wrong," after shooting up a car full of people like Rambo: you are strong enough to do the time. Dunn is taking his jail sentence one year at a time which will help him to soothe his fears. We are not insane enough to even hear the contrary; we are absolutely awake right now. Its time to end the complexion focus and start looking at right and wrong, for good.

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rrkhd98 February 12 2014 at 9:52 PM

Should have had a 30 round clip, they were thugs.

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rahclassick February 12 2014 at 3:07 PM

This goes out to all the Micheal Dunn fans, I've read your comments and some of your comments are threatening to me, Some of your comments make me feel my life is in danger, I don't know what to do when in public fearing that one of you posters are following me, I do have protection and lots of it, What should i do because I'm scared. (This is for the Micheal Dunn fans.)

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ladyt996 February 12 2014 at 2:34 PM

The sad thing is that Mr. Dunn was the older one you would think he would have some self control.

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Mike February 12 2014 at 2:31 PM

Why is this news worthy. If Mr Dunn was black no one would even be talking about it. but since hes white he must be racist. Get the country stirred up! Do some more research Hp one of his ancesters must have owned slaves and Im sure his dad was in the NRA. I heard his wife requested no black olives on their pizza also

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Summer February 12 2014 at 2:28 PM

Is there a recording of what went on in the parking lot? I'd like to see it.

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