On the second day of testimony in the Michael Dunn retrial, jurors heard from eight witnesses, including the three teens who were with 17-year-old Jordan Davis when he died.
Davis was shot and killed at a Southside Gate gas station on November 23, 2012 during a dispute over loud music. 47-year-old Dunn is being tried for murder in his death.
Dunn claims he shot in self-defense that night after Davis appeared to threaten him with a weapon.
Friday, the state called the three young men who were in the red Dodge Durango with Davis at the time: Tevin Thompson, Leland Brunson and Tommie Stornes.
But first jurors heard from the man who memorized Dunn’s license plate number as he drove away from the scene with his girlfriend.
Shawn Atkins, who took the stand in a prison jumpsuit, testified that he was at the Gate station with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting to use the bathroom. Atkins was homeless and had been staying in his car at a nearby Winn-Dixie parking lot.
He is currently serving time for breaking into a house and stealing money from a neighbor.
He told jurors he watched Dunn as he shot at the red SUV. Dunn was standing in a “police stance,” Atkins said. As in the first trial, Atkins demonstrated for the jury how Dunn stood as he shot the gun with one knee to the ground. Following the shooting, Atkins said he memorized the tag number on Dunn’s black Jetta.
"I said it over and over and over until I got to the gas station," he told jurors.
At that point, he told a cashier in the store.
Much of Friday was taken up by testimony of Jordan’s three friends Thompson, Brunson and Stornes, who was driving the vehicle at the time.
Both Thompson and Brunson testified they heard Dunn tell them to turn down the music in their vehicle, which they described as hip hop and rap. Stornes was inside the Gate gas station buying cigarettes and gum at the time.
Thompson described the music playing as “pretty loud” and said he turned it down, but Davis responded by telling him to turn the music back up again. Thompson testified that he heard Davis use profanity at that point. However, Brunson who was seated in the back with Davis, said he did not curse at that point.
Brunson said Dunn asked, “Are you talking to me?” and Davis responded, “Yes, I’m talking to you.” At that point, Brunson said Dunn reached in his glove compartment, pulled out a gun and “opened fire” on the SUV.
The teens fled in the SUV to a nearby plaza parking lot.
Brunson said he tried to “cover Jordan” from getting shot.
“When I realized there was blood on my hand that's when I told everybody we need to go back," Brunson said. "We went back to the gas station to get help."
The defense attempted to highlight inconsistencies in the teens’ stories. Brunson claimed Davis attempted to get out of the vehicle but did not. Stornes had stated in previously claimed to have his child locks on. However, two evidence technicians called by the state later testified that the child locks were not on when they inspected the vehicle and that no one had tampered with them in processing.
Dunn’s defense team also focused on a tripod found in Stornes vehicle, which could have resembled the weapon Dunn thought he saw Davis holding.
"Those are cylindrical, meaning they look like a pipe, pipe-shaped legs, right?" Dunn’s defense attorney Waffa Hanania asked.
Crime scene technician Andrew Kipple later testified that when inspecting the vehicle he did not pay attention to the tripod because he did not “think it would be considered a deadly weapon.”
Testimony in the trial continues Saturday at 9 a.m.
You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.