After Michael Dunn tells jury he feared for his life, defense rests
Updated On: Feb 11 2014 06:41:05 PM EST
Michael Dunn testified Tuesday, telling the jury hearing his first-degree murder trial that he saw a teenager in the SUV parked next slam what looked like a shotgun against the door, then threatened to kill him.
Closing arguments will begin Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Dunn was at times emotional as he recounted the confrontation, shooting and the aftermath. After more than three and a half hours consistently testifying that he shot into the SUV in self-defense, his attorney rested their case.
"I'm going to f***ing kill you," Dunn said he heard the teenager yell at him over the loud music coming from the SUV parked next to him. He said that even though he feared for his life, he did not initially reach for the 9mm handgun he had in his glove compartment.
But he said the threats kept coming, quoting the boy as saying, "This s*** is going down now."
"Not having any doubt at all between his threats and his actions that it was a gun ... this was a clear and present danger," Dunn said he was thinking when he made the decision to pull out the handgun he has had since the early 1990s.
"I grabbed the gun and cocked and pointed it to my left," Dunn said. "I said, 'You're not going to kill me you son of a b****,' and I shot."
Dunn says he and his fiancee pulled into a spot next to an SUV where music with a "thumping" bass was playing.
He said he he could not remember how many times he fired his gun -- pointing, not aiming at his "target" in the back seat of the SUV. He said he had "tunnel vision" and didn't initially realize the vehicle was moving.
"I know they've got one weapon and at least three, four potential shooters," Dunn saying he stopped shooting when they were far enough away they no longer poised a threat.
Dunn said he was still panicked, "shaking like a leaf," and asked his fiancée to get in the car so they could "get to safety."
He said once they got back to the hotel, walked their dog and ordered a pizza, he remained "stunned and horrified" at what had happened. They went to bed around midnight, but he couldn't fall asleep. He said when he learned in a news story on his phone about 1 a.m. that there was a fatality in the incident on Southside Boulevard, he went into the bathroom and threw up.
Guided by defense attorney Cory Strolla, Dunn described the drive back to their Brevard County home the next morning. He had placed a call to a friend who was a federal law enforcement officer to get advice about how to turn himself in.
Dunn may be the defense's only witness and perhaps the most compelling testimony of the murder trial in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.
After nearly 90 minutes of testimony, Assistant State Attorney John Guy began cross examination. Dunn said Davis was outside the SUV when he began firing, "at least his feet were outside" as the teenager was driving back inside the vehicle. Guy accused him of lying, contradicting some of the information he gave to Brevard County deputies the day he was arrested.
Dunn said that having only two hours of sleep, he "mis-characterized" some of the information he gave to police that day.
Dunn admitted he didn't like rap music, and said he asked for a common courtesy when he asked them nicely to turn it down, which initially they initially did; but then it became "painfully" loud.
"It was Jordan Davis that kept escalating it to the point I had to defend myself; it was life or death," Dunn said.
Guy said to Dunn: "You were being disrespected by a mouthy teenager, weren't you?"
Dunn replied: "Yes, I was."
Later, asked about how many shots he fired, Dunn said: "I consciously pulled the trigger once. Everything after that was panic. I was in shear terror."
Asked why he didn't call 911 from the store after the SUV pulled away or from the safety of the hotel, where they spent the night, Dunn said he did call police once he got back to Brevard County.
"Whether I called police that night or the next morning didn't seem, you know, it wasn't going to change it from self defense to anything else," Dunn told the prosecutor.
During nearly three hours on the stand, Dunn ever strayed from his claim of self-defense. During a short re-direct near the end of the day, Stroll asked "Were you shooting only to defend yourself?"
Dunn's reply: "Yes I was."