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Dunn Sentenced To Life In Prison

Oct 17, 2014
Originally published on October 17, 2014 6:22 pm

The man convicted of fatally shooting a Jacksonville teen at a Gate gas station in November 2012 will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Circuit Judge Russell Healey has sentenced Michael Dunn, 47, to life in prison for the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

Dunn will serve an additional maximum sentence of 90 years in prison for three counts of attempted murder as well as 15 years for one count of firing a deadly missile into the vehicle where Davis and his friends sat.

Earlier this month, Dunn was convicted by a 12-member jury of killing Davis during an exchange over loud music.

Davis's family took the stand to give heart-wrenching impact statements to the judge Friday.

"My life as I've known it was shattered on November 23, 2012," said Jordan's father Ron Davis between tears.

As several jurors in the courtroom wiped their eyes, Davis recounted the final moments in the hospital with his son the night he was shot.

"I gave him his first kiss when he came into this world, Judge Healey," Davis told the judge, choking up. "And I would never imagine giving him his last kiss."

Jordan's mother Lucia McBath addressed Dunn directly.

"I raised my son to love, accept and forgive others...and so I choose to forgive you, Mr. Dunn for taking my son's life,” she said.

In the audience, whimpers and soft sobs could be heard.

Dunn, himself, took the stand to briefly address the Davis family.

"I want the Davis family to know that I truly regret what happened," he said. "I am mortified I took a life whether it was justified or not."

Dunn's family, who sat in the audience, declined to make any statements.

Earlier in the week, attorneys for Dunn filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that Dunn’s ability to get a fair trial in Jacksonville was compromised.

In the motion, Dunn’s defense attorney Waffa Hanania challenged several court rulings, including a decision to keep the case in Jacksonville despite a motion to change the venue and a decision to remove a sitting juror without any evidence of juror misconduct.

That defense motion was denied by Healey during the sentence hearing.

Dunn was first tried in Duval County Court in February when a jury convicted him of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at Davis's three friends - Tommie Stornes, Leland Brunson and Tevin Thompson.  They also found Dunn guilty of one count of firing a deadly missile. However, jurors deadlocked on whether or not to convict him of murder in Davis's death.

On Oct. 1, a panel of new jurors found him guilty.

Under Florida law, a first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Healey told Dunn Davis's death is a tragedy that "could have and should have been prevented."

"To lose a child is a parent’s worst nightmare," he said. "And Mr. Dunn, your life is effectively over."

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson

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