Jury in deliberations; requests review of market surveillance video; Legal Insurrection maintains real-time Verdict Watch
NOTE: REFRESH SCREEN FOR LATEST UPDATE!
UPDATE (2-15): GUILTY! Michael Dunn has been found guilty on most counts, but not the murder charge for the shooting of Jordan Davis. On that one count the jury was hung and unable to reach a verdict. The State is free to re-try Dunn on that charge.
However, Dunn was found guilty of three counts of attempted second degree murder and one count of throwing missiles at an occupied vehicle.
For more details see:
UPDATE (2-15): 652PM JURY VERDICT PENDING ON ALL COUNTS
UPDATE (2-15): 6:15PM Jury question: If we cannot agree on a count, is the entire case mis-tried or just the count? Judge brought jury in, clarifies that’s not the case. No mistrial at all, would just be hung on that last count (which State could re-try at their discretion). Jury still has more to consider, they noted, so back to deliberations.
4:41PM Note from jury. Jury has verdict on four of the five counts–the one they can’t decide is the first charge, the murder charge for death of Jordan Davis. Healey to read them Allen charge. Bringing the jurors on in. Healey reads them the Allen charge, sends them back to deliberations.
UPDATE (2-15): 9:50AM Jury questions:
(1) Is the defense of self-defense separate for each person in each count? A: “Yes.”
(2) Are we determining if deadly force is justified against each person in each count? A: “Yes.”
(3) Or if we determine deadly force is justified against one person, is it justified against others? A: “No. Self defense and justifiable use of deadly force applies separately to each count.”
UPDATE (2-15): 9:00AM Court came briefly into session. Jury was starting deliberations only now, or within a few minutes. Court in recess until they hear something from the jury. Keep eyes here for breaking news.
UPDATE (2-15): 8:38AM Can hear audio techs in court room 406, “Test 1, 2.” No video yet.
UPDATE (2-15): 8:30AM Judge Healey is expected to pro forma bring the court into session at 9:00AM, but it was anticipated that the jury would already be in deliberations by that time. We’re here covering the court live, all day.
UPDATE (2-14): 6:50PM Jury requests to be dismissed for the night, saying they have “hit a wall for tonight.” Judge allows, no objection. He thanks jury, says he’ll let THEM decide what time to start tomorrow. Healey suggests, 9:00, 9:30, and one juror responds, “7:00”. The court room breaks into laughter. Healey decides jury can arrive when they wish, he’ll be there but rest of court need not, at 9:00AM he’ll call court into session and announce what time the jury actually started, just so everyone knows. That’s it for tonight, folks.
UPDATE (2-14): 6:40PM Several of Dunn’s jail house phone recordings–the cause of so much pre-trial litigation over “open records” disputes with the media–have just been released. These include:
UPDATE (2-14): 5:00PM Two questions from the jury. First question involves getting a 30 minute break, Healey of course says yes. Second question more substantive: Is it permissible for them to agree on several of the charges, but not on other of the charges. Answer is also yes. Verdicts would be rendered on the ones where unanimous agreement, the others would be hung, and State could re-prosecute on any hung charges at their discretion. (As a reminder, there are five indicted charges–Murder 1, three counts of attempted Murder 1, and hurling missiles. Also the jury is free to consider all lesser included charges.)
UPDATE (2-14) 9:00AM Court in session. Discussion in court about simply sending jury straight into deliberations, no formal morning greeting in court. Healey: “This is a working group.” Also announced that people will no longer be able to sit in the court room during recess while jury deliberations going on. People have said it might be possible for people in court room to hear talking from jury deliberations, and vice versa. So 5 minutes before reconvene will allow people back into court room. Healey: “Happy Valentines Day to everybody, we’ll see you all when we get some word from the jury.” Court recessed.
UPDATE (2-14): 8:00AM The jury is scheduled to return to deliberations at 9:00AM. We’ll be covering the events in the court room all day, real-time, right here at this post on Legal Insurrection.
UPDATE (2-13): 6:20PM That’s it for tonight, no jury decision yet, we start again at 9:00AM US EST tomorrow. Legal Insurrection’s live-coverage will be AT THIS PAGE, so bookmark to come back.
UPDATE (2-13): 4:30 Court back in session. Jury asking when letter exhibit #201 written? One of Dunn’s jail house letters. Court looks through transcript, identifies as June 2013. This is the “Black Friday” letter, though obviously not written that date. Jury now retiring back to jury room. Healey tells all four alternates they’ll be held overnight tonight, but tomorrow can be sequestered in hotel room rather than in court house, more comfortable for them.
Update (2-13): 2:25PM Jury reports that one set of jury instructions is missing pages 32-41. (Holy cow, that’s a lot of instructions.) Weighing the evidence, defendant’s statements, rules for deliberations, cautionary instructions, verdict, submitting case to the jury, not substantive discussions. We didn’t change any of these from the model instructions. Just sending back the missing pages. No objections from State or defense. Jurors also requested a dry easel or large paper, which will be sent back to them. Back in recess.
UPDATE (2-13): 1:45PMJury asks if they can see “Bendie,” the dummy with the trajectory dowels. Normally such demonstrative evidence would not go back to jury. Healey suggests he’ll allow if the defense has no objection. Strolla doesn’t initially object, but then turns out that the dowels in Bendie were moved around since last seen in court, no longer representative, so objects. Bendie won’t go back. Healey writes out explanatory note for bailiff to give to jurors. Calls jurors into court room, reads them the note, “can’t send dummy back because it was demonstrative exhibit for demonstrative purposes, not entered into evidence.” Sends them back to continue their deliberations.
UPDATE (2-13): 1:20PM Jury asks if they can be provided with the “trajectory-rod dummy.” Problem is, dummy is demonstrative evidence only, normally would not go back to jury room. State has no objection. Strolla and Dunn discuss briefly in separate room, return and say they also have no objection. Healey, in abundance of caution, recesses for 15 minutes so case law can be reviewed, ensure they don’t inadvertently make a move that could result in reversal.
UPDATE (2-13): 11:50AM Defense counsel Cory Strolla speaking to reporters in live feed.
UPDATE (2-13): 9:43AM. Healey speaks with the four alternate jurors. They were held over in sequester last night, both from the public and the other jurors. He tells them he’s not inclined to keep all them overnight again if there’s no verdict again, and is inclined to let one or two of them go home even if no verdict. Seems he’ll decide later in the day.
UPDATE (2-13): 9:39AM. Healey welcomed the jury back. They were not scheduled to start until 10:00AM, but are present and ready to go, so he is not going to hold them up. Last night they requested the gas station market surveillance video, and this morning they have been provided with that video and instructions on how to play it. Court is now in recess until it receives either another jury instruction or a verdict. (As this update was being typed the juror requested an external monitor on which to view the video.)
Today Legal Insurrection is on real-time Verdict Watch in the “loud music” murder trial of Michael Dunn in the shooting death of Jordan Davis. Dunn is charged with 1st degree murder for the death of Davis, three counts of attempted murder in the first degree for firing at Davis’ three friends with him in the SUV, and one count of firing a missile into a vehicle. He will also be subject to Florida’s “10-20-Life” statute, as well as all lesser included offenses of the primary charges. Dunn claims he acted in lawful self-defense.
We will update with breaking news as it happens in real-time.
The jury is will re-start deliberations at 10AM US EST. Before breaking last night they asked to be provided with the surveillance video from the gas station market. The video is 20 minutes long, and consists of 6 distinct camera angles. At 9:30AM the State, defense, and Judge Healey will meet to finalize the protocol for providing the jury the video.
The Florida Model Jury Instructions for all these criminal charges as well as justifiable use of deadly force can be found here:
Profiles of the 12 jurors currently in deliberations can be found here:
Immediately below are three live video feeds from the court room, and below the live video feeds is a live Twitter feed with my live tweets and those of others reporting on the trial.
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.