Verdict watch: Still no decision in Dunn case

NEED TO KNOW
  • Michael Dunn is charged with first-degree murder for shooting teenager Jordan Davis -- look for a verdict live on HLN
  • Jurors asked the judge for several items related to the case
Verdict watch: Still no decision in Dunn case

See the evidence in the Michael Dunn case

See the evidence in the Michael Dunn case

Dunn jury: Can we see gas station video?

Dunn jury: Can we see gas station video?
After more than 11 hours of deliberations, the jury in the Michael Dunn murder trial still has not reached a verdict. The panel of seven women and five men have returned to the Jacksonville, Florida, courthouse Friday morning to resume their deliberations.
 
Dunn is facing first-degree murder charges for fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis during a dispute over loud music in Florida 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 jury has passed several notes to Judge Russell Healey during the two days they have been deliberating the case.
 
Their last question before leaving for the night focused on the date of a “Black Friday” letter Dunn wrote from jail. In that letter, which the court says was penned in June 2013, Dunn details the night of the shooting.
 
Prosecutor John Guy read a portion in court during his cross-examination of Dunn: "He [Davis] had apparently seen me go for my own weapon and dove back inside the SUV." This account seems to contradict the story Dunn told the jury, which is that Davis was out of the vehicle and coming at him when he fired all those shots.
 
A little before 1:30 p.m. ET, the jury asked the judge, "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.

Watch: Michael Dunn testifies: Teen told me, 'You're dead'

Prosecutor Erin Wolfson laid out a case for premeditated murder, telling them that Dunn's "blood started to boil" when he pulled up next to that red Dodge Durango, which was blaring rap music.

"He didn’t like the music that was coming out of the car next to him," Wolfson said. "He got angrier and angrier as that music irritated him. This defendant went crazy. He got angry at the fact that a 17-year-old kid decided not to listen to him ... when he pulled out his gun, he shot to kill."

Several gunshots can be heard on the surveillance video from the gas station that night. Nine bullets entered the teens' SUV, with three of them hitting Davis.

Watch: O'Mara compares Dunn, Zimmerman cases

Dunn's defense attorney, Cory Strolla, told the jury that Dunn was forced to draw his gun from the glove box and start firing because he feared for his life. Dunn, who took the stand in his own defense this week, described to the jury how he saw Davis reach for a weapon and then step out of the vehicle to come after him.

“After the continued threat of, ‘You’re dead, b***h,’ now the door opens and this young man gets out and as his head clears the window frame he says, ‘This s**t’s going down now,'" Dunn told the jury. "This is the point where my death is imminent, he’s coming to kill me, he’s coming to beat me… he made it clear what his intentions were."

Strolla told the jurors that the laws regarding self-defense are on his client's side.

"It's in black and white and it's the law," Strolla said. "We're here to apply it."

Watch: Grading the legal teams in the Michael Dunn trial

Police have said they never recovered any weapons from the teens' vehicle. But Strolla has suggested several times throughout the trial that they had ample time to hide a gun before police arrived on scene.

Once the jury has reached a verdict, they will push a buzzer to alert the judge. If convicted, Dunn faces up to life in prison.

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