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Michael Dunn Trial: Echoes of George Zimmerman expected in trial of black teen who was shot to death over loud music

6:54 PM, Feb 3, 2014   |    comments
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File photo shows accused killer Michael Dunn's first court appearance.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (WTLV/AP) - A white software developer is about to go on trial in Florida in the death of a black teenager - in a case that raises comparisons to the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of 47-year-old Michael Dunn of Brevard County.

Dunn is accused of fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis of Jacksonville in late November, 2012.

The pair got into a dispute over loud music at a gas station on the city's south side. Authorities said Dunn fired several shots into an SUV carrying Dunn and three of his friends.

Dunn is using the controversial "Stand Your Ground" defense because he said he believed Davis was armed at the time. However, no firearm was ever found in the SUV.

Dunn's attorney, Cory Strolla, said over the weekend in USA Today, "the testimony of the young men will prove that they conjured up a story four days after the incident to protect their friend, Jordan Davis."

He added, "They intentionally misled detectives regarding Jordan Davis' actions and verbal threats, and the detectives allowed for the misinformation to continue."

Davis' parents and supporters are expected to attend each day of the trial, but will be restricted by what they can wear and how they express themselves inside the courtroom.

Court officials sent out 1,500 jury summons for the high-profile case, which is up from the standard 1,200.

It is unclear exactly how many potential jurors are expected to show up on Monday. In the end, lawyers on each side will have to agree to a jury of 12 and four alternates.

Reporters and the public will not be allowed inside jury selection. Jurors' identities will also be kept secretive.

Several items, including a motion to sequester the jury and ban audio recordings of jury selection, remain unresolved and could be taken up first.

The case is drawing comparisons to George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder last year in the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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