Monday, April 23, 2018
News Roundup

Prosecutors rest in trial of man who shot teen

JACKSONVILLE — Character witnesses for a Florida man charged with fatally shooting a teen after an argument over loud music say they never knew him to be violent, as prosecutors rested their case in the first-degree murder trial Monday.

Michael Dunn has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, saying he acted in self defense when he fatally shot Jordan Davis, 17, of Marietta, Ga., outside a Jacksonville convenience store in November 2012.

The 47-year-old had been at his son's wedding before he pulled up to the convenience store where Davis was with his friends. Dunn's ex-wife, Phyllis Molinaro, and his son, Chris Dunn, told jurors Monday that Dunn didn't appear drunk and was in good spirits at the wedding.

"He seemed fine. He seemed happy to be there," Molinaro said.

According to authorities, an argument began after Dunn told Davis and his friends to turn down the music they were listening to in a sport-utility vehicle outside the store. One of Davis' friends lowered the volume, but Davis told him to turn it back up.

Officials say Dunn became enraged and that he and Davis began arguing. Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled a 9 mm handgun from the glove compartment of his car, according to an affidavit, and fired shots into the Dodge Durango. Nine bullet holes were found in the SUV.

Emotional testimony came from Davis' father, Ronald.

Sometimes with tears in his eyes, he said his son's friends Leland Brunson and Tevin Thompson, both of whom had been in the Durango with Jordan Davis the night he was killed, came by his home in the days following the shooting.

"They came over to the house, and they talked to me about how they were sorry," Davis said. "The boys were just so sorry that my son was killed, and they were trying to console me."

Prosecutors rested their case after an associate medical examiner testified that the first bullet that hit Davis in the abdomen likely killed him.

At the end of the day, Dunn's defense attorney, Cory Strolla, told the judge he expects to call only one or two more witnesses today before wrapping up the defense presentation.

Strolla called several friends and a co-worker of Dunn's to the stand. They testified they had never seen him get angry.

Beverly Berry, who with her husband met Dunn through Dunn's parents and often socialized with him, said they had not ever seen him get angry.

"Never have I observed anything other than a very calm demeanor," she said.

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