Thursday, June 21, 2018
Public safety

In Jacksonville, opening statements in murder trial over loud music

JACKSONVILLE — A man intended to kill a teen outside a convenience store after an argument over loud music, even though the 17-year-old posed no threat, prosecutors said Thursday during opening statements of the man's murder trial.

Michael Dunn, 47, is accused of killing Jordan Davis, who was outside the Jacksonville store with his friends in November 2012. An argument began after Dunn told them to turn the music down, police said. One of Davis' friends lowered the volume, but Davis then told him to turn it back up.

Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled a 9mm handgun from the glove compartment, according to an affidavit, and fired multiple shots into the SUV, striking the Marietta, Ga., teen in the back and groin.

Prosecutor John Guy told jurors that Davis posed no threat to Dunn and that there was no weapon in Davis' truck.

"Jordan Davis was upset, not doubt. He was cussing, no doubt. He raised his voice, no doubt. But he never threatened the guy," Guy said. "The only thing he had on his person was a cellphone and a pocket knife. They stayed in his pocket."

Dunn's attorney, Cory Strolla, told jurors that Dunn felt threatened and fired in self-defense. Under Florida law, Dunn had every right not to be a victim, the defense attorney said.

During the argument, Davis brandished the pocket knife, which was 4 inches and serrated when opened, Strolla said.

Davis' words to Dunn were, " 'I should kill you right now,' " Strolla said.

A witness said he pulled up to the store and went inside where the music was loud enough to be noticeable. When Steven Smith went outside, he said he noticed the music had stopped.

Smith said he heard someone from a Volkswagen Jetta say, "Nope, you're not going to talk to me that way." Smith testified that he then saw a man reach into the glove compartment through the passenger window, pull out a pistol and fire into the SUV.

The SUV started driving off and Smith said he noticed bullet holes in the side of the car.

Smith said he never saw anyone with a weapon in the SUV.

Another witness, Shawn Lee Atkins, said he was sitting in his truck outside the store when he heard shots fired. The SUV backed up and sped off, and Atkins said he saw man crouched behind his open car door firing at the vehicle. Atkins said he memorized the license plate of the shooter's car and went inside the store to write it down on a paper bag.

The store's clerk testified she was waiting on Dunn's fiancee inside the store when she heard the shots. Mariah Grimes testified that she saw a man firing a silver pistol from the window of his black car. The fiancee, Rhonda Rouer, walked to the store's door at the sound of the shots and left her items and change behind, Grimes said.

Rouer got into the black car which drove away, Grimes said.

Guy said Dunn and Rouer drove to their hotel that night and ordered pizza. The next morning, they learned from TV news that someone had died and then drove home to South Patrick Shores, along Florida's Space Coast.

Comments

Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

A 28-year-old cheerleading coach faces charges for engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Victor Martin Valenty faces 10 counts of traveling to meet a minor, distributing ob...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

ST. PETERSBURG — Three lieutenants responsible for supervising the police officers who patrol the city were found to have been faking their work hours instead of showing up for duty on time.In some cases, the watch commanders submitted time sheets st...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

A Suntrust Bank in Zephyr-hills was robbed early Thursday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.At 12:50 p.m., deputies said, the man walked into the bank at 34511 State Road 54 and presented a note demanding money, though he did ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

TAMPA — To his friends and neighbors at Tampa Baptist Manor, Norman Lester Porterfield was the man who fed and spoiled Lucky, the scruffy stray calico cat in the back yard. To his friends and coworkers at the Salvation Army, he was a great athlete, a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

A Weeki Wachee man faces drug charges after deputies said a search of his home Wednesday turned up nearly three pounds of marijuana, more than three pounds of hashish wax and more than 3,000 hashish oil cartridges for vape pens.Devin Alexander Volkes...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Pasco deputies safely locate missing Holiday autistic teen

An autistic boy, who went missing after walking out of his Holiday home on Wednesday night, has been safely located.Jordan Webb, 16, left his home around 11 p.m., according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.He was safely located on Thursday mornin...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Pastor took out an active shooter and expertly treated the wounded, all after delivering his Sunday sermon

Pastor took out an active shooter and expertly treated the wounded, all after delivering his Sunday sermon

On Sunday morning, David George, pastor of the Oakville, Washington, Assembly of God Church, delivered his sermon as he does every Sunday. The subject, on Father’s Day, was "The Value of MENtoring," about how much difference an individual can make in...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership.Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompan...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

A Brandon man has been charged with 100 counts of possession of child pornography after deputies discovered more than 100 images of child pornography on his computer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Troi Amacher, 29, was arreste...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18