Jurors get back to work in Michael Dunn case
- Michael Dunn is charged with first-degree murder for shooting teenager Jordan Davis — look for a verdict live on HLN
- Jurors have asked to see the surveillance video from the gas station where Davis was fatally shot in 2012
FROM HLN NEWS: FThe jury deciding Michael Dunn’s fate has sent several requests to the judge Thursday as the second day of deliberations continues in the Jacksonville, Florida, murder trial.
The judge wouldn’t send them a bendable dummy they requested, but has provided them with either a dry erase board or large paper and easel. He also allowed them to watch the surveillance video they requested Wednesday before leaving for the night.
Dunn is facing first-degree murder charges after fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis during a dispute over loud music in 2012. The 47-year-old has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him, which also include three counts of attempted murder related to three teens who were in the vehicle with Davis that night but survived the shooting.
The seven woman and five men deliberating his case sent a note to the judge a little before 1:30 p.m. ET on Thursday asking, “Can we get that dummy with the sticks?” They were referring to the mannequin prosecutors brought into the courtroom to show how they believed Davis was leaning away from Dunn when he fired the fatal shot that killed the teen.
After some discussion between the attorneys and Judge Russell Healey, who kept referring to the dummy as “bendy,” the jurors were brought into the courtroom for their answer.
“Regarding the ‘dummy with the sticks:’ We cannot send that back to you as it was a demonstrative exhibit — that is, an exhibit for demonstration purposes,” Healey said. “It was not offered into evidence, therefore it cannot be sent back.”
About an hour later, they asked for a dry erase board or large paper and easel, which the judge said he would send back to the deliberation room. They also said one set of their jury instructions was missing several pages.
The jurors also requested to see the surveillance video from the gas station where Davis was shot. They specifically wanted to see all camera angles of the 10 minutes before and the 10 minutes after the incident. That request came to the judge Wednesday night, after a little over three hours of deliberations. Jurors told the judge they would go ahead and leave for evening and wait until Thursday morning to watch it.
Defense attorney Cory Strolla appeared briefly before the media Thursday afternoon to answer questions about the case and his client.
“I think, and I personally believe, there’s a lot invested in the outcome of this case, politically,” Strolla said. “Because of the George Zimmerman case, a lot more was focused on this case. Had we never heard about George Zimmerman, I don’t think you or I would be standing in this room talking about Mr. Dunn.”
Zimmerman, who was a neighborhood watch volunteer in his Florida community at the time of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s death, was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July 2013.
Many people believed race played a big part in that case because Zimmerman is white and Martin was black. Strolla said that for his client, however, race is not a factor. Instead, he said Dunn sees it as a “subculture thug issue.”
“It’s not black, it’s not white, it’s not Hispanic, it’s literally a person trying to emulate something they’ve seen and unfortunately it puts them in a very dangerous situation if they do that,” Strolla said.
Strolla also said that Dunn is “in good spirits” as he awaits the verdict but that this experience has been a huge shock for him.
“Imagine you live a wonderful lifestyle on the beach — you have a family, friends — next thing you know you’re being accused of premeditated murder. You’re not allowed out on bond, people are threatening your life,” Strolla said. “To say he was in a state of shock is to put it mildly.”
Jurors got the chance to hear from both sides one last time Wednesday during closing arguments before they went back to the deliberation room.
SOURCE: ARTICLE BY HLN NEWS FEBRUARY 13, 2014
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