A Florida jury found a white software engineer guilty of first degree murder Wednesday in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager during a dispute over loud rap music.
Michael Dunn, 47, a software engineer, testified that he was defending himself when he fired 10 rounds at an SUV carrying four black teens listening to music at a Jacksonville gas station parking lot in November 2012, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis.
In a February trial, a jury deadlocked on the murder charge but convicted Dunn on three counts of attempted murder for firing at the three surviving teens in the vehicle.
Under Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for crimes committed with a gun, Dunn could face at least 60 years in jail for his February convictions. Sentencing for those convictions was postponed until after his retrial.
Dunn testified on Tuesday he was sure he saw a gun as a teenager appeared to emerge from the SUV making verbal threats against his life. Davis was unarmed, prosecutors said, and no weapon was found in the youths’ vehicle.
During the weeklong retrial, prosecutors argued that Dunn’s actions went far beyond self-defense.
Davis was struck by three bullets while leaning away from the gunfire, an expert testified during the trial. Dunn faced intense questioning as to why he did not call 911, which he blamed on fear and shock.
The trial has drawn comparisons to the case of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in Florida last year in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, another unarmed, black 17-year-old. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, had said he fired in self-defense.