Testimony in Michael Dunn murder trial focuses on rap music confrontation

11:04 AM, Feb 8, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Michael Dunn trial begins, explosive opening statements

Video: Testimony in FL teen murder trial focuses on rap music confrontation

Defense lawyer Cory Strolla, left, talks with Michael Dunn during the first day of Dunn's trial Feb. 6, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. (Photo: Bob Mack, AP


(USA Today) JACKSONVILLE, FL - Friday testimony in the trial of Michael Dunn, charged with fatal shooting of a teen during over loud rap music, centered on the moments leading up to the victim's death.

Dunn, 47, a South Patrick Shores software engineer, is charged with first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. Assistant State Attorney John Guy has said that Dunn was fueled by anger when he fired 10 shots at four youths parked in their SUV on Nov. 23, 2012. Jordan Davis, 17, was fatally wounded.

TESTIMONY, DAY 1: Prosecutor says Dunn was unconcerned after loud music fight

Dunn, who is white, told detectives that Davis, a black teen, threatened him with a shotgun or pipe-like weapon. Dunn's defense attorney, Cory Strolla, has said Dunn acted in self defense. But police said no weapon was found at the scene.

Many observers see similar parallels in this case with the fatal confrontation between Floridians George Zimmerman and black teen Trayvon Martin. Davis' mother, Lucy McBath, has lobbied Congress and the Florida House criticizing "Stand Your Ground" firearm self-defense laws.

Tevin Thompson, who was in the Dodge Durango when Davis was shot, testified that he and driver Tommie Stornes picked up Davis and Leland Brunson earlier on the day of the shooting. The quartet topped by a gas station for gum and cigarettes before the shooting.

Asked to describe Davis' demeanor: "He was happy. Just a normal day," Thompson said.

As they played loud rap music. Dunn pulled up, parking his car close to the SUV.

Thompson testified that Dunn said; "Turn your music down. I can't hear myself think," and he appeared upset and a little angry. Thompson turned down the volume -- but Davis said, "(Expletive) that. Turn the music back up." So he did.

Davis and Dunn continued talking, and Thompson said Davis told Dunn, "(Expletive) you." But Davis did not threaten Dunn, had nothing in his hands, and did not try to exit the vehicle, Thompson said.

He said he heard Dunn ask Jordan, "Are you talking to me?" and then Dunn reached for his gun and fired at Davis' door. Thompson ducked for cover.

Brunson later testified that he tried to pull Davis down as bullets were fired. Afterward, Brunson said he called Davis' name and he didn't respond, so he checked his body to see if he had been shot. "When I reached and touched him, blood appeared on my fingers," Brunson said.

After Brunson described how Davis was "gasping for air" with his head in Brunson's lap, Davis' mother dabbed at her eyes with a tissue in the courtroom audience.

Strolla has accused Jacksonville Sheriff's Office homicide detectives of sloppy police work and said the other teens in the SUV worked in tandem to get their stories straight shortly after the shooting.

Strolla said the teens had ample opportunity to hide a shotgun or pipe in a nearby parking lot, and four days passed before police searched that area.

Including four alternates, the racially mixed jury is made up of 10 women and six men. Circuit Judge Russell Healey ordered the jury to remain sequestered for the duration of the trial. Strolla requested the move, citing "extensive, inflammatory and prejudicial" pretrial publicity of the case.

Contributing: Gary Strauss in McLean, Va.

More Florida 'loud music' trial coverage:

WATCH: Coverage of Michael Dunn trial in Jacksonville

STORY: Florida's next Trayvon Martin case?
Echoes of Zimmerman expected in FL murder trial
Man claims fear led to slaying over loud music

-DAY 1: Prosecutor says Dunn was unconcerned after shooting

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