michael dunn, the 47 year-old white man accused of killing jordan davis, an unarmed 17 year-old black male outside a jacksonville, florida gas station in november of 2012, was found guilty on saturday of four of the five counts. dunn was found guilty on three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle. the jury was deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge.
judge russell l. healey declared a mistrial on the first-degree murder charge. he thanked the jurors for their service, told them they could speak with reporters if they chose to, and dismissed them. judge healey told florida state attorney general angela corey she can decide if she wants to pursue a trial on the first-degree murder charge on march 24 at 9:00 am.
dunn will serve at least 60 years without the opportunity of parole as the three counts of second-degree murder fir the shots fired at the other three teens in the vehicle carries 20 years apiece. the firearm charge can carry up to 15 years depending on the judge's ruling.
after the verdict, davis' parents spoke to reporters. "it is sad for mr. dunn that he will have to spend the rest of his life in prison torture...we will pray for him and we will pray for his family," said davis' mother, lucia mcbath. "it's not in my nature to lash out, or to say inflammatory statements, so i've had to hold all that in...but my son was a good kid...he (dunn) must be remorseful over the killing of my son. he must not be allowed to see it as another day at the office, "said ron jones, davis' father.
also reacting to the verdict was benjamin crump, who has served as an attorney for trayvon martin. "as much as we want to put faith in the criminal justice system, it seems to fail us every time. this verdict reminds me not only of trayvon martin, but of all our sons, brothers, cousins and friends. i'm filled with mixed emotions," said crump.
crump said, "yes, i am happy that michael dunn will live out the rest of his life behind bars, but i am also disturbed that jordan davis' family has yet to receive justice, in the same way that trayon's parents have yet to receive justice. if the american judicial system is truly colorblind, then why does it always seem to fall between the lines of black and white?"
mcbath sent a message on twitter early saturday. "tomorrow is my boy's 19th birthday. i pray we will celebrate not only him but a just and righteous verdict." but after nearly 30 hours of deliberation and repeated urgings by the judge, they did not reach a consensus on the first-degree murder charge. the jury consisted of four white females, four white males, two black females, one asian female and one latino male.
the jacksonville, florida jury upheld the controversial stand your ground laws, which are on the books of 22 other states. dunn fired ten bullets at davis and his three friends - all unarmed - because they wouldn't turn down the "thug music" he despised. dunn claimed he feared for his life, testifying he saw an object in their vehicle resembling a shotgun barrel. but his emotionally distraught girlfriend fully denied his story when she was on the witness stand.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.