LISTEN LIVE

Michael Dunn Testifies; Closing Arguments Heard In Retrial

Oct 1, 2014
Originally published on October 1, 2014 10:02 am

Jordan Davis’s father Ron Davis wiped away tears as Assistant State Attorney John Guy made his final statements before jury deliberations in the retrial of Michael Dunn Tuesday.

"To the living we owe respect," he told jurors. "To the dead we owe the truth... Jordan Russell Davis, 17 forever, now... this is the dead."

Tuesday was the last day of testimony in the retrial of 47-year-old Michael Dunn, who is accused of shooting Davis in a Southside gas station November 2012. In February, a jury deadlocked on whether to convict him of the murder.

Earlier in the day, Dunn testified that he acted in self defense after Davis threatened him and brandished a weapon.

"I’m petrified," he said. "I’m in fear for my life. This guy just threaten to kill me and he’s showing me a gun." 

"What did you do?" his defense attorney Waffa Hanania asked.

"I reached for my weapon," he said.

The jury of seven white men, three white women, one black man and one black woman will begin deliberations Wednesday morning. 

During her closing argument, Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson painted the picture of the Brevard County software engineer as an angry man.

"He'd been disrespected. He'd been challenged and he was done," Wolfson told jurors.

The state is seeking a first-degree murder conviction, but jurors are also allowed to consider second-degree and manslaughter charges as well.

Dunn has claimed he shot at the red SUV Davis was sitting in because the teen threatened to kill him while flashing what appeared to be a weapon.

"He said, 'I'm going to f---ing kill you,'" Dunn said. "I said, 'you're not going to kill me you son-of-a-b----.'" 

Wolfson told jurors there was no real threat because there was no real weapon.

"Let me be very clear: there was no shotgun in that red Durango that night," she said. "There was no stick, there was no branch, there was no hollow pipe. There was no weapon." 

But later, Dunn's defense Waffa Hanania argued the issue was not whether or not Davis had an actual weapon, but whether Dunn had a legitimate reason to believe he did.

The defense is arguing Florida's "justifiable use of force" statute, which provides for individuals that "reasonably believe that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force."

"They don't have to find a gun. What matters is that Dunn really believed there was a gun," Hanania said in her closing remarks to jurors.

Standing outside the courthouse Tuesday evening with Ron Davis, Davis's mother Lucia McBath said the whole ordeal has been difficult to go through again. 

"You're playing it in your mind over and over again, everything that has happened, everything that we suffered through. It just compounds everything that we've been through," she said. "But I think Ron and I have done a really good job of just staying as focused as we possibly can while we go through this."

Davis said whatever the outcome of the trial, he is at peace.  

"I've been praying for weeks that the Lord would give me peace, that no matter what the verdict I would have peace. I think the city of Jacksonville and I think the community understand that Jordan was a good kid, and so we don’t have to keep going over this again and again," he said.

Once again, it will be in the hands of a jury to decide. Jurors will receive their final instructions 9 a.m. Wednesday.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.

Copyright 2014 WJCT-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wjct.org.