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GUILTY! Dunn Guilty of Most Charges, But Not Murder

GUILTY! Dunn Guilty of Most Charges, But Not Murder

Michael Dunn found guilty of three counts of attempted murder in the second degree, throwing missiles, but jury hangs on first degree murder of Jordan Davis

Moments ago the jury returned a guilty verdict on many of the  charges brought against Michael Dunn in his ‘loud music” murder trial.  Dunn was tried in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.


Davis family made brief comments to press, happy some closure, that Dunn will see serious jail time, that young people shouldn’t have to fear can just be gunned down for loud music.

State Attorney Angela Corey absolutely determined to re-try Dunn on the hung first degree murder charge.

ASA Erin Wolfson indicates Dunn faces 20 years on each attempted murder 2 conviction, and 15 years on the throwing missiles charge. Most likely these will be served concurrently, although sentencing judge has discretion to order they be run consecutively.

Corey unwilling to say police made a mistake not searching the Plaza parking lot, praises Sheriff’s and detectives.

Corey notes it still has to be a reasonable person standard to justify deadly force in self-defense.

Some Pastor thanks Corey for doing a great job on behalf of young black men in Jacksonville.

Corey: “There’s nothing political in what we do, we file on the facts and on the law.”

Corey: “This was Erin’s first call-out on a homicide.” 

Corey: “Nothing political about my participation in this case, do it for the love of it.”

Why not the death penalty? Corey: “One of the things we weighed, decided 1st degree but not death penalty.”

Strolla: Severely disappointed. Pretty much knew Corey was going to re-try on the murder.

Strolla: Ran this on a shoe-string budget, big difference between a $300,000 defense and not even 1/10th of that. Hate to say it, but it’s true.

Strolla: He COULD be sentenced to 60 years. If so, really looking at life sentence, he’s 40 years old.

Jury Unable to Come to Verdict on Charge of Murder of Jordan Davis

The jury was unable to agree on a verdict on the first count of murder in the first degree for the shooting death of Jordan Davis. As a result, this count is “hung,” and the State is free to try Dunn again on this charge at their discretion.

Detailed Charges on Which Dunn Found Guilty

Among the charges of which he has been found guilty are:

Three counts of attempted murder in the second degree (FL §782.051) for shooting at Kevin Thompson, Leland Brunson, and Tommy Storns, the three friends with Jordan Davis in Storns’ SUV

Throwing a missile into an occupied vehicle (FL §790.19) for firing into the SUV in which the boys were riding.

Finally, because these felonies were committed with the use of a firearm, Dunn is also subject to Florida’s “10-20-Life” mandatory minimum sentencing law (FL §775.087), made infamous by the case of Marissa Alexander.

Under the mandatory minimum sentencing scheme, Dunn faces mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years on each of the three counts of attempted murder and 15 years on the charge of throwing of missiles (because a gun was used Florida’s  “10-20-Life” statute bumps what would normally be a 2nd degree felony to a 1st degree felony)

Because all the charges stem from a single set of acts, the sentences would likely be served concurrently, rather than consecutively, meaning in effect that Dunn would be sentenced to 20 years, the Florida norm. The sentencing judge has the discretion, however, to make the sentences consecutive, in which case Dunn would be looking at 75 years–effectively a life sentence for a ~40 year old. His sentencing may take place immediately, or at a separate sentencing hearing.

Dunn’s Claim of Self-Defense Remains a Factor in Murder Charge

Dunn had claimed self-defense as justification for his use of force,  based upon Florida statutes §776.012, §776.013, §782.02, amongst others, and as captured in Florida jury instruction 3.6(f) Justifiable use of deadly force. 

Once Dunn had met his burden of production in getting self-defense submitted to the jury–which he managed to do only by taking the stand to testify on his own behalf–the State carried the burden of disproving self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Apparently at least one juror believed that the State had not met this burden with respect to the first count, the murder charge for the shooting death of Jordan Davis.  This will remain an issue if the State elects to re-try Dunn on that charge.

Sentencing Scheduled for Week of March 24

Dunn sent back to Sheriff’s for custody, sentencing tentatively scheduled for week of March 24, 2014, pre-sentencing report to be developed in the mean time.

If sentences run concurrently, as is the norm in Florida, Dunn will face mandatory minimum of 20 years. If sentences run consecutively he could face 60 to 80 years.

Implications for Self-Defense Immunity

Had Dunn been acquitted he would also have been free  to seek self-defense immunity from civil suit under the relevant Florida statute, §776.032.  Whether he would have chosen to do so is questionable.  First, news reports indicate that he (or, more accurately, his insurers) settled all civil suits prior to his criminal trial.  Further, he is currently destitute–even his lawyer is not currently being paid–and so not much of a law suit target.

Perhaps most important, however, is that it seems unlikely he would have emerged a winner from a self-defense immunity hearing, despite his acquittal.  An acquittal in a self-defense case does not automatically result in self-defense immunity.  In his criminal trial he need only sustain a reasonable doubt to prevent the State from overcoming his claim of self-defense.  At a self-defense immunity hearing he must convince the judge of self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence, a much higher threshold it seems unlikely he could meet.

Had Dunn been acquitted it would have raised some interesting questions in the realm of the law of self-defense. Can it be possible that one can kill another person, flee the scene, never report the matter to police until captured on a felony warrant, have no evidence of necessary self-defense other than one’s own self-serving statements, and be acquitted of the criminal taking of another life?

So far, at least, it appears not.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

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, (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.


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to the full extent allowed by law.


Ummmm … I left a comment in error.

When do the riots begin, Al, Jesse, Toure, et al!

Stellar Job, Andrew..

Andrew – whether sentences are concurrent or consecutive, and whether one of those methods is required, are open questions under Florida law that the Fla. Supreme Court has under review right now.

The appellate district that Duval sits in says they can be consecutive, it’s arguable that their precedent REQUIRES consecutive sentences on the mandatory minimums. See Smart v. State, 114 So.3d 1048 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013). That’s an appeal upholding a sentence from Healey that imposed consecutive mandatory minimums for attempted second degree murder counts arising from the same event. The appellate court held that that was the correct sentencing structure in light of 10-20-Life.

    That’s great insight, FlaMan, much appreciated.

    Shows the hazards of simply relying on the literal meaning of a statute. Statute’s are merely the sometimes vaguely stated intentions of the legislature. Their true effect isn’t known until applied by the courts to real people in real cases, where the rubber meets the road.

    Also why I generally try to stay away form the sentencing stuff–way too much variability state-to-state for me to maintain meaningful expertise on a national level. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    CreatedEqual in reply to FlaMan. | February 16, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Florida Criminal Law Report/ Sentencing Firearm Mandatory Minimums

    The way I read it, Michael Dunn faces consecutive mandatory minimum prison sentences for the three, 2nd degree attempted murder convictions and the 4th conviction for the firing of a missile. 20+20+20+15 = 75 years

    The above included link addresses the Florida Supreme Court rulings on consecutive sentences.

    To throw away the key, it appears the state will prosecute Michael Dunn again on the first degree murder charge. This guy does not need to see the light of day again.

Wow. The hatred and bigotry on Twitter over this is amazing. And the lack of understanding of what a mistrial is.

I’d venture that he faces a very real possibility of a Federal charge, as well.

This is quite unlike Zimmerman, and a motivated “resurgent” Dept. of (racial) Justice head in Holder is apt to get creative.

    Sadly, true.

    Could be, the purportedly racial content of his emails and calls–which, frankly, hardly seems far more like commentary on poorly functioning sub-cultures than actual racial hatred–gives the Feds a civil rights hook here that was nowhere to be found in Zimmerman.

    On the other hand, given how many pardons Obama is going to want to have ready to sign by the end of his term, DOJ may be busy with other matters.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Ragspierre in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

      That tells me that, despite the sanguine assurances of our irrational troll, there is every reason to expect Holder to keep the scab of racial conflict rubbed off by Executive action. Obama may not benefit by direct voting, but he and all the Collective know that dividing America on every possible line is their route to success.

      Holder knows that political strength will trump the law WRT Pres. ScamWOW and his Obami, and a stirred racial pot will protect them from the consequences of their outlawry.

      It has so far.

        Rational in reply to Ragspierre. | February 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm

        Aw, will you take that back when Holder doesn’t pursue this? Of course not. You will just continue your blind hatred regardless of the facts. You will just forget what you wrote and pick one of the 20 or so alleged outrages on the LI home page. Maybe you will go so far as to say: “Well, Holder didn’t go after Dunn, but ………. (fill in the blank)”.

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 16, 2014 at 9:12 pm

          Why would I take back a perfectly well-founded prediction, moronic troll?

          If Holder or his myrmidons elect not to do as I very RATIONALLY predict, was my prediction somehow the result of hate, you lying POS? Or would it be because they simply found other things to do?

          You know, like after the big talk following the Zimmerman verdict.

          Collectivist troll.

          Anybody need a bandage?

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 1:51 am

          @Ragspierre “Why would I take back a perfectly well-founded prediction” Beautiful! Your predictions are right even when they don’t happen; and you call me an irrational moron. So you draw the conclusion and then you gather the premises. Does that work in court? Do you tell you clients that you were right even when you lose? LOL

          You’re one of those who can never admit you are wrong. You simply shift your outrage. It is a sad way to go through life.

          In the aftermath of Zimmerman, Holder did nothing. The riots that were gleefully predicted by some of your ilk never materialized. Did you shoot your wad about the impending riots? I await another volley of ad hominem attacks.

          I know who I am. I am neither a moron nor irrational. I am not a troll either. I am not an ideologue. I didn’t come here with the intention of irritating anyone. But I did come here with the intention of presenting an alternative point of view. I used logic and fact; although I might have exchanged an occasional tit for a tat. It is too bad that you can’t understand the difference. It is too bad that an alternative point of view is intolerable.

          I guess we must all agree with you. It seems to be beyond your imagination that someone could be knowledgeable, thoughtful, intellectually honest and not come to the same conclusions as you.

          There are more things in heaven and earth,
          Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 1:57 am

          @Ragspierre Are you sure you want to describe Holders deputies as ‘Myrmidones’? they were legendary people of Greek history. They were very brave and skilled warriors.

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

          You are a troll. And you lie about trolling.

          Plus, you, like most of your Collective, have NO sense of self-parody.

          We all see you, and laugh!

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 9:09 am

          Myrmidons were slavish followers who did not question orders.

          Why did you leave off that part of the definition, I wonder? All that intellectual honesty you break your arm patting yourself about, I guess.

          Have you had the intellectual curiosity to look up the meaning of “hypocrisy” since I had to point out you don’t understand it the other day?

          Yes or no, please….

          You really lose your sh!t when someone pushes back after you accuse them of doing things out of hate. Have you thought about some help?

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

          @Ragspierre Ah, so you were doing self-parody. ‘Self’ implies that you are doing it to yourself. It also involves humor. You are funny. Just not funny ‘Ha, Ha’. But I get it! You were playing the part of an intolerant, nasty, angry, name calling, mind reading, knee-jerk reactionary. You do it quite well. I totally mistook you for the real thing. My apologies for not realizing you were doing self-parody.

          My bad on the ‘myrmidons’. I looked at the 1st definition in the dictionary. I venture there are plenty of myrmidons of the 2nd definition on the right. Ditto Heads? Fox New Fans? Habituals of this site? Your attack-dog mentality seems to fit that 2nd definition to a tee.

          I rarely get into arguments on hypocrisy because hypocrisy crosses ideological lines. LaPierre is quite the hypocrite. Physician, heal thyself.

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm

          Thanks for the demonstration!

          Really, don’t stop now.

          Show us all some more of your self-parody, Irrational!

          Tell us the one about how you are NOT trolling. That NEVER gets old…!!!

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

          “LaPierre is quite the hypocrite.”

          Well, you’d have to elaborate, since I can’t tell to whom you refer.

          Let’s see if you have the basic concept down NOW…

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

          Self-parody is an intentional act. Perhaps you meant unintended parody – like you do. Your ignorance and lack of self-reflection is stunning.

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

          Poor baby.

          You can’t stop now, I’ve got you so spun up!

          Political polemicists use the term similarly, as in this headline of a 2004 blog posting. “We Would Satirize Their Debate And Post-Debate Coverage, But They Are So Absurd At This Point They Are Their Own Self-Parody”.

          You need to read more, Irrational…!!!

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

          @@Ragspierre Wow you found a blog post! So that is going to be the first usage in the OED?

          “A self-parody is a parody of oneself or one’s own work.” But you are not funny.

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm

          Sometimes critics use the word figuratively to mean the artist’s style and preoccupations appear as strongly (and perhaps as ineptly) in some work as they would in a parody. Such works may result from habit, self-indulgence, or an effort to please an audience by providing something familiar. Ernest Hemingway has frequently been a target for such comments. An example from Paul Johnson:

          “Some [of Hemingway’s later writing] was published nonetheless, and was seen to be inferior, even a parody of his earlier work. There were one or two exceptions, notably The Old Man and the Sea, though there was an element of self-parody in that too.”

          Paul, Johnson (1988). Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky. Harper & Row. p. 233. ISBN 0-06-016050-0.

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm

          @Ragspierre Well you are good at it. “He lost his copy of ‘Diplomacy for Dummies’. That would qualify as a parody of a right-winger attacking Obama or Kerry. You wrote that one without any prompting from me. It is all yours.

          Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

          That’s not what I said, liar.

          Just to be clear, is it your thesis that Obamic foreign policy is indicative of professionals with a sound understanding of American interests?


          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

          @Ragspierre Sorry wrong thread. No, you said it about the State Department. I went back and looked.

          All of this site is a self-parody with the exception of Andrew’s blog and some of the comments on it. Mostly it is snide comments by people who cannot abide anything that doesn’t fit with their ideology.

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

        Well, flutter away, poor, delicate lil’ butterfly.

        IF you think you can post here without trolling, give it a try.

        But when you DO troll (as over the last several days), I will Breitbart your butt ox.

          Rational in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

          That figures. Breitbart is the Sharpton of the right. They are parallel right down to the frauds that started their infamy. Personally, I ignore both of them. That is the difference between us. You will rag on Sharpton and then suck up the BS of Breitbart. I disdain them both.

          It is called objectivity. You should try it some time.

          Besides, you make plenty of self parodying comments that have nothing to do with me.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm

          And that is called “false equivalency”.

          I guess you have to be so smug and self-congratulatory…

          well, and delusional.

          It goes with the pathologies of trolls.

          Rational in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

          LOL. if you don’t think Breitbart is the white Sharpton, you can have the last word. I concede nothing. But you have convinced me that this is truly pointless and you will can outlast me.

          I am going to add a last comment on the other thread too. You also made me laugh on that one.

      vivibee601 in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I laugh at the idea that a man who initiated a confrontation with others over loud music, shot multiple times into their car, killing one, and fled the scene without notifying law enforcement…can have any valid commentary on “poorly functioning sub-cultures” that cannot also be applied to himself. He displayed the epitome of thug behavior. He may as well have shot a kid over the latest sneakers.

      Nevertheless, Holder and the Justice dept. seem to be focused on marriage equality and voting rights. I’m not aware of any cases other than the Zimmerman case where a federal probe into civil rights violations has been mentioned. Obama and Holder are fond of reminding crowds that “this is a nation of laws”. I don’t foresee a federal probe unless Healey goes soft on Dunn in the sentencing. IMHO Healey doesn’t seem like the type.

      I also think that if Healey makes sure Dunn is a very old man before he leaves prison, Jordan Davis’ parents would be ok with not retrying him. Although the father still seems bristling with anger, the mother appeared fragile and emotionally broken. Not sure they can go through this again.

        Rational in reply to vivibee601. | February 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

        The consensus is that he will be sentenced to concurrent terms of 20 years. He will serve 80% (16 years) if he doesn’t get into serious trouble. He may not be old, but he will be punished. He will not be able to carry a gun.

        Is that appropriate? Well, somehow, he didn’t hurt the other kids and he wasn’t convicted on the Murder. At this point, it is as if Davis wasn’t there.

    vivibee601 in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I tried searching online for any cases in which Holder initiated a civil rights probe in a criminal case other than the Zimmerman case. I couldn’t find any – not even with the Shawn Bell case where the guy was gunned down by law enforcement coming out of a strip club for his bachelor party. Both Obama and Holder told demonstrators “We are a nation of laws”. Even with the Zimmerman case, Holder has remained silent.

    On what do you base the likelihood of federal/civil rights charges against Dunn?

    Holder seems focused on Marriage Equality and Voting rights cases against states.

      Rational in reply to vivibee601. | February 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      You should read the whole thread. Ragspierre knows what they are thinking. In fact, he wrote to me that even if Holder doesn’t do it, his prediction still isn’t wrong. Because they want to do it.

        Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        That’s a lie, and you’re a liar.

        What I said was my prediction was valid (i.e., a conclusion based on rational premises).

        What you said was that it was the product of hatred.


          vivibee601 in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

          But what are you basing that prediction on? Holder hasn’t done any civil rights violation probes in criminal cases the entire time he’s been attorney general that I’m aware of other than the Zimmerman case and he has been painfully slow to announce the decision on that one.

          Also as I’ve said before, Obama and Holder have attempted to placate various groups during moments like these by saying “We are a nation of laws”.

          How is it likely that a federal civil rights violation probe would be opened on Dunn?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm

          Read the thread, dear. Try.

      Ragspierre in reply to vivibee601. | February 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Here in the Houston area, they have charged a “knock-down” gamer with a hate crime.

      The one…and the only…such charge.

      White thug. Black victim.

      You guys need to read outside your Collectivist bubble.

        vivibee601 in reply to Ragspierre. | February 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        Holder and the DOJ are involved in the Houston case? I was unaware of that.

        I have no pity on whoever is guilty of that “knockout” nonsense. I have elderly relatives and all hell would break loose if it happened to them. It’s ridiculous to have to be on-guard just walking down the street.

      Ragspierre in reply to vivibee601. | February 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Again, you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

      Holder did make statements following the Zimmerman verdict. Without any legal basis.

      Look. It. Up.

I live in Jacksonville and was watching today’s coverage. I was please and surprised that many members of the “community” were satisfied with the verdict and also appeared to think that the case was overcharged. I am even more pleased that those parties who wish to stir up racial grievances were chanting “hi, ho, Angela Corey has got to go.” Now THAT’s something with which I CAN agree with the Black Panthers.

    healthguyfsu in reply to NotoriousM.E.G.. | February 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I don’t buy it…this crowd has been singing the overcharging mantra since the Zim trial because they thought there was enough evidence for a manslaughter conviction. (Of course they thought this after he was acquitted of murder)

    That’s why they want Corey gone because, by some crazy delusion, they think she and the SA office actually threw the Zim case!

The immunity to civil action is interesting. I need to dig around in that more.

    It’s not complicated. Request a self-defense immunity hearing before a judge, present evidence, if you convince him by a preponderance of the evidence that your use of force was lawful self-defense he’s to grant you immunity from criminal prosecution or civil suit for that defensive use of force.

    Just, please, don’t call it a SYG hearing. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Oh, and that self-defense immunity can be held before trial, during trial, or after trial. If successful before trial, obviously there will then be no trial. If successful during trial, the trial would end. If after trial, you’d simply have your immunity after having been acquitted.

    (I suppose it’s theoretically possible to be convicted and also obtain immunity after trial, but it seems rather unlikely–an acquittal requires the State have disproved self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas to beat you on immunity they need merely disprove it by 51% of the evidence.)

    Many defendants–as did both Zimmerman and Dunn–choose not to seek immunity pre-trial either because they feel it’s hopeless and/or it would disclose their trial strategy to the prosecution.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Larry Elder is calling on Holder and Obama to file charges. Don Lemon and Crump(Martin family atty)are howling at the injustice and trying to stir up mobs. These people disgust me.

    Predictable. Anything short of ‘execution by slow torture’ they would do the same.

      Rational in reply to pjm. | February 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      What is the big deal? There are people who will posture on the left and the right. They don’t represent more than a small minority. They may get the TV time. But that is the 24/7 news cycle. They need the BS.

      Certainly the feds are not going to get involved prior to a retrial. It would serve no purpose; even as a political stunt. The feds tend to come in when they believe there was a miscarriage of justice. No one, but the fringe, is likely to claim that in this case.

      Certainly there have been times, in the past, when the state trial was a farce. How many people got away with murder during the Civil Rights ERA?

        Uh Huh in reply to Rational. | February 15, 2014 at 8:29 pm

        I wish I had the faith in the Feds you do, LOL. We are talking Obama(who will say or do anything if he thinks he can move a poll up) and Holder, who thinks every minority in the USA is oppressed and needs “justice”.

        Corey may say she is going to retrial, but I would think at some point, budgetary issues come into play.It would be one thing if she has new evidence, but I don’t think that is the case here.
        And doesn’t the family have some say in this? Do they want to sit through a trial again, to attempt to convict Dunn who is going to be serving a likely life sentence?

          Dunn will NOT get any ‘life sentence ! He will get 20 years, and be out in 10, the counts will run concurrently.

          Regardless of the supposed ‘legal experts’ on TV saying ‘he’s going away for 60 years – bullshit !

          Now, whether he SURVIVES 10 years in a prison full of black men, that’s another question….

          Rational in reply to Uh Huh. | February 15, 2014 at 9:22 pm

          1st of all, I wish you guys would stop singing the same song. You lose credibility. Obama is a politician, not the anti-christ. He is not significantly different from the others. He isn’t even up for re-election. His polls numbers will fluctuate. Just look at Clinton and Bush.

          Whether the feds have any interest will, at worst, be related to whether the NYTimes and WaPo have an interest. So far this case isn’t raising a blip. The Times is covering it in the back of the National section. I just looked and they haven’t updated the headline on the front page. So even with your cynicism, where is the payoff to Obama and Holder? Dunn is going away for a long time.

          I expect the state will base their decision on how close they came. I know the jury doesn’t have to talk. But they generally do. I hesitate to mention this because it is bound to get an argument: But the state should have the advantage in a re-trial. Dunn is locked into his story. The state can really work at showing Davis never left the car.

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Uh Huh. | February 15, 2014 at 9:24 pm

          He’ll just connect up with white supremicists.

          Rational in reply to Uh Huh. | February 15, 2014 at 9:42 pm


          “He’ll just connect up with white supremicists.” I don’t think it is that simple. They are hardcore and he isn’t. Maybe they take him on for a price. Since he doesn’t have money, he will have to pay with something else.

        creeper in reply to Rational. | February 16, 2014 at 9:31 am

        ” The feds tend to come in when they believe there was a miscarriage of justice.”

        No, these days the feds tend to come in whenever they believe there’s a chance of advancing Barack Obama’s political agenda.

    Elder is?
    honestly that surprises me.

    Uh Huh in reply to Uh Huh. | February 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Well, I’m going to correct my own post amid lesson learned. Never take word for it from someone else regarding twitter. I finally looked up Elder’s Tweet. He was SARCASTICALLY saying “where’s Obama “I can do what I want” and Holder Civil rights cases.
    He did NOT call for Holder and Obama to intervene. I should have known better.

Or Angela Corey could have charged 2nd degree murder and might well have obtained a conviction under that standard, but that wouldn’t have been satisfying to her fans.

    By charging murder 1 she DID also charge murder 2. Murder 2 is an automatically included lesser charge of murder 1. The jury was charged on both murder 1 and murder 2 for the shooting death of Jordan Davis.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      I’m really surprised they couldn’t agree on Murder 2. Honestly I did not think 1 was that much of a stretch, 2 seemed a given.

        So is the working theory right now that the jury deadlocked over whether to give Dunn Murder 1 or 2?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to LLC. | February 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm

          I am betting one 1 or 2 folks that believed Dunn’s story and couldn’t remove the doubt that it was self defense and therefore did their jobs and stuck to their guns.

          I think if it had been the difference between Murder 1 and 2 the murder 1’s would have given in and just gone with Murder 2. Or maybe it was that someone felt it was manslaughter, but I don’t see the Murder 1 and 2 causing a hung jury in this case, especially since I think charging Murder 1 was overcharging to the fantasy level.

          Estragon in reply to LLC. | February 16, 2014 at 2:03 am

          No, it was the self-defense claim that hung them. One or more wasn’t convinced it wasn’t a SD case. That’s why the question from the jury about whether or not it applied to all victims with the same standard once you have justifiable against one.

          ^^^^ Estragon’s got it right, in my opinion. SD was the hang-up. ^^^^

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      And also , as I read about it –


      Justifiable homicide

      Excusable homicide.

        I’m glad someone said so because a) I thought that’s what I heard about the instructions days ago but couldn’t be sure anymore, b) I got confused by the idea people would hang only on a murder 1 charge, with nothing said about the other grades of murder.

        I still think that overcharging doesn’t do any good in a hard case because it ties the jurors into knots and makes it harder for them to agree to a lesser charge on the same count.

Question for the “and they said there’d be no math!” department –

20 years on each of the three counts of attempted murder and 20 years on the charge of throwing of missiles (because a gun was used Florida’s ”10-20-Life” statute bumps what would normally be a 2nd degree felony to a 1st degree felony)

Because all the charges stem from a single set of acts, the sentences would likely be served concurrently, rather than consecutively, meaning in effect that Dunn would be sentenced to 25 years to life.

I only see 20+ there – four 20s concurrent.

I’m no big Corey fan, but this was a such a weird case that I don’t see M1 as an unreasonable charge.

Whether it’s worth pursuing at this point is another matter.

Another question – why the long delay to sentencing? I know it’s routine, but why?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | February 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    There is some kind of investigative report that has to be prepared before he can be sentenced, they mentioned it before the Judge let the court go. Apparently, it takes about a month to do one of these reports.

[…] we can’t point you to anything better than Branca’s report on the verdict or, really, the whole comprehensive Legal Insurrection file on the […]

so was this due to the first degree vs second degree issue?
IOW was it due to the premeditated charge?
I am wondering, perhaps incorrectly, if that premeditated part wasn’t there this would not have happened.

or am I looking at it all wrong?
he is going to prison though, and that is good.

UNREAL ! Jose Baez (Casey Anthony case) is on TV – CNN – saying ‘There is no question Dunn will die in prison, he gets 60 years’.

What a load of crap !!!!!

This is a LAWYER speaking, and not knowing that the sentences will likely by CONCURRENT ?????

    Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | February 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    He also has a problem with addition as well, since I believe each of the 4 charges carries a mandatory 20 year sentence, wouldn’t that turn out to be 80 years? Last time I took math 4 x 20 was 80.

      You obviously missed ‘Common Core Standards’ in school.

      The correct answer to ‘How much is 4 x 20’ today is ‘More than 20, less than 120, and Tuesdays are red’.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | February 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        LMAO, actually I am a School Nurse now, so I wish I had missed the Common Core Standards for school. Believe me even being the Nurse Common Core has smacked even me upside the head.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to pjm. | February 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    From what I’ve heard of Jose Baez, he doesn’t ewven know what a leading question is. I say this because apparently he kept asking leading question after leading question. Kept having objections against him sustained. In the end every else knew what a leading question was but he still didn’t figure it out.

Thank you again, Andrew, for the great coverage and for answering so many of our questions. Your work and time is greatly appreciated, and as like last time, I learned a great deal by coming here.

Thanks Again!!

Thanks to Andrew and all the folks that I have been conversing/arguing with on the other posts.

I can’t really fault the Jury’s decision on 2nd degree attempted murder, I think the missiles charge was a forgone conclusion. You just can’t shoot at a fleeing vehicle and have it look right. Not to mention he really partially distroyed his self defense arguement when he just went back to the hotel, then went home after he knew Davis was dead adn never called police, that is just, as a buddy of mine would say “Bowlegged Stoopid”. If you fire your weapon in public and you don’t hit anything but dirt you still call the cops.

    Grem, I’ve enjoyed your posts, much more than some of the inane posts, (you know who you are), and hope you stick around LI.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Redneck Law. | February 16, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Thank you. I actually read LI everyday, but only comment on things like issues of self defense and guns. I generally just call them like I see them since I have found that Common Sense will take care of most of the question life brings as long as you apply it logically.

      The aspect of this case that really bothers me the most is that the Anti-gun crowd will use it as a weapon, especially since the Zimmerman case didn’t go their way. They will completely ignore the multiple other cases during this case that were justified self defense.

      Enjoyed the conversations and God Bless.

    Hugitout5 in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Lemme 2nd Redneck Law’s compliment. Didn’t really follow the trial seemed pretty cut & dried. If you’re gonna SYG during then you’ve got to SYG after i.e call the cops – and your lawyer – IMMEDIATELY.

    Thing is I always try to turn it around and doing so I thought to myself what if that car next to Dunn had been blasting Freebird instead of whatever 50 Cent’s signature track is?

    The 2nd Amendment right attaches (serious) responsibility too, and Dunn gets to contemplate that reality now for the next 20 years – minimum. “Bowlegged stoopid” indeed.

Florida has the 80% rule for time served. So, Dunn will be sentenced to 20 years in prison of which he will serve 16 years, minus time already served awaiting trial.

I think that the problem that the jury faced was that one member felt that Dunn’s claimed perception that Davis was holding a pistol, was sufficient to allow for self defense for shooting Davis; even though no firearms were found, there was no independent testimony that any firearms [other than Dunn’s] were present, and that the other occupants of Davis’ car testified that Davis was holding a cell phone. Such things happen in jury trials. If it was just a matter of overcharging, i think that the jury would have agreed to a lesser charge of manslaughter or even 2nd degree homicide.

    pjm in reply to Mac45. | February 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Good info. So he’ll be 63 (or more) when he gets out.

    You sure about that time off for good behavior? Each of the attempted murder 2 convictions gets the mandatory minimum 20 years under Florida’s “10-20-Life” statute, 775.087.

    775.087 ( goes on to state that:

    ” . . . the defendant is not eligible for statutory gain-time under s. 944.275 or any form of discretionary early release, other than pardon or executive clemency, or conditional medical release under s. 947.149, prior to serving the minimum sentence.”

    Also, under s. 921.16 (, it is the default position that the sentences be served concurrently UNLESS the sentencing judge orders they be served consecutively. Also, see FlaMan’s post above indicating that this is an area in some flux if Florida, and that a credible argument can be made (and has been made) that sentences under “10-20-Life” MUST be consecutive in order to abide by the Legislature’s intent re: that statute.

    Finally, the proper math–after I’ve gotten it repeatedly wrong by a bit–as communicated by ASA Wolfson last night at the post-verdict press conference is 20 years for each of the attempted murder 2 convictions and 15 years for the throwing missiles.

    (It would seem that “10-20-Life” would bump up the throwing missiles second degree felony with a 15 year sentence to a first degree felony with a 30 year sentence, but for some reason it must not apply in this instance.)

    So, that’s a total of 75 years if run consecutively.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I think it should have been Murder 2 but I’m not on the jury.

Once again, I want to be sure that anyone who read my post that said Larry Elder was calling for Obama and Holder to get involved, I WAS WRONG.
Elder tweeted a sarcastic comment asking where Obama and Holder were. The info passed to me was wrong and I repeated before confirming. Me bad.

Ok, I just watched waaaayyy to much of Angela Corey just so I could look at ASA Erin Wolfson some more.

Andrew, in Angela Cory’s press conference she indicated that they are changing the Jury instructions for Justifiable use of force and have already changed the instructions for manslaughter, any idea what those changes are?

    There’s been judicial notice that the jury instruction for justifiable use of deadly force, 3.6(f), ( has been under review by the Committee on Standard Jury Instruction in Criminal Cases since the 2010 case of Bassallo v. State, 46 So. 3d 1205 (Fla. 4th DCA November 10, 2010). (

    Seems the State prosecutors and Judges (maybe even the defense) hate the instructions for being too complex and difficult to understand. Especially the State–based on Corey’s comments they make her job much harder in self-defense cases (not necessarily a bad thing, of course).

    Those efforts are still in the works.

    I know there have been recent changes in Florida’s manslaughter instructions, but confess to not being intimately knowledge with the changes or their implications. Based on what I saw in the Dunn court, neither are Florida’s Judges, prosecutors, or defense lawyers.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Oh, I have also figured out what a SYG case is now. Its any case in Florida where the shooter claims self defense, at least to the media this would seem to be the definition.

Corey should give retrying Dunn some careful thought. Florida law confers both civil and criminal immunity to those found to have used lawful self defense.

A jury verdict of not guilty of murder will put the attempted murder convictions in jeopardy. Dunn be able to argue that the immunity conferred by a not guilty by reason of self-defense verdict confers immunity to his earlier convictions. A not guilty verdict will also raise albeit weak collateral estoppel arguments.

The proof standard for pre-trial immunity is a preponderance of the evidence. But the Courts have not addressed post-trial immunity. This will likely be a case of first impression.

Take your victory and go home Ms. Corey. Any thoughts Andrew?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to sequester. | February 16, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Not sure how a not guilty on the Murder charge could put the attempted murder convictions in jeopardy? That doesn’t really track with me.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 16, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Ditto here. Part of the problem is that there were multiple potential victims. D (claimed to have) thought that W was shooting or going to shoot at him, and so shot at W, X, Y, Z riding in car A. Not clear whether W had a gun, it was self-defense, etc., but D convicted of attempted murder of X, Y, Z (plus the missile charge against car A itself). You are seemingly suggesting, with your suggestion that immunity might screw that up, that D should be privileged to shoot at X, Y, and Z, in self-defense of being allegedly shot at by W, just because they were in the same car.

      This is though one of the places where things get a little weird. On the one hand, if the four had been fleeing a bank robbery, or drive by shooting, there would seemingly be some sort of enterprise guilt or something that might be able to spread the self-defense across all four of them. And, so, if a gun had been found, things might have gone differently for the attempted 2nd degree charges for X, Y, and Z. But, absent any real crime by those three, why should there be any self-defense claim possible? It was W whom D claims to have made him in fear of his life or great bodily injury. Not X, Y, and Z by showing what he believed to be a handgun. There have to be situations where self-defense can be usable as a defense against a group – I just don’t think this is one of those cases, possibly because there was no evidence that there was any criminal conspiracy or endeavor involved among the four in the car. Something like that.

    Sequester: Assume for a moment that the State decides not to re-try Dunn. Then assume the FL Court of Appeals finds reversible error for refusal to allow Dunn’s stress expert to testify. (You know, the marriage counselor who had never testified before as an expert on anything.) What then?

    The other counts for Attempted Murder stand as a finding of fact, unless reversed on appeal. IOW, re-trying Dunn has no effect on the other 4 counts where Dunn was convicted. (Unless he has a successful appeal)

      platypus in reply to Redneck Law. | February 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Maybe I’m nitpicking but findings of fact are in court trials, not jury trials. The term I know about is “inures in the verdict” without any specification. IOW, whatever facts that are necessary and any facts that depend on the evidence “inure” in the verdict. Any legal effect must be litigated and argued under the appropriate doctrine, e.g., if the defense is claiming an estoppel.

    sequester in reply to sequester. | February 16, 2014 at 9:09 am

    In the post-trial press conference Ms. Corey expressed her intention to retry Dunn on first-degree murder charges. She also noted that the firing of ten shots was an essential element of the first degree murder charge.

    If Dunn is acquitted of all remaining charges by reason of self-defense FL 776.332(1) comes into play

    A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution …

    Since the underlying facts presented to the first jury will also be presented to the second jury one can mount a significant appellate argument that a second jury found that the 10 shots were part of an act justifiable self-defense. The 10 shots are therefore subject to the immunity provisions of FL 776.332(1).

    If that argument is accepted, out go Dunn’s attempted murder convictions.

    Thank you all for your comments. I a merely pointing out the type of argument a skilled appellate lawyer might construct. Given that, the best strategy, is to accept your victory and go through the appellate process.

      “She also noted that the firing of ten shots was an essential element of the first degree murder charge.”

      No. She said anytime someone fired 10 shots into an occupied vehicle she intended to bring first degree murder charges. Not the same thing, at all.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      The video of her statement is embedded in this very post, anybody is free to listen to her for themselves.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        sequester in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 16, 2014 at 9:59 am

        Thank you for pointing out Ms. Corey’s exact words. The ten shots are almost certainly going to be a vital part of the new trial. I took Ms. Corey’s words as an acknowledgement of the obvious.

        Introduction of the ten shots and Dunn’s subsequent flight are compelling evidence of Dunn’s culpable state of mind and premeditation. Merely reaching for the gun in the glove compartment may not be enough for first-degree murder conviction. Dunn laid into those youngsters with a no holds barred volley of shots and had ample time to reflect during the process.

        If Ms. Corey wants to go for the gold in this case she risks undoing her earlier good work. Contradictory verdicts by separate juries are not good things for a prosecutor.

        I’d be happy to understand how you would present a winnable first-degree murder case without introducing the ten shots.

    BrokeGopher in reply to sequester. | February 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    An acquittal on the murder charge retrial on the basis of self-defense would not undo the convictions for attempted murder. The attempted murders were a separate act, shooting at the fleeing vehicle, which occurred a few seconds after the alleged murder/self-defense.

    I do think a retrial for murder is warranted, because the existing convictions could be overturned on appeal.

Whats the expected sentence here? 20 year minimum, to run concurrently?

Corey: “There’s nothing political in what we do, we file on the facts and on the law.”

Angela, Angela, Angela…. every single thing you do has a political motive. You hold an elected office, moron.

Preponderance of the evidence is a higher standard of proof than beyond a reasonable doubt???

Thanks for the great coverage, Andrew!

This was a strange case. More than anything else, it should teach us all the danger of getting into confrontations with strangers. It’s always better to walk away, no matter how stupid or rude they are.

You never know when someone is going to escalate beyond all reason.

Would Dunn have even gone for his gun if Davis hadn’t been mouthing off about killing him? Just because it isn’t a legit SD case doesn’t mean he didn’t aggravate the situation.

    Estragon: “Would Dunn have even gone for his gun if Davis hadn’t been mouthing off about killing him? Just because it isn’t a legit SD case doesn’t mean he didn’t aggravate the situation.”

    I’m not ready to concede the truth of Dunn’s allegation that Davis threatened to kill him, any more than I believe Dunn when he said he saw a shotgun. Remember, Dunn said his window was up. Dunn may have ‘thought’ that Davis threatened to kill him, and Dunn may have ‘thought’ that Davis had a shotgun, but I don’t find Dunn’s actions reasonable, or sufficient for self-defense.

      tom swift in reply to Redneck Law. | February 16, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Even the law’s beloved Reasonable Man can only act reasonably based on what he “thinks” is real.

      In my evaluation of the evidence, otherwise known as IMHO, Dunn was angry not frightened when he fired those three bursts into the Durango. His actions from beginning to end (arrest) are reckless not fearful. But I think in time, he has come to believe his own fiction. Perhaps he’s a self-serving, self-centered sociopath, or perhaps it’s the only way he can live with himself.

        Hugitout5 in reply to gxm17. | February 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

        A most insightful comment gxm17, kudos & t/y.

        It’s the old “That’s my story & I’m sticking with it” line. Pardon another cliche but for Dunn it’s “in for a penny in for a pound” at this point. The evidence doesn’t support his version but he’s locked into it. And locked up now too.

        I’m an ex gun owner but 2nd Amendment supporter still. But this case is DEFINITELY a “teachable moment” (ugh! 3rd cliche sorry) for you pistol packers.

        And with that … Me and my tired bromides is outta here.
        Peace y’all …

    Tim Lookingbill in reply to Estragon. | February 16, 2014 at 11:15 am

    In regard to Estragon and Redneck law’s comments: If Dunn’s window was rolled up, how did he hear anyone threaten him. If Dunn had to wait to get his gun out of the glove box and out of its holster, why didn’t he just show the teens he had a gun? Would they have driven away then?

    There were so many facts that kept popping up that were left out of this case I still couldn’t get a real picture in my head how this altercation went down. For instance there were nunchucks found in the SUV but not brought up in court. This could’ve been the barrel of a gun Dunn saw as he mentioned in the original police interrogation video which indicated he saw something that “resembled” or looked like a gun barrel one of the teens had in their hand and KNOCKED hard against the inside of their car door.

    All water under the bridge now, Dunn’s going to prison. Justice and all the facts have been brought forth. Case closed.

Did any of the three teenagers in the car testify in this case? I have been following it off and on and don’t recall hearing much about them at all. If they did not testify, was there a reason for them not to?

Having watched some things I missed, Wolfson probably saved the day by arguing the last volley of shots were different than the others, that the SUV was fleeing then and Dunn couldn’t claim self-defense. Strolla had no real counter for this and actually tried to side-step it by simply asserting in his closing that if you find Dunn acted in self-defense the other counts are off the table. I don’t know if a good counter existed but Strolla didn’t have it and his client is heading to prison as a result.

I also think the question the jurors asked about self-defense and the other counts was related to this. It may be that they wondered if the others in the SUV could be thought by Dunn as threats because they were with Davis, in which case firing at them in the SUV could be justifiable.

    BrokeGopher in reply to DennisD. | February 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Yes and I think John Guy dropped the ball in final close by not adequately responding to Strolla’s allegations of shoddy police work. Yes they didn’t search the “second crime scene” to find the alleged gun because Dunn was not there to tell them they needed to. Guy’s main focus should not have been on emotions and tragedy but on stomping out every last shred of reasonable doubt raised by Strolla.

      Alas, stamping out the last shreds of doubt was not the closing that Guy had practiced so many times before his mirror.

        Rational in reply to Baker. | February 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        That is why I think the prosecution would do better if they pursue a retrial. They just need to hammer on the couple of claims Dunn made. Dunn is locked in.

        I am kind of impressed with those who probably held out for SD on the murder count (I am assuming). They weren’t hard headed. They could distinguish between the different parts of the encounter.

The response was the “keep their heads down” theory. Dunn mentioned it during his testimony but neither side developed it any further. It does look like the jury picked up on it despite its neglect by counsel.

I’ve read that Judge Healey is tough on sentencing so IMO consecutive sentences are not out of the question.

Andrew, are you planning an analysis of each sides’ case? IANAL, but I was unimpressed with John Guy during the GZ trial, but since it was such a unsupported case I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Now after seeing the Dunn trial, I’m wondering how this guy got his job. IMO, totally unimpressive. OTOH, I was pleasantly surprised by Angela Corey. She’s got a very precise and engaging style. And for all of you Erin Wolfson fans, I think she did a great job for her first “call-out.”

    An analysis of each side would be awesome, but I’m not retired, so I’m afraid I’ll be re-directing my efforts to (gasp) money-making activities now that this trial’s wrapped up (and before the Joseph Walker trial starts in a three weeks.

    In my opinion Guy blew the cross on Dunn, so still not a fan. Less histrionic than he was in Zimmerman, barely, but played small ball when he needed to go in for the kill.

    Corey was surprisingly capable. Once (if ever) she’s finished her sanctions for the concealment of exculpatory discovery evidence in the Zimmerman case, I’m sure she’ll have a grand legal career ahead of her.

    Wolfson did a very capable job. Having learned only since yesterday’s press conference that this was her first major homicide case, I have every expectation she’ll further polish her skills considerably.

    BTW, in about 40 minutes I’ll be a guest on Terri O’Brien show, presumably doing legal commentary on the Dunn trial and self-defense law.

    Sunday, 6:10PM

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Yea, I think Wolfson’s “quiet confidence” was a good balance for John Guy. In my opinion if it had not been for Wolfson this case would have been a great deal more difficult for Corey and Guy, at least they didn’t bring Berny along for the ride this time.

      I to was impressed with Corey in this case, I have a healthy dislike for the woman, however, I am willing to admit that she seemed to make a good lead Attorney and showed some fairly good trial skills. Perhaps, loosing HUGE in the Zimmerman trial, not to mention looking like a complete witch most of the time actually did her some good.

Dunn will probably end up at the Chattahoochie Work Camp which is populated by old men. He will be safe and well taken care of.

    Rational in reply to wukong. | February 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I don’t think you go to low security prisons with the charges Dunn was convicted of. Besides, Dunn seems the type who will get in trouble. He doesn’t like being told what to do. So he will break prison rules or rub other prisoners the wrong way. So even if he starts off at a low security site, he will land up behind tall fences or walls.

    One way or the other he will do hard time. Prisons are very loud.

      vivibee601 in reply to Rational. | February 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      I agree, the prisons in North Florida are mostly medium and low security. Dunn will be admitted through the intake center at Union Correctional in North Florida but after a couple of months he will be routed to either central or South Florida.

      Work camps are for those who have only a little time and have minimum security and have earned the privilege of being able to leave the grounds for work and return in the evenings. Dunn doesn’t meet those criteria.

      I’m sure though, that he will be in isolation from general population for his own safety.

Predicting the outcome of appeals in Florida is more risky than predicting verdicts in Florida (to clarify, see Bush v Gore). Just saying.

    Rational in reply to platypus. | February 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    That was settled by SCOTUS. Dunn will never get near the Supreme Court.

      SmokeVanThorn in reply to Rational. | February 16, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      What was the US Supreme Court reviewing when it decided Bush v. Gore?

        Florida and their Supreme Court trying to change the rules of an election after the election, until their guy won.

        SCOTUS called ‘bullshit’.

          SmokeVanThorn in reply to pjm. | February 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm

          Of course – but “Rational” doesn’t seem to know that Bush v. Gore went through the Florida courts before going to the US Supreme Court, since he “corrected” the citation of Bush v. Gore as an example of the unpredictability of Florida appellate courts.

          But he did use the nifty term “SCOTUS,” so he must be a real insider.

          Rational in reply to pjm. | February 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

          @SmokeVanThorn Of course I knew that. How do you infer that I didn’t from what I wrote? Who decided it? Do I have to regurgitate the whole fiasco to make the point that Dunn will not get a hearing by the court that actually decided Bush v. Gore?

          BTW, O’Connor now says that it was wrong for the court to take the case. Granted it is a little late. But it is food for thought.

Here’s what I think happened (which is worth diddly squat, I know). M. Dunn pulls up next to the Durango. He hears the music, which aggravates him. He tells the boys to turn it down — maybe politely, maybe not. One of the boys turns it down. M. Dunn is pleased. Moments later, J. Davis orders his friend in the front seat to turn it back up, adding an F-bomb (or whatever). M. Dunn recognizes the provocation on the part of J. Davis and meets it with heightened aggression of his own. He rolls down his window and exchanges some F-bombs with J. Davis. M. Dunn then reaches for his gun, figuring that he can intimidate J. Davis. For whatever reason, M. Dunn fires it into the Durango.

Putting two and two together, I think M. Dunn waved his gun, perhaps thought J. Davis was reaching for the door handle to open it, and in his agitated state M. Dunn lost control.

I do not believe J. Davis had a weapon. I do not believe M. Dunn thought J. Davis had a weapon. If you watch the interview with R. Rouer with the detectives, she has a clear recollection about events that night: what M. Dunn said to her — and what he did NOT mention. Immediately, she had asked M. Dunn, “What happened?” and “Why?” The best he could come up with is that he feared for his life and that J. Davis “advanced” on him. Nothing at all about a shotgun.

    vivibee601 in reply to nightowl. | February 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    How is it “provocation” on the part of Jordan Davis if he did not directly address Dunn? If the friend turned the radio down and Jordan Davis instructed the friend to turn it back up/on…that means Jordan did not initiate confrontation with Dunn.

Bravo! Great job on the Teri OBrien Show, Andrew. You provided a clear synopsis of the case including the actual facts and legal aspects. You clearly stated your opinions based on your assessment of the facts and the law. Well done indeed.

    Very kind of you, thanks. For those who missed it, the Professor has kindly offered to host a copy of the audio here at Legal Insurrection. We’ll likely have that up within the next day or so, so keep your eyes open.

    Also, I’ll be a guest on a AM600 in San Diego ( on the Victoria Taft show tomorrow at 3:35 Boston time. You can listen live at that link, or we’ll also be posting the audio here afterwards.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Baker in reply to Baker. | February 16, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    For those of you who missed the live broadcast Andrew provides a link to the archives of the Teri OBrien Show on his blog. I’m not sure how soon the archive will be posted but the interview is well into the show (likely somewhere around the 50 minute mark I would think). I have followed the trial closely through this blog, Andrew’s tweets, and viewing a significant amount of the live courtroom feeds so I didn’t hear anything new about the facts or Andrew’s personal assessments. I found it interesting, however, just to compare the interview and opinions to the drivel we are often exposed to coming from the so-called experts in the media who frequently can’t even get the actual facts right in their first sentence and then go on to give us their questionable assessments.

      Haha, thanks, Baker.

      For those who can’t wait to hear my dulcet tones, she also had me on immediately following the Zimmerman trial, back on July 21, 2013. I might have been a little drunk that time, not sure. I was in pretty good spirits. 🙂

      Andrew Branca Talks Zimmerman, Self-Defense Law on Teri O’Brien Show (

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

With the recent hung jury on the murder one charge for Michael Dunn, this could apply to anyone living in Florida or those other states that have “Stand Your Ground” laws in place. Imagine if you will, to any one of you, that your youngster is riding in a car or walking along the sidewalk with others and gets into a verbal confrontation with a different bystander and that bystander feels threatened and shoots and kills your youngster. The bystander is arrested and argues that your youngster appeared to show a knife or firearm and the bystander felt threatened and feared for his/her life and the reason why he/she shot and killed your youngster.

It could very well be any racial category that is faced with this predicament.

How would any one of you answer that hypothetical?

    Given that your hypothetical is based on an imaginary version of SYG that does not exist in the real world, I’ll defer to the unicorns and goblins of your imagination to bring you the answer.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to CreatedEqual. | February 17, 2014 at 3:40 am

    What I would teach my son before any of this happened is not to start confrontations. If you are in a situation where it looks like a confrontation is inevitable, do everything you can to prevent the confrontation. If a confrontation is inevitable do what you have to do to end it as quickly and safely as you can
    with the least amount of force necessary.

    You do anything else for you whole life, you will eventually get killed by someone.

    BrokeGopher in reply to CreatedEqual. | February 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

    The standard for self-defense is not, and never has been, “feels threatened.” This is a fantasy term invented by the media to sensationalize these stories.

    I’m not seeing the question. If your question is about the relative merits of stand your ground, then I’d have to say that SYG simply answers the question, “Do you have a duty to retreat?” The answer is no. Surely you understand that SYG doesn’t relieve anyone of the requirement to be in reasonable fear of death or serious injury for themselves or others before using deadly force, right? No law or absense of law will prevent your theoretical loved-one from being murdered by someone who is willing to act unlawfully.

    In today’s political environment, you’d be a fool not to run from a fight if you have the chance, but the law says you don’t have to. I think the law is morally correct, but who in their right mind would volunteer to be Zimmerman’d on principle?

    vivibee601 in reply to CreatedEqual. | February 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    There is actually another case in Florida I read about recently where an African-American shooter chased a 21yr old African-American or Afro-Hispanic male over a fence and into an apartment complex and shot him 6 times, after the guy ran through his yard. There was no burglary/theft or crime other than trespassing through the man’s yard. The shooter has tried to claim that he was afraid. Commenters pointed out that as soon as you are chasing someone over a fence and onto other people’s property to shoot him, you become a perpetrator.

    I think the shooter’s name is something like Claudio Smith from the Orlando area?

    I wonder if there’s something about Florida’s law in particular that lends itself to these situations where, incredibly, people initiate confrontations and shoot or shoot fleeing people then try to claim self-defense? Doesn’t Texas have a similar law?

    Florida seems like some sort of legal petri dish.

Folks are complaining it was illogical of the jury to conclude it was lawful to shoot the decedent but unlawful to fire at the other three passengers. Other than they couldn’t agree which crime Dunn committed, is there a way the jury’s reasoning could be valid?

Why would Mark O’Mara think it significant that Dunn was overcharged if the jury could have convicted on lesser charges?

Jeralyn Merritt wrote: “If they can’t reach a verdict on Count 1, the judge will declare a mistrial as to that count only, which would allow prosecutors to retry him.” Like O’Mara, she didn’t mention the lesser charge option. Very confused as to what extent that option might be relevant with respect to the jury’s reasoning.


    tom swift in reply to citizenjeff. | February 17, 2014 at 4:23 am

    illogical of the jury to conclude it was lawful to shoot the decedent but unlawful to fire at the other three passengers

    We don’t know that the jury decided that, though it’s a reasonable scenario.

    It’s logical because if there’s any truth to Dunn’s testimony that he really believed he was about to suffer a homicidal assault at the hands of Mr Davis, then forcible self defense by Dunn could well be justified.

    But that reasoning applies to none of the other three. None of them threatened Dunn, or seemed to be participating in a deadly assault on him. Therefore self defense doesn’t justify firing bullets at them, or any other use of force.

      BrokeGopher in reply to tom swift. | February 17, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Even Dunn himself in the interview with JSD said, “I have no justification” for those shots. He later invented the justification of “fearing blind fire” and “keeping their heads down,” neither of which is really justification of shooting at a fleeing vehicle.

    Immolate in reply to citizenjeff. | February 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

    The jury didn’t decide it was lawful to kill the decedent. They did not acquit, and if they had, they’d merely be saying that there was reasonable doubt as to guilt. They were, quite possibly, one person’s reasonable doubt away from convicting Dunn of first or second degree murder.

The legal/law enforcement arms of government must wake up every day and thank their stars that potential defendants voluntarily give statements to the police. If there’s one thing that stands out in all of this and other trials it is this: if you ever think you could be charged of a crime, even if you believe your are totally innocent, never, ever give a statement to the police without talking to an attorney first.


“Let’s see if you have the basic concept down NOW…”

Why bother? Your only stratagem is too attack and deny.

    Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm


    Project much…????

    “Aw, will you take that back when Holder doesn’t pursue this? Of course not. You will just continue your blind hatred regardless of the facts. You will just forget what you wrote and pick one of the 20 or so alleged outrages on the LI home page. Maybe you will go so far as to say: “Well, Holder didn’t go after Dunn, but ………. (fill in the blank)”.

    But, sokay. We all see you and laugh!