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“Loud Music” Murder Trial Day 5: Dunn Testifies, Defense Rests

“Loud Music” Murder Trial Day 5: Dunn Testifies, Defense Rests

Dunn testifies, defense rests, secures self-defense jurisdiction, closing tomorrow

NOTE: LIVE COVERAGE: “Loud Music” Murder Trial, VERDICT WATCH

Today the Dunn trial managed to wrap up all of the evidence to be presented to the jury, including a bit of rebuttal evidence once the defense had rested.  All the criminal charges–first degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, and firing into an occupied vehicle–are moving forward, as is the legal defense of self-defense.

Notable today was the testimony of the defendant, Michael Dunn.  On direct he recounted the events leading up to, during, and following his shooting of of Jordan Davis, as was necessary if he hoped to get a self-defense jury instruction.  He was unshaken by the ~ 3 hours of cross-examination of Assistant State Attorney John guy.

In my opinion, however, he came across as cool, aloof, and lacking in empathy.  This would normally be a small matter, except that the sole evidence of self-defense comes from his own testimony, and his credibility is already seriously damaged by his flight from the scene and his failure to contact police be he was arrested by them.

Closing arguments are scheduled for 10AM tomorrow morning, with perhaps some final argument ironing out the jury instructions beforehand.  We’ll be live here at Legal Insurrection whatever time court starts up and the video feed is live.

OK, let’s get to the events of the day:

Daubert Hearing: Abussa, “Acute Stress Response” Expert

(Mr. Abussa, expert on "acute stress response".)

(Mr. Abussa, expert on “acute stress response”.)

The morning began with the defense proffer of an “expert” in “acute stress response,” a Mr. Abussa, who would have testified to the physiology underlying Michael Dunn’s failure to call police in the aftermath of his shooting of Jordan Davis.

In order to determine the qualification and relevance of the expert, the court conducted a Daubert hearing before the trial proper began this morning. In fact, the expert appears to be primarily a family and marriage counselor, and unlikely to contribute any insight that the jury would not be able to glean from the evidence for themselves.   In particular, Healey noted that Bussa had never before been an expert at trial, had no publications in the area, no peer review, and had never even spoken with Dunn.  As a result, Healey decided to deny the defense request to have their proffered expert testify.

(Judge Russel Healey denies rejects "expert" Abussa.)

(Judge Russel Healey denies rejects “expert” Abussa.)

I was surprised at this ruling, not because I think it was wrong on the merits but because it will surely be grounds for appeal in an area of Florida law that is relatively immature (Florida only recently transitioned from the older Frye hearings to the newer Daubert hearings).  I had expected that Healey would play it safe and let Mr. Abussa testify.

Michael Dunn, Defendant

(Defendant Michael Dunn, being sworn to testify.)

(Defendant Michael Dunn, being sworn to testify.)

Immediately following the denial on Abussa, the defense called the defendant, Michael Dunn, to the stand.  This was necessary if for no other reason than to secure a self-defense jury instruction, as to this point there was literally no facts in evidence to support a self-defense charge. It also provided an opportunity for the jury to hear Dunn’s story from his own mouth.

The downside, of course, was that it also made Mr. Dunn subject to cross examination, a typically destructive process for almost any defendant.

Before being sworn in Dunn was given a long laundry list of cautions and rights by Judge Healey, but clearly nothing was going to stand between Dunn and the witness stand.

Direct Examination by Defense Counsel Strolla

(Defense Counsel Cory Strolla.)

(Defense Counsel Cory Strolla.)

It naturally fell to defense counsel Cory Strolla to conduct direct examination of his own client.

Much as he had with other defense witnesses, Strolla walked Dunn through the course of the day up to the shooting emphasizing the happy occasion of the wedding, the upbeat mood of Dunn, the relative paucity of alcohol consumed, the role of the puppy in the events that would unfold.  Not sure whether it was coincidence, but several times when the puppy arose in his testimony Dunn became clearly emotional, even teary.

(Defendant Michael Dunn.)

(Defendant Michael Dunn testifying.)

Events then moved up to the gas station, which Dunn indicated he’d picked simply because it was on the route back to their hotel.  He pulled into the open spot closest to the door, and fatefully next to the red Durango SUV.  Rhonda Rouer left the vehicle to enter the minimart for the purpose of purchasing some wine and chips.

At some point after Rouer left the car, Dunn said, he heard and felt extremely loud thumping bass rap music coming from the SUV next to him.  Although his windows were up, he testified that his rear view mirror was shaking, and because of a child-hood ear injury the volume of the music was causing pain in his left ear.  He says he didn’t simply pull into a different spot because the other open spots were considerably further away and because the loud bass had not begun until after he’d already pulled in to his chosen spot.

(Note that in her testimony Rouer had testified that before she left the car Dunn had commented, “I hate that thug music,” and she had replied, “I know you do.”  There was some dispute on cross whether Dunn had made inconsitent statements regarding whether the music was already playing when he pulled into the spot, or started after.  To my ear it sounded as if the parties were conflating “music” and “thumping bass.”  It seems likely that rap music was playing at some not unreasonable volume when Dunn pulled in, then the sub-woofer cabinet in the rear of the SUV was turned up when Rouer was in the store.)

(SUV Sub-woofers..)

(SUV Sub-woofers..)

Dunn said he asked the SUV, “Can you turn that music down, please,” and in fact the music was turned very much down.  When he looked to his left to make this request he noticed the tinted front passenger window of the SUV was up. Dunn testified that he then lowered his window and said, thank you.  In turning to do this, he noticed that the window in the rear passenger door of the SUV was coming down.

Soon, he says, he started hearing “fuck this,” and “fuck that” communications from the rear seat of the SUV, the position where Jordan Davis was seated.  At the same time, the music volume increased again, albeit not as high as when he’d first requested it be turned down.  At that point, he said, he wasn’t going to ask for more favors.  Nevertheless, the communications from the SUV continued to escalate in intensity, and he now heard “something-something cracker.”  Because the speaker had a higher pitched voice, he was able to hear it over the sound of the loud bass.

Then, he testified, he heard the speaker say, “I should kill that motherfucker.”

Dunn says he was flabbergasted, thinking he must not have heard right.  Growing concerned, he began to listen more carefully, and heard, “I should fucking kill that motherfucker,” now being screamed.  Looking at the rear passenger window he says he saw two faces–these would have been Jordan Davis, sitting immediately behind that door, and Leland Brunson, seated behind the driver’s seat.

Dunn went on to say that he asked them, “Are you talking to me?” as in inquiry.  He said, they were talking about killing that motherfucker, I want to know if I was that motherfucker. Also, he added, to make clear I had said thank you.

Asked by Strolla, “Did they escalate, or did you?” Dunn replied, “They did.”

Dunn then sad he saw the person immediate behind the rear door (Davis) lean forward as if retrieving something from the floor of the SUV. When he straightened he banged something hard against the interior of the rear door, and Dunn said he could observe 4″ of shotgun barrel above the lower edge of the window frame.

At that point Dunn testified Davis said, “Yeah, I’m going to fucking kill you, he’s showing me a gun and he’s threatening me.’  But still, he says, he didn’t yet reach for his pistol in the glove box of his car.  Not yet reacting, Dunn said he was still processing what was going on.

At that point, he went on, he saw that rear door of the SUV crack open, and heard Davis say, “You’re dead bitch.” He still didn’t go for his gun, saying that he was in fear for his life but was not at the point where he was ready to deploy deadly force.  He was, he says, just wondering to himself where all this hostility came from.

Then the door opened further, and Dunn saw a young man get out, his head clearing the window frame, and saying “This shit’s going down now.”  At that point, Dunn says, he can’t see the shotgun barrel in the window any more, and doesn’t know where it is.   It was then that Dunn decided the deadly threat to his life was imminent.

Saying, “You’re not gonna kill me, you son of a bitch,” Dunn leaned forward and popped open his glove box. He leaned forward again and retrieved his holstered firearm.  He stripped it of its holster, cycled the action to load a round into the chamber from the fully-loaded 15-round magazine, grasped the gun in both hands, pointed it at the rear door of the SUV, and fired three times. (although he says he did not at the time know how many times he fired).

Asked by Strolla why he kept the gun without a round in the chamber, Dunn said it was for safety reasons. In case one of his children came upon the pistol, it would not fire until it had been cycled.

Describing his tunnel vision, he said everything faded into the background and he just focused on the target, the door, and pulling the trigger. He didn’t aim, he said, but rather pointed the gun, and pulled the trigger rapidly because he was fighting for his life.

Dunn said the three hits on the front passenger door, the ones that did not penetrate the passenger compartment, occurred by accident in that he hadn’t registered that the SUV had begun moving backwards. (Had it not, presumably, and Dunn is telling the truth, those three rounds would also have hit the rear passenger door)

Dunn also testified that the rear passenger door was open when he fired at it, such that the dowels in the front passenger door would be parallel to those in the rear passenger door.  He believes Jordan Davis may have been diving back into the car after seeing Dunn raise his pistol to cycle it, when the rounds penetrated the door and Davis.

(Trajectory dowels in SUV.)

(Trajectory dowels in SUV.)

 (I feel obliged to note that his narrative of the second burst of shots “accidentally” hitting the front passenger door would be more credible if there wasn’t such a distinct pause between the first and second bursts of rounds.   The number and tempo of the gunshots can be heard here:  “Loud Music” Murder Trial: Sequence of Gun Shots.)

As the SUV backed out of its spot, it turned so that it formed a “T” with his vehicle.  At that point, Dunn said, a person armed with a shotgun would have been aiming at the back of his head. In addition, the shotgun would have been aligned with the front door of the store, the door from which his fiance Rhonda Rouer would soon emerge. Now, he said, he was protecting not just himself, but also Rouer.

He opened his car door, moved a few feet from his car, kneeled, and re-engaged the SUV with a third and final burst of rounds. By this time the SUV was actually driving away from him, and his round struck the right rear of the SUV.  He thought he’d fired only once, he said, but knew now from the evidence that he’d fired three times.

Dunn described these shots as intended to “keep their heads down” so that they could not fire blindly back at Dunn and Rouer. Given the nature of a shotgun pattern, he knew, it was possible they could both be killed with a single shot fired from the shotgun.

By that time Rouer emerged form the store, and Dunn urged her into the car.  Both of them, he said, were in shock, and it was this shock that would drive their admittedly illogical behavior over night and into the morning, until his arrest by Deputies at his home.

Rouer, he explained, was all but frozen in shock, and he wasn’t much better off himself.  He had just had his life threatened, and had been forced to shoot at someone. They were afraid the “armed” men in the SUV would return, and perhaps bring friends. They fled the gas station for safety.

Dunn says he tried to explain to Rouer what had happened while she was in the store, but she was hysterical. He tried to explain to her that the men he’d fired at had been armed, that they’d threatened him. He says he doesn’t even remember the rid to the hotel.

Back at the hotel they looked out the windows down at traffic, and it seemed like every vehicle was a red SUV.  He was waiting, he said, in fear that the men he’d shot at would come back at them in retaliation.

(It is noteworthy that Rouer had testified she was waiting not for the SUV, but for the police to come and arrest them. Also, one who is afraid of an armed group attack might be inclined to request police assistance to secure their safety from attack.)

Strolla then got into the matters of Dunn and Rouer having a drink, ordering pizza, walking their dog, and so forth.  All of this was done in a state of shock, Dunn explained.  There was no joy in it.  In particular at that point they had no idea that anyone had been killed.  Furthermore, by Dunn’s way of thinking he hadn’t done anything wrong.  Self-defense was lawful, and he had acted in self-defense, therefore he had acted lawfully.

The next morning, after only two hours’ sleep, he awoke and learned for the first time that Jordan Davis had been killed.  He says he was immediately physically ill in the bathroom. Rhonda also saw the news on the television, and was almost mute with panic.

He realized now, he said, that he would have to report the matter to the police.  But why not the police nearer his home, 2.5 hours drive away, rather than here in Jacksonville. After all, even though Jordan Davis had died, it was in his mind still lawful self-defense. Lawful self-defense doesn’t become unlawful murder just because you delay reporting it a few hours, he reasoned, so what’s the rush?

They made the drive back to his and Rouer’s home, at which point her cell phone range.  It displayed a Jacksonville area code, so they assumed it was Dunn’s son back in Jacksonville.  Instead, it was homicide Detective Musser, informing him that he was wanted for for questioning in the events of the previous night

Dunn informed Musser that he had just been about to walk over to his neighbor, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, and have that neighbor accompany him to the local police station.  Dunn says Musser informed him that he had about 10 minutes to get that done, and they hung up. Dunn walked over to his neighbor’s residence, when Rouer’s phone rang again.  This time it was local Deputies executing a murder warrant on him, and he was taken into custody.  Dunn says he was surprised at being arrested, as he had been led to believe they merely wanted to questioning, and he had no idea a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Detectives Musser and Oliver came in from Jacksonville and interviewed Dunn, who made only one tentative request for counsel, but continued engaging with the officers as they questioned him.  He characterized their questioning as hostile and antagonistic, and explained that this was the cause of some of the misstatements that would later be brought to his attention.

And that was it for Strolla. 

Assistant State Attorney on Cross Examination of Dunn

(Assistant State Attorney John Guy.)

(Assistant State Attorney John Guy.)

To my considerable surprise, and displeasure, Assistant State Attorney John Guy was selected to carry out the cross-examination of Dunn.  ASA Guy has never been an outstanding trial lawyer in my experience, leaning far too much on emotion and volume to be effective.  I would have much preferred the dripping contempt of State Attorney Angela Corey (below, standing) or the incisive intellect of Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson (below, seated, in off-white).

(State Attorney Angela Corey and ASA Erin Wolfson.)

(State Attorney Angela Corey and ASA Erin Wolfson.)

John Guy’s cross can best be described as small-ball, picking at small factual discrepancies.  Many of these were so minor and inconsequential that I can only assume Guy was pursuing a strategy of trying to so rile up Dunn that the defendant would lash out in anger.

Issues he touched upon was whether Dunn had told Rouer at the time that he’d been threatened with a gun, Whether it was Dunn who called his Federal LEO neighbor or his neighbor who called him,  whether the SUV’s music had been playing when Dunn pulled into his parking spot or only began playing after he had parked, and whether Jordan Davis was inside or outside of the SUV when Dunn fired his pistol at him.  And, of course, why Dunn had never called 911 despite innumerable opportunities to do so.

Dunn, however, did not lose his cool in any appreciable way, insisting throughout that he’d acted in necessary self-defense, so in any important sense the cross-examination was substantively ineffective.  There were a couple of small missteps, such as when he volunteered he wouldn’t have referred to the boy’s music as “thug music,” as Rouer had testified, but rather as “rap crap.”  That certainly could have done him no good with the jury. In terms of explaining his irrational behavior in fleeing and not calling 911, he put it off to the stress of the events.

That’s not to say that Dunn did not bear a cost for having testified, however, because in my opinion he did, although a somewhat subtle one.

Dunn came across to me as very cool, very aloof, and in important matters almost completely lacking in empathy.  Sure, he teared up when he mentioned his puppy Charlie, and maybe even his fiance Rouer.  But there in the court room he had appeared to have no empathy whatever for the parents of Jordan Davis, both present in the court room.  Whatever the truth of what Jordan Davis might have done or threatened to do to Michael Dunn, his parents and done nothing, and were clearly still in great pain. No matter how necessary it might have been to shoot and kill Jordan Davis in self-defense, that doesn’t make the loss of his parents inconsequential.

In particular this does not appear to be a case in which Jordan Davis had been effectively abandoned by his family to  the street environment and and left to become a drug-dealing, jewelry stealing, street-fighting, illegal gun possessing criminal.  Indeed, what limited information I have available indicates that Jordan Davis had never before been involved with the law, nor Kevin Thompson nor Leland Brunson.  (The driver of the SUV, Tommy Storns, did have some minor criminal record, but was actually in the store when the confrontation was taking place.)

Taking this in combination with the fact that Dunn himself had not seen his soon more than 3 times in 15 years, although they all lived in the same state, and it was an unattractive picture.

Normally, such sentiments should have no great import in a criminal trial.  In this case, however, the only evidence of self-defense whatever comes only from the defendant Michael Dunn, and his credibility is already profoundly damaged due to his flight from the scene and his failure to call police.  Instead, it was the police that had to find and collect him. With his liberty hanging by such a thread, a communication of heartfelt sorrow for the parents of Jordan Davis might have been of considerable value.

Guy’s cross examination having taken place for 2.5 hours, a lunch break and then additional time thereafter, there seemed little value to have been created for the state.

After a short bit of re-direct and re-cross, the defense rested its case.

All Criminal Charges, Self-Defense, To Move Forward

Upon resting, the defense moved for an acquittal, to which Corey objected, and which Healey denied out of hand.

Healey determined that all there was a sufficient prima facie case on all five criminal charges–1st degree murder for the killing of Davis, three counts of attempted murder for Brunson, Thompson, and Storns, and firing into an occupied vehicle.

He also determined that the defense had met its burden of production on self-defense–a certainty once Dunn had mentioned the words self-defense on the witness stand.

(Defense Counsel Strolla (l.) and State Attorney Corey (r.).)

(Defense Counsel Strolla (l.) and State Attorney Corey (r.).)

State Offers Rebuttal Testimony

Sadly, my video feed failed me for this part of the trial, so I was not able to watch the proceedings live. Fortunately, the Professor was able to do so, and called me with his observations.  (I’m paraphrasing his comments, of course, hastily typed by me as we spoke by phone–any errors should be assumed to be mine.  These are NOT quotes.)

The first rebuttal witness called by the State was Rhonda Rouer. She testified on two major issues.  First, she denied that Dunn had ever told her about the attack having involved a gun.

Second, she said the phone call the next morning with their Federal law enforcement neighbor was not made by them when they were home, but rather was made by their friend to them while they were still in the car, and played on speaker, enabling her to hear the full conversation.  In fact, she testified, the discussion solely involved plans for getting together later in the day or that evening, and no mention whatever was made of the previous night’s shooting, the need to contact police or anything similar.

Strolla’s approach on cross was to essentially suggest that she was sufficiently crazy that her testimony and recollections were all but worthless. He recounted how stressed she had appeared in her first appearance in court, and how much more stressed she had been on that day.  He asked her if it was possible that she didn’t remember everything that was said that day, and she agreed, but hesitantly.  She also conceded that she had had to seek therapy for her stress and was currently taking prescription medications for the same.

In summary, the Professor felt this testimony was good for the State, and bad for the defense.

The next rebuttal evidence was the video of Dunn being interviewed by Detectives Musser and Oliver.  In contrast to Rouer’s rebuttal testimony, the Professor felt that this actually worked in the favor of the defense.  The detectives used their professional interrogation skills to try all they could to shake Dunn’s story–but Dunn would not be shaken.

Furthermore, the great portion of the story then was consistent with his story on the witness stand today.  If anything, it was more credible in the interview room than in the court room.  Dunn was firm that he’d seen a gun barrel, although they told him repeatedly nothing like that had been found, he emphasized the incredible fear and panic the’d felt at having to fight for his life, he insisted even then that Davis had exited the vehicle, the verbal threats and swearing, the shouted cries of “we’re going to kill you, motherfucker,” and so forth.

The Professor thought this rebuttal evidence was actually favorable to the defense, and not helpful to the State.

Closing Arguments Set for 10AM Tomorrow

The court is set top start closing arguments start at 10AM US EST tomorrow, although they will likely be meeting before that time in order to straighten out any remaining issues with jury instructions.  The instructions are going to be VERY long, including not only the nominal charges–murder 1, three counts of attempted murder, and firing into an occupied vehicle–but also Florida’s very extensive self-defense instructions (including, I fear, the statute’s stand-your-ground language, despite it having any more relevance here than it did in Zimmerman).

In addition, however, each charge will also include every lesser included charge, such as voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and so forth.

We’ll go live as soon as court goes into session, standing by as early as 8AM, and will tweet out when things have started going, whether it’s the pre-closing discussions or the formal closing arguments.

Until then!

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

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Comments

I’ve had a few legal oriented friends wonder why the Judge allowed the puppy comments in the first place, stating they feel they weren’t relevant. I said that they were relevant to establishing a timeline. What is your expert opinion about that particular testimony?

Would anyone care to offer an account of what you think really happened that night? I have some thoughts of my own. But I’m more interested in hearing what you all think happened. (I guess I’m still not sure how to explain Dunn’s impulsive and violent actions.)

    Gremlin1974 in reply to nightowl. | February 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I will just have to be honest. I spent years as a psychiatric nurse and I think this dude is probably a bit more than slightly broken. He just has that Anti-social slightly crazy flavor to me. Especially after the tears for his puppy, but no real emotion for the kid he shot and killed.

    I think he was in his car slightly inebriated and being subjected to the “thug music” in the car next to him. He asked them to turn it down and they did. Then one of the kids was a typical loud mouthed teen and shot his mouth off and it hit Dunn’s impaired judgement so he then knows the “thugs” in the care are gonna try to hurt him. I believe the Dunn believes he saw a “shotgun barrel” whether one was present or not. So he makes the decision to “defend” himself from the shotgun toting “Thug” and that’s when he began firing.

    Also, not calling the police fits into the Anti-social personality in that many folks with those traits don’t feel anything they do is wrong, so to him there is no reason to call since his actions must have been lawful.

    I think most of the “threatening” behavior was probably in Dunn’s head, which doesn’t make it any less real to him. I would bet the next lawyer who gets this case, if he has any sense what so ever, gets Dunn evaluated by psych and asks for a new trial based on that eval.

    I see a Murder 2 conviction, with Guilty on all other charges, I think the Jury will blow right past all the self defense stuff.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      So we should lock away every loner.

        Try not to run for the outfield fence just because you can. It makes you appear shallow and un-serious.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | February 12, 2014 at 3:37 am

        Where exactly in my comment did I even imply such a thing? I kept my comment specific to one person and my observations as to that one person. I honestly feel like Dunn may be a a bit on the wonky side, if you don’t agree then fine but at least pretend to be serious.

        That’s a nice strawman you set up and knocked down. Do you sell those, or do you only use them in your own arguments?

      Gremlin1974: “I will just have to be honest. I spent years as a psychiatric nurse and I think this dude is probably a bit more than slightly broken. He just has that Anti-social slightly crazy flavor to me. Especially after the tears for his puppy, but no real emotion for the kid he shot and killed.”

      As Andrew stated previously, there is something odd about a man who has seen his only son three times in fifteen years. While this analysis of Dunn’s mental health may be entertaining, I don’t see any degree which would have a bearing on his diminished capacity.

      I’m no shrink, but I have come across quite a few of highly intelligent folks who lacked the ability to function around people. They were socially awkward and preferred to keep to themselves. In other words, you would trust them to fly your plane, but you would never invite them over for a BBQ.

      Finally, it’s possible that defense counsel had Dunn take a psych evaluation. The reason we never hear about it is because it’s devastating, or not helpful in advancing Dunn’s case.

      I think you are dead on about Dunn. He probably does have sociopathic / evil tendencies.

      This, of course does not make him a full sociopath / fully evil person. What it does mean is that Dunn is arrogant, callous, and never willing to acknowledge his fault in anything.

      Factor in his intelligence and professional expertise, and Dunn is probably also very used to being obeyed at work and at home. Likewise, he is also used to having his word alone establish that “X” is true and that his word cannot be questioned.

      In the end, the murder was the result of a “perfect storm”
      -Dunn is buzzed on alcohol and has anti social tendencies. He is not accustomed to dealing with annoyances. He finds black music especially annoying.
      -He gives an order that is disobeyed (not used to that).
      -Dunn is then “disrespected” twice
      -His girl friend might have witnessed the disrespect.

      In short, Dunn has the same attitude as many gang members. He is just more intelligent, better educated and speaks gramatically correct English.

    tom swift in reply to nightowl. | February 11, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    At first I liked the theory that Dunn was tanked at the time and didn’t want to deal with the police in person, as they would notice immediately that he was driving and shooting while under the influence. This fits most of the odder facts of this whole case quite well.

    However …

    Ms Rouer – who at this point probably couldn’t deliver a convincing fabrication if her life depended on it – has testified that Dunn drank little alcohol before the incident and seemed essentially unaffected by what he did drink.

    This makes the inebriation story less plausible.

    If the state had produced, say, the bartender from the wedding, or anyone who could testify that Dunn had been drinking like a fish, that would be another story. But no such witness was presented.

If a jury believes Dunn’s testimony in the entirety, is the testimony sufficient for an acquittal?

    Sure, the jury can readily choose to believe everything the defense claims is true, and everything the State presented was a lie.

    They’re the finders of fact.

    If they do, an acquittal would be the outcome.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Irate Scientist in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      I have not been following that closely. Which aspects of Dunn’s story has the State disputed? I gather no shotgun has been found. Anything else?

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to sequester. | February 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    To put it in perspective, by using an example out of Rumpole ( yes a TV and the British legal system ) a woman accused of passing government secrets ala Snowden, only it was about the exhorbitant amount the government spent on bisquits [1]. If the jury believes she actually passed the secrets they “have every right to find her Not Guilty” though any lawyer saying that in court would find himself in jail.

    So yeah they’re the jury. They are free to do what they want. In fact in Colombo vs Dyer IIRC there was even post trial evidence of drunkenness on the jury and the verdict stood.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | February 11, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      [1] I’m sorry I forgot to add this to my comment: Rumpole want to laugh the case out of court instead of proving her innocence. She OTOH would have nothing to do with it and wanted to plead not guilty.

Has there been any testimony or evidence regarding the trajectory of the bullets as they stuck Davis? Seems that if he was standing besides the vehicle with the door open, they would strike him differently than if he was seated in the car.

    Defense was suggesting he was lunging back into the car through the open door, which would have put his body in a similar horizontal plane as if he were sitting inside leaning away form the closed door.

    Would have been nice to see some actual expert testimony on that, rather than just insinuation through questions.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    BrokeGopher in reply to coolway. | February 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I would have liked to see someone demonstrate what position Davis’ body would have had to be in to make those wounds if he’s outside the car and the door is open. I think his head would have been through the rear quarter panel.

    Tons of it. orange sticks showing paths, ME testifying about wounds, etc.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to coolway. | February 11, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    The ME tried to testify about trajectory. On cross Strolla tried to suggest other possibilites which the ME refused to even consider. She eventually fell back on “I’m the expert” except shes an expert on bodies not trajectories.

    Dunn pointed out that if you partially open the rear door the trajectories align.

    Now that I think about it. The testimony all says the front windows were aligned.

    But if you look at the picture above , you can see that if the door was closed the shots had to come from the rear. BUt Dunn shot from the front. The only way for those trajectories is if door was open.

    Isn’t that a big point for Dunn?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | February 12, 2014 at 4:23 am

      I think you might have a point, but once again, that would be something that the defense would have to get an expert to testify about.

      Frankly, I think one of the biggest things hurting Dunn right now is Strolla. I wouldn’t let him defend my dog in kangaroo court, frankly there was so much more the defense could have done, just to bring about reasonable doubt, like having their own expert on trajectories but they didn’t do that. Its actually kind of sad that the defendant had to point it out in the first place.

        The notion that the trajectory dowels might have lined up parallel if the door had been open was something that should have been demonstrated on cross during the State’s case.

        The fact that it was thrown in as an aside only by the defendant’s own testimony at the end of the trial is really inexcusable.

        Nevertheless, none of that has anything to do with why the defendant fled the scene and NEVER called the police.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      MTLD: “Dunn pointed out that if you partially open the rear door the trajectories align.”

      It may be helpful to think of the Red SUV moving, and the shooter stationary, which is what Dunn testified to, except for the last three shots when Dunn testified that he exited the VW.

      The first three shots: SUV in one place. The next four: Backing up. Final three: taking off with Dunn outside the VW.

Stick a fork in him; he’s Dunn!

Dunn’s girlfriend’s testimony that she was never told about a gun is devastating. Add fleeing, not calling the cops, and you have a guilty verdict. Why Dunn shot is a good question but it doesn’t matter; his versions of events aren’t believable. What’s done is Dunn.

    Especially when Dunn testified that the reason he left it in the car at the hotel was because his GF asked him to.

    She didn’t say anything like that.

I’m sure Dunn will be convicted of something. By his own admission he has no justification for the second and third volleys of shots, so he’ll at least go down on shooting into a vehicle and attempted murder.

Did the defense create reasonable doubt as to the murder charge? I’m not sure they did. They’re certainly better off than before Dunn testified, but I don’t think he sold us on why he had to shoot and keep on shooting. It’s an entirely reasonable conclusion that he shot in anger because they turned the music back up and Jordan Davis said something that set him off. Then he formulated his self-defense story while lying awake at the hotel that night.

I had thought Strolla was little more than a ham when cross-examining Musser and the medical examiner, but that was before I could compare him to Guy in action … if “action” is the word for such ineffective antics.

Dunn is an unusually, even surprisingly, intelligent defendant. So Guy’s absurd theatrics were ineffective. A John Guy will never be able to fluster or break a Michael Dunn. Dunn has the intellectual horsepower to fly undisturbed through far more capable assaults than were launched here. It was so blatant that I’m genuinely surprised that Corey allowed it to happen. Perhaps she tossed Guy out there rather than risk looking bad herself; I really have no idea what the interpersonal dynamic on the state’s team is, but Guy is clearly no match for Dunn, and Corey may not be either. (All I know about Wolfson is that she had a different outfit on today, but as usual a very conservative one.)

And that’s the weak point of Dunn’s story. I don’t believe that he somehow didn’t get around to calling the police. The man we saw today was obviously capable of not only calling the police, but also of giving the 911 dispatcher the exact latitude and longitude of the incident, the time in GMT (corrected to synch with the NIST’s atomic clocks), and the phase of the moon and a report on atmospheric conditions for good measure … and all this despite his own adrenalin-choked condition, an hysterical girlfriend, and a dog with a bladder neigh unto bursting. The fact that he didn’t contact police means that for some definite reason he didn’t want to. And whatever that reason is, any possibilities anyone has speculated about so far are not good ones for the defense.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to tom swift. | February 11, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    The shooting was after Zimmerman was indicted. Be honest. After listening to the 911 tape was there any doubt that he was not guilty? I thought he was before and then after hearing it not.

    So you kind of have to believe that even if every bit of evidence works your way any involvement in a self defense case is going to ruin your life. It may not be the best thing to do, but I can’t blame someone for trying to avoid police involvement.

    I think it was a combination of many things. First he was scared he didn’t want to be around if the boys came back with their friends. Second he was in shock and just trying to put things out of his mind. After awhile Zimmerman’s example came to mind, and he was hoping desperately that he would avoid problems. Fourth when he knew he would have to turn himself in, but was putting it off for as long as possible. Like going to the dentist only more painful.

      What the hell are you mumbling about?

      I think you’re absolutely spot on.

      ScottTheEngineer in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | February 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. Seeing this state prosecutor and even the Federal government zealously go after Zimmerman and the amount of blatant evidence fabrication that goes along with the racism narrative I would have taken off too for just the chance to maybe not get caught because the fact is in Florida you’re guilty if your white and you shoot a black man. His detention period in his hometown Sheriffs office would also be a hell of a lot better than in a Jacksonville jail even if only for a few days.

ScottTheEngineer | February 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Are they planning on bringing any charges against the girlfriend? She was part of the getaway after all.
IMHO No way they get M1. I do not believe that cocking the gun would qualify for premeditation, once he’s decided to shoot and brandished a weapon it’s all the same act as shooting. Possibly depraved mind on M2 would fit. I have to tell you though I got to watch most of his testimony and If I was on the jury I’d see him having a reasonable fear with his testimony as given. Also, the kids got away from the gas station and testified that they never saw him leave. Why did the kids go back? That still doesn’t make sense. If they never saw him leave (I believe they testified too) why would you return to the place you were just shot at if the crazy cracker was still (might be) there?

    Thank you for your sane reasoning. BTW, it is incompetent counsel to fail to have your client take a psych eval. I think the story he tells fits right in with a temporary insanity or a stress-induced diminished capacity. There might even be some PTSD involved. Any of those speculations fit with the testimony presented so a failure to explore them as defenses is legal incompetence.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to platypus. | February 12, 2014 at 3:42 am

      Yea, frankly I think a psych eval could be warranted for several reasons. My brother is an Attorney and he was saying how with any murder 1 charge he would push for a psych eval regardless.

    Actually, I believe one of the kids did testify that Dunn left. They said he was behind them when the moved their vehicles and that he drove out. That is why they went back.

      ScottTheEngineer in reply to ohiogirl. | February 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Thanks, unfortunately work keeps getting in the way of my trial watching. I didn’t get to see a lot of it and no-one had mentioned it to this point.

Frankly I think Dunn performed amazingly well on the stand and I also think he is simply innocent here. I think his actions in the wake of the most stressful event in his life are certainly regrettable, but when you consider the state he was in emotionally and mentally, and think of it in a framework of putting off something you are really dreading (I’ll call the cops soon, I just will take care of this first… putting it off, putting it off, because of being a coward basically) I think it can be understood in that context.

I still think he will probably get smacked with a nasty conviction of some sort, but I believe now more than ever (I’ve been very on the fence about this case from the start but have, over time, moved more and more toward Dunn’s corner) that such a conviction will be a miscarriage of justice.

I believe that you cannot divorce the Trayvon case from this. Those prosecutors are looking at this as their second bite at the apple. The entire Florida justice system is worried about doubling up on this, especially since this case is less clear cut self-defense than Zimmerman. And you had better believe Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department was keenly aware of what was going on down in Sanford at the PD there in the months leading up to Davis’ shooting, and even ongoing at that time.

Think they wanted to give Dunn any sort of fair hearing or benefit of the doubt, or go search for a weapon right away? Think they wanted to to be the next place with protesters in the lobby and think anyone there wanted to share Chief Bill Lee’s fate? Think they wanted national media attention and hatred for not being harsh enough on Dunn?

Think the jurors aren’t aware of the Zimmerman verdict and that it won’t be playing in the back of their minds?

The absolute corruption of the justice process which was the Trayvon fiasco, is not done yet. It also sets a horrible precedent forever. Whine loud enough, we’ll bring unwarranted charges on an innocent man, and treat another innocent man harsher some months later.

    DennisD in reply to Laser Beam. | February 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Simply innocent, yet he fled the scene then made no call? Really? And watching the cross now, to me Dunn comes off as a guy answering questions to beat the prosecutor, not a man who feels he’s being wrongfully charged and innocent.

    “Think they wanted to give Dunn any sort of fair hearing or benefit of the doubt, or go search for a weapon right away?”

    They were more concerned at that time looking for the guy who had the one gun they KNOW was there, and they KNOW caused the dead body they have. The guy who took off like a thief in the night and never looked back, never called, nuttin.

    Do you think that instead they should have been looking for a gun that at that point no one said had been shot, no one had suggested even existed ? Really ?

    They DID “go search for a weapon right away”. The one they KNEW had been fired 10 times, had killed someone, had left the scene in the hands of the shooter.

    nightowl in reply to Laser Beam. | February 11, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    While I disagree about M. Dunn’s innocence, I did wonder if law enforcement showed enough skepticism about the story the three survivors told. Immediately, they were treated as witnesses not suspects. But wasn’t there at least the possibility that they did something significant to provoke the incident? How would the detectives know? That their stories matched up so precisely is usually a red flag, isn’t it? Nevertheless, I believe M. Dunn overreacted to a perceived threat, real or (more probably) imagined.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to nightowl. | February 12, 2014 at 2:07 am

      Something that really shines to me is that this guy is driving away and the bullet almosts hits him and he’s kind of cool at the time, a few second later he taking inventory. If a guy was shooting at me like that and a bullet pashed me. I would have crashed the van. You can’t be that cool under fire unless you have experience.

      Detectives work to clear cases. Finding the shooter of Jordan Davis would clear this case, and they had his identity within hours of the shooting.

      Detectives working in any urban environment have neither the time nor responsibility to unravel every dynamic involved in a violent crime–it’s not a made for TV movie. There are ALWAYS parts of a case around the margins that are uncertain or unknown, and there simply isn’t the time nor the resources to put a nice polish on it all.

      Again, it all comes down to Dunn having fled the scene. If he’d called police within minute of the shooting, even if he’d done so from the safety of his hotel room 3 miles away, responding officers would have known to look for a long-gun type object right from the start.

      And that’s on him.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Laser Beam in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 12, 2014 at 7:40 am

        So you don’t think it’s just basic good police work for the detective assigned to the case to say to himself “Hmm, middle aged white guy with wife shoots up car full of rap-blasting black teens. This is a little bit out of the ordinary.” And for him to wonder if maybe there isn’t something they aren’t fessing up to? And then when witnesses tell him they were parked and getting out of the truck over yonder, to go at least look around that area?

        This seems to me to be utterly basic, and nothing which rises to the level of requiring him to be Columbo or it to be a TV movie. If that is NOT basic good police work then I guess I need to dramatically lower my opinion of our law enforcement.

        Of course I agree Dunn should have called, but you don’t think seeing what happened to Zimmerman might not have played into his hesitation? Plus just being completely out of sorts?

          “I guess I need to dramatically lower my opinion of our law enforcement.”

          Seems like this might be the case.

          “Of course I agree Dunn should have called, but you don’t think seeing what happened to Zimmerman might not have played into his hesitation? Plus just being completely out of sorts?”

          Perhaps. But that’s on Dunn, isn’t it, “being out of sorts”?

          It’s simply unacceptable to fire 9 rounds into an SUV full of people, flee the scene, flee the entire city, and not call police. And inconsistent with an innocent man who believes he acted in lawful self-defense. There’s a reason “flight from the scene” is classic “consciousness of guilt” evidence.

          And all this from a man of unquestionable intelligence.

          Add to that Rhonda Rouer’s devastating rebuttal testimony re: no contemporaneous mention of the “attacker” possessing a gun and the apparently totally fabricated story about talking with his Federal law enforcement neighbor about turning himself in, and Dunn’s credibility is in the toilet.

          Given that the ONLY evidence of self-defense is his own testimony, and that the value of that testimony rests solely on his credibility, I’d suggest things look bleak indeed for the defense.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          I agree with Mr Branca about the “fleeing the scene” thing. I could go so far as to forgive Mr Dunn, being in a strange (and obviously, to him, frightening) city, with a hysterical girlfriend and a new puppy, driving straight back to his hotel (more familiar grounds, place of safety) if he was really still in such fear of reprisals from the car-full of “young black thugs” he’d just shot up (allegedly in self-defense).

          There he could situate his girlfriend and have her there to take care of their puppy, while he calls 911 to report what just happened at the gas station and make arrangements to meet with the authorities to have an official statement taken.

          But it’s just incomprehensible to me how he could have left it any longer than that to call the authorities.

smalltownoklahoman | February 11, 2014 at 9:20 pm

My prediction: Dunn’s going behind bars for a long time. I don’t think they’ll get him on murder one as first degree murder usually involves premeditation and this seems more like it was a panicked heat of the moment killing. Several of the lesser charges will stick though such as firing into an occupied vehicle.

Let’s say that M. Dunn did not see a gun or anything resembling a gun. Why then did he reach into the glove box, load his pistol, and fire off 10 shots? Why would a relatively soft-spoken man with no history of violent behavior do something so uncharacteristic? There is nothing to indicate that his judgment was impaired by alcohol (though, I suppose, it could have been). Even if he invented the gun story later (which I think he did) to justify his actions, he chose to riddle the Durango with bullets for some reason. Why? Just because J. Davis hurled the F-bomb? Is that all it took? Or did he have some kind of irrational fear? (Perhaps the person who posted earlier is correct in suggesting that M. Dunn should have undergone a psychiatric evaluation.)

    Gremlin1974 in reply to nightowl. | February 12, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Frankly, I think he saw “something” that looked like a gun to him, whether real or imagined. Even if it was imagined then that doesn’t make his fear or the danger any less real to him.

    I just don’t know about the whole not calling the cops thing, especially this is something that is usually emphasized in CCP classes.

    I keep changing my mind on this one. I try to think; if I were juror number 7 how would I be likely to vote at this point. I really don’t think he will get off on Self Defense, I think he just damaged his innocence to much with leaving the scene and going home…etc. etc. I frankly think he gets Murder 2.

    Now what could be interesting is if they don’t get him for murder but do get him for attempted murder.

    gxm17 in reply to nightowl. | February 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

    If he’s such a soft-spoken guy then why didn’t the defense produce character witnesses that weren’t his parents’ friends? I thought it was very odd that Michael Dunn has no long-term friends. Or at least none that would show up and testify for him. Also, IIRC, his GF was reported as saying “What did you do Michael?” as opposed to “What the hell happened?” when she came out of the store. Lastly, Dunn has only contacted his son three time in fifteen years. Yet he is moved to tears talking about his puppy. That speaks volumes to me.

    Rational in reply to nightowl. | February 12, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Isn’t it much more likely that Dunn retrieved his gun before he rolled down his window and asked ‘non confrontationally’: “Hey are you talking about me?”.

    I think Dunn had a kind of ‘Dutch’ courage’ consisting of 2 components. He had enough alcohol to be loose. He had already retrieved the gun, loaded the chamber and had it in his hand. Otherwise, why would he escalate a confrontation with 3 obnoxious teenagers? That would be crazy. He claims he was de-escalating. That is bull. He was angry that the music was turned back on. He was loose from the alcohol and he had his trusty gun. The fuel and oxygen were present. All it took was the smallest spark – real or imagined – to create a tragedy.

    That is the crux of what we ‘anti-gun’ nuts think. Had Dunn not had the gun, he would have behaved differently. He had a right to complain, but he wouldn’t have done it. The kids were wrong, but they didn’t deserve the Death Penalty.

    I also think the fact they were black is relevant. I doubt he would have reacted in the same way to 3 white teenagers playing loud music. White teenagers play obnoxious, loud music, too.

    It is easy to see Dunn firing when Davis just reached for the lever to get out of the car. The slightest thing could have caused him to fire at that point.

    I have little doubt the teenagers were acting as teenagers sometimes do. They are young and can be stupid. They are obnoxious and full of bravado. They mouth off and say stupid things. But I believe Davis’s threats were verbal and made in his own space. There is no evidence he ever left the SUV. The evidence is that he didn’t get out.

    I doubt Dunn set out to kill anyone. But he and his gun were just loaded enough to be irrational. So don’t go looking for a rational explanation.

      That is the crux of what we ‘anti-gun’ nuts think. Had Dunn not had the gun, he would have behaved differently.

      There are over a million of us in the state of Florida alone with CCL permits. If one or maybe even two CCL holders per year act irresponsibly, do you really think it rational (as per your screen name) to call for all the rest of us to be denied our constitutional right to bear arms and our lawful right to self-defense?

      If one or two licensed drivers in your state caused deaths through their reckless and illegal use of cars, would it be rational for someone like me to call for all of your driver’s licenses to be revoked and for all cars to be banned (expect, perhaps, for use by State-appointed “authorities”)?

      Or is it more rational (again, borrowing your screen name) to punish the people who break the law, and leave law-abiding citizens the hell alone?

        Rational in reply to Amy in FL. | February 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

        Amy, you missed the point of that thought which was thrown into the middle of a much larger comment. I was just trying to point out why some people think unrestricted ownership is a problematic. I expected someone to seize on it. But it was just a thought within a large point. Clearly Dunn would not have confronted the guys in the SUV without the alcohol and the gun.

        It is not a iron-clad argument about gun control. I was just pointing out why some of us are not enamored of unrestricted access to guns. It is about as valid as the argument for the unrestricted ability to carry guns anywhere, anytime by anybody.

        Dunn had some alcohol in his system. Even 1 drink impairs your judgement. Should he have had a gun in his glove box while drinking?

          I was just trying to point out why some people think unrestricted ownership is a problematic.

          We don’t have “unrestricted gun ownership”, either in Florida or in the United States generally.

          …some of us are not enamored of unrestricted access to guns

          Then it’s a good thing neither Florida, nor the United States generally, offers “unrestricted access to guns”!

          the unrestricted ability to carry guns anywhere, anytime by anybody

          I don’t know many people who are arguing in favor of “the unrestricted ability to carry guns anywhere, anytime by anybody”. I mean, besides the irrational little pet strawman who lives rent-free in hoplophobes’ heads. Do you?

          Dunn had some alcohol in his system. Should he have had a gun in his glove box while drinking?

          More rationally, given that you’ve decided he was under the influence, should he have been driving while drinking, given that drunk drivers take many more innocent lives with their cars than drunk CCL holders do with their licensed guns?

          You haven’t thought, um, rationally about your anti-gun arguments, have you?

          You are not smart enough to tell me and mine how to live our lives, or to decide which constitutional protections we’re allowed to have and which we should be denied. This is a problem I find with most knee-jerk anti-gun fanatics. It’s a worry.

        Rational in reply to Amy in FL. | February 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm

        @Amy in FL Thank you for your knee-jerk response and your unwillingness to think, or to understand the context of that point or the larger one in which it was contained. I was trying to explain, not advocate. You would do well to understand someone like me who tries to be reasonable instead of attacking me. Was my larger point well reasoned? If yes, then I guess you would need to concede that I am not an idiot. But you jumped on 1 part of the comment because it annoyed you and could see the larger picture. Does that remind you of anyone? Duh. Playing loud music is not punishable by death. Neither is screaming about killing someone without making an overt act.

        Thank you for ignoring the elephant in the room. Why is this trial even being covered here? Clump, clump!

        Thank you for taking a complex argument and trying to reduce it to absurdity, but missing the point I was trying to make in a small space. You wrote “call for all the rest of us to be denied our constitutional right to bear arms and our lawful right to self-defense”. Since you didn’t mention any restriction at all, I guess I can assume you meant anyone, anywhere, anytime. How do you like your argument simplified to absurdity?

        Thank you for the ad hominem attacks on my intelligence. You know nothing of my intelligence or my ability to reason.

        Thank you for your claim that I can’t run your life. It does seem that Dunn was trying to run those kids lives. Another guy just moved to another spot. But Dunn wanted them to stop what they were doing. Did he own the gas station and the convenience store? Did he call management?

        BTW, I did not write that Dunn was drunk. Nice try. I pointed out that even 1 drink can impair your judgement. But you turned that into a straw man despite your abhorrence of straw men. Should I question your intelligence?

        BTW, if you have even 1 drink and are at fault in a serious car accident, you can be found impaired. Duh!

        Personally, I have practiced Tae Kwon Do for many years. Twice in my life I have had to ‘use’ it. Neither time was a blow struck. I am 5’4″ and 128 lbs. But when I looked in the eye of a 6 ft guy and assured him that I would hurt him if he continued his aggressive behavior, he backed off. He believed me because it was true. I wanted him to stop smoking in a subway car. He stopped and I returned to my seat.

        I have used other tactics to tone down uncivil behavior without hurting anyone. It can be done. Dunn was fueled by alcohol and his gun. Even if he is acquitted, a kid is still dead for playing music too loud and mouthing off; a kid with no criminal record. Even if Dunn had merely pointed the gun and ordered the kids to shut the radio off, he would have been (how did you put it) imposing his will on them. It would have been illegal. No gun, no confrontation. Do you deny it? I am not advocating the banning guns. I am just pointing out that people like you worship your guns.

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

          Worship guns? More like worship the constitution.

          Fact for you:

          Guns (firearms) have provided liberty for more people than kisses and talking has. Probably by a factor of 100.

          Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 5:47 am

          You’re trying to pass a nationwide law based on one case.

          You’ve already lost. Swallow it down and act like an adult.

          “Thank you for the ad hominem attacks on my intelligence. You know nothing of my intelligence or my ability to reason.”

          Except for what you’ve thoughtfully provided with your own
          arguments and the immediate outburst you display in your overwrought and emotional reply. Talk about the elephant in the room. Clump, clump.

          And please regale us with more tales of your martial arts prowess and to prove what a tough guy you are. LOL.

      Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 5:33 am

      Yeah, yeah.

      If there were no guns, there would be no shooting. If there were no hands, there would be no choking. If there were no sticks, there would be no clubbing. If there were no teeth, there would be no biting, and etc.

      Your arguments are worn out, and they were silly when they were new. If you try to eliminate every potential threat people possess, then everybody would have to be lobotomized and have their limbs pruned off. All for the greater good, I’m sure. Sacrifices have to be made, etc.

      Crime statistics slearly show that violent crime increases dramatically when strict gun control laws are institued. Rape, armed robbery, etc. goes up dramatically. It happened in Britain. It happened in Australia. It happens in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., etc.

      Criminals go after those they perceive as weak. They’re not interested in a challenge. Oh, and they also don’t go away when you ban guns.

      Find some new arguments. These are old, unconvincing, and silly.

      And maybe try to back them up with statistical evidence and not a single incident. Good luck on that. You’ll need it.

        “Crime statistics slearly show that violent crime increases dramatically when strict gun control laws are institued. Rape, armed robbery, etc. goes up dramatically. It happened in Britain. It happened in Australia. It happens in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., etc.”

        What happened in Australia when strict gun control laws were instituted? I’m an Aussie and am curious as to what you believe happened here. If you’re talking about “Port Arthur” that was BEFORE stricter gun control came in and was the catalyst for the legislation.

Dunn has a simple story to tell which you can’t really disprove so what can a prosecutor do? (Maybe Andrew could chime in here.) And Guy did have Dunn claim he told his girlfriend many times about a shotgun which she then contradicted (which in my view will play huge with the jury) so he did what he had to do.

wonder if they pretended to point something at him and after hearing the threats he mistook it for a weapon.

    tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | February 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I don’t think they found anything which looked particularly shotgun barrel-ish in the car, though.

      yeah but through a window even fingers in right light may look like something.
      short of an actual psych break nothing makes sense as to what prompted him to shoot.
      and his state of mind may have caused eyes to play tricks on him.
      not sure it matters really as he messed everything up, and I also am not really sure if he didn’t just snap over the music.
      looks to me like he’s guilty, but I don’t think this should be considered premeditated.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to tom swift. | February 11, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Tripod

        I don’t think the tripod was presented as evidence, though.

        I own tripods and shotguns, and mine certainly don’t look anything like each other. If this particular tripod has a convincing look, they should at least have entered a photo into evidence.

        BrokeGopher in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | February 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm

        So this teen, having a verbal altercation with the white guy next to him, decides he’s going to flash a tripod at him and pretend it’s a gun? Really?

          tom swift in reply to BrokeGopher. | February 12, 2014 at 1:18 am

          You’ve never heard of such cases? Usually the object is a jack handle, something most cars have. I’ve never heard of a tripod being used in such a way, but I wouldn’t care to assert that it’s never happened.

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to BrokeGopher. | February 12, 2014 at 1:51 am

          @tom swift — Come to think of it, did they find a jack handle?
          Even 70s cars came with a spare tire and jack. Now all cars come with them. So if they didn’t find one, could it be they ditched it.

          The one thing I am convinced is that the cops may have looked for a shotgun with a legitimate though may not as intense as it could be search, I think they barely searched for other objects.

          In fact remember the woman who testified that the cops talked to her for 10 minutes? I remember from Mussers testimony that if they spent an average of 5 minutes per store they wuld not give any time to search.Here is one store that took twice that.

          And there is really no excuse for not searching for a weapon. The number one defense in homicide cases is self-defense. They should have forseen that and a claim of a weapon.

Besides his aggressive behavior (i.e., firing the shots into an occupied vehicle), the other odd detail is his waiting to contact law enforcement. At first, he might’ve hoped that nobody was hurt and nothing would happen to him. That all changed when he learned of the death of J. Davis. Why didn’t he call law enforcement right then? He’s not stupid. He had to know he’d only look more guilty the longer he waited to turn himself in. Did he need to buy time to think of a story to justify his behavior? I guess that might explain it.

And I agree with the person who called Rhonda’s testimony “devastating.” I’d call it “damning.” She unequivocally stated that M. Dunn said nothing about seeing a gun. If I were a juror, that’d be enough to convince me that M. Dunn lied. That completely undermines his claim of self-defense, IMO.

    Yep. Exactly right.

    I kind of feel sorry for her, she’s not right in the head, and she’s caught up in what he did through no fault of her own.

    And his crap about leaving the gun in the car at the hotel. WTF ? Knowing what had happened, claiming on the stand that he kept looking out the window for the red Durango, he was scared they would come looking for him, but he says he left his gun in the car ‘because his GF asked him to’ ? Saying ‘Oh, they would need a key card to get in’ ? Come on already. That they wouldn’t just wait in the parking lot for him ?

Dunn changes his attitude about 10-11 times in a matter of seconds. 1st he is ANNOYED, but polite. 2nd he is ANGRY and isn’t going to take it anymore. But he claims he doesn’t reach for his gun then. 3rd he is IN FEAR because a guy is coming out of a car with a shotgun. 4th he is FEARLESS as he retrieves a gun, but doesn’t seek cover. He doesn’t duck down or exit on the passenger side. Instead, he sticks his head right were he thinks a shotgun is aimed by a guy who would be right outside his window. So he takes 3 shots in an awkward position and isn’t surprised that no blast comes at him. 5th, he is CLUELESS as he misses the fact that the alleged assailant is retreating (so he claims). 6th he claims he is DAZED as the SUV backs out. So he doesn’t realize that he is shooting at the wrong part of the SUV. 7th, he totally regains his senses and acts RATIONALLY and TACTICALLY by firing again to suppress ‘returning fire’ and protect himself AND his fiance. 8th he goes into total PANIC and flees the scene. 9th, he is WORRIED about his puppy and doesn’t turn himself in. 10th, he is PARANOID that they the bad guys are coming to get him. 11th, he is IRRATIONAL and doesn’t call the cops even though he thinks the bad guys are coming for him.

The story does a wonderful job of explaining away the facts. That is something you can concoct while fleeing for a day. But does anyone believe that he cycled through 11 different emotions that just happen to be just about the only possible explanation that would get him off?

How many of you would sit back up directly into the path of a shotgun; even with a semi-automatic pistol? Wouldn’t you grab the gun and roll over on your back while across the console and front seats so that you would have a little cover? It would hurt. It would be awkward. But his adrenaline would have been pumping. Wouldn’t taking whatever cover he could have been preferable to sticking his face into the muzzle of a shotgun? It is interesting that his story explains away all the evidence; but none of the evidence corroborates his story. No witnesses. No gun. No forensics.

Ironically, Dunn wants the world to believe that the guy with the shotgun retreated; but Dunn still needed to take him out. Apparently he wants the world to believe that he fired 3 bursts without noticing that not one shotgun blast came at him. At some point it could not possibly have been self-defense. If the guy was retreating why did Dunn have to fire? The SUV was driving away and Dunn was still shooting.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Rational. | February 12, 2014 at 4:04 am

    I think shooting at the fleeing SUV is another reason that just kind of destroys his Self Defense claim. In the video there is a full 6 second pause between the middle group of 4 shots and the final 3 shots, this is the time when I believe that Dunn said he actually left his car, took a kneeling stance and then fired the last 3 shots.

    I also have a little trouble with someone who can think that tactically but then not call the cops afterwards.

    I guess I just need to sleep on this one cause I am kind of all over the place.

Just watched the cross and here’s what makes no sense and which the defense needs to emphasize in closing:

Dunn is in fear of his life from a man or men in a car. He shoots, they run. So why doesn’t he call the police to report the crime perpetrated on him, to alert them to this threat that’s still out there and could endanger others so that these men can be apprehended?

And again, Dunn claims that when he’s back at the hotel he’s afraid that the SUV may come back. Well, what do people do when they feel they’re under threat, especially when they actually just were? Yes, they call the police, but he doesn’t.

Dunn’s actions only make sense if he was not in fear of his life, that there was no threat, that no crime was perpetrated on him.

Most criticisms here of Dunn’s story fault him for failure to follow various optimized strategies.

Anything starting with “why didn’t he …” fits this pattern.

But these aren’t evidence of crime. They may well be cause for suspicion. And some of them made the police suspicious, because they didn’t fit various patterns which experience tells them are usually characteristic of self-defense cases. They mentioned these to Dunn during the taped interview. One was that while there are indeed people who might try to shoot someone for the damndest reasons or no reason at all, they don’t usually brandish a gun while inside their vehicles but then exit the vehicle before attacking; they just go ahead and shoot. Another was that they found no gun. This is not proof that Dunn fabricated the incident, but it is cause for suspicion. Another cause for suspicion, or perhaps official unease is a better word, is the sequence of escalation. At some point Dunn decided that the use of force was not only justified but a dire and immediate necessity, and he started shooting. The police were apparently unconvinced that he’d picked the right point (when they asked him about “reassessing” the situation after drawing the Taurus). There were others in the same vein, all perfectly logical and legitimate suspicions.

Suspicion is what leads the police to believe that a crime may have occurred and to initiate an investigation of a particular suspect’s involvement in that crime. In due course, such an investigation reaches a conclusion. What follows is a trial, a process by which officialdom tries to convince some people who are not themselves “in the business” (ie, a jury) that the investigation has proven criminal activity.

That hasn’t happened here. All the trial has left us with is suspicion. Dunn must have this, Dunn undoubtedly that, Dunn probably something else. That is, the investigation didn’t really go anywhere. And neither has the trial. Both start with suspicion, both end with suspicion.

“Suspicion” is basically just a synonym for “reasonable doubt”.

    DennisD in reply to tom swift. | February 12, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Dunn’s guilt is not found through just what he didn’t do or should of done, what the cops found or didn’t, but through testimony as well, including his own, which is not only unbelievable, in part, but which a vital bit is contradicted by his girlfriend who seems to have nothing to gain from undermining him.

    “That hasn’t happened here. All the trial has left us with is suspicion. Dunn must have this, Dunn undoubtedly that, Dunn probably something else. That is, the investigation didn’t really go anywhere. And neither has the trial. Both start with suspicion, both end with suspicion.

    “Suspicion” is basically just a synonym for “reasonable doubt”.”

    No.

    It is uncontroverted that Dunn shot and killed Davis, and fired into the vehicle containing the others. It’s not mere suspicion.

    Killing another person is a crime, unless there is lawful justification.

    Here the justification is based on the claim of self-defense.

    The ONLY evidence of self-defense is Dunn’s own testimony, the value of which necessarily rests on his credibility.

    His credibility sucks, mostly because he fled the scene and failed to report the events.

    So, there’s no equivalence between the weight of evidence on the side of the criminal charge against him and the weight of evidence of self-defense.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Dunn fled the scene. This isn’t a supposition, it’s a fact. Dunn never told his girlfriend he saw a gun. This is not supposition, it’s a fact. Further, Dunn was checking the news on his cell phone that night (note: not the tv which his GF would have seen) and found out he had killed Jordan. (He claims this discovery made him vomit and that he, then, couldn’t sleep.) However, his GF did not find out that he’d killed Jordan until the next morning and she didn’t hear it from him: She heard it on the news. Dunn didn’t wake her or even tell her when she awoke that he’d killed a teenager. Further, on recall, the GF testified that on the drive home, the next door neighbor (the cop Dunn called for “advice” on how to turn himself in) called Dunn and, again, Dunn never mentioned that he had just killed someone who had tried to shoot him. (The call was on speaker so the GF overheard it in entirety.) There is more than enough consciousness of guilt supported by evidence, not supposition, to find Dunn guilty of murder and attempted murder. Add all the witness testimony and there isn’t a shred of doubt, IMO.

Andrew, so lets say the jury believes that Dunn saw something that he thought was a gun and acted to defend himself and in so doing killed Davis. But could they still get him for Attempted Murder of the other 3 since even by Dunn’s admission Davis was the only one that he actually felt threatened by?

Or is this just completely out in left field and heading for the bleachers?

    “even by Dunn’s admission Davis was the only one that he actually felt threatened by?”

    That is an incorrect statement of Dunn’s testimony.

    Davis was NOT the only one in the car from whom he feared danger. He testified that there were four men in the car and AT LEAST one gun, and even if there one gun it could have been used by any of the men in the car.

    He later testified he feared retribution from the SUV generally, and presumably collectively, not just Davis.

    Ironically, the only person in the SUV he cut any slack in terms of being a thug or danger was Tommy Storns–the only one of the boys with a criminal history–because Storns was in the store when the dispute began and escalated out of control.

    Once Storns was back in the SUV and driving, however, he was presumably working again in concert with the others.

    In any case, any reasonable person would know that firing rounds into a fully-loaded SUV is likely to result in the death of one or more of the people inside that vehicle.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Went back and listened to Dunn’s testimony again and you are absolutely right. I guess it would be the same as if you were attacked by a larger force, i.e. 4 to 1, that can justify the use of deadly force in certain situations. I was letting them being in a car confuse me. That and I didn’t remember Dunn’s testimony correctly.

Tom Swift: “All the trial has left us with is suspicion. Dunn must have this, Dunn undoubtedly that, Dunn probably something else. That is, the investigation didn’t really go anywhere. And neither has the trial. Both start with suspicion, both end with suspicion.

“Suspicion” is basically just a synonym for “reasonable doubt”.”

Exactly. Because there were no cameras or reliable witnesses during the event, the job of the prosecution is to present their “supposition” of what transpired in the case. To support their “supposition”, they have their witnesses build their case. The role of the jury is to take the prosecution’s “suppositions” and weigh them as probable or improbable. That is the jury’s role.

There is usually reasonable doubt in any trial. (When there is no doubt, there is usually a plea) The burden for the prosecution is to convince the jury of the logical nature of their “supposition”, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Today, in their final argument, the prosecution will argue their supposition, based on the evidence admitted at trial, and will poke holes in the defense’s explanation. The jury will be charged with finding the facts, then applying the law, in order to come up with a verdict.

    “There is usually reasonable doubt in any trial. (When there is no doubt, there is usually a plea) The burden for the prosecution is to convince the jury of the logical nature of their “supposition”, beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    This is absolutely not correct. Most prosecutors will not bring a case unless they perceive a solid prospect for a conviction, and therefore believe they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    There’s a phrase prosecutors have for cases that appear unlikely to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt–a case that’s not ready for trial.

    There’s a reason why Federal prosecutors have conviction rates well above 90%, and it’s not because most of their trials contain a reasonable doubt.

    Furthermore, one doesn’t simply get to “take a plea,” a plea must be offered. Here the State had little incentive to offer a plea, because Dunn’s flight from the scene and failure to call police was catastrophically destructive to his claim of self-defense.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Andrew: “Most prosecutors will not bring a case unless they perceive a solid prospect for a conviction, and therefore believe they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

      Perhaps in Capital cases. My experience in lower courts is that prosecutors over-charge and pressure the defendant into a plea. The numbers would never allow for all misdemeanors to go to trial. There may be three or four District Court trials for the 400 cases on the docket.

      Regarding the Fed conviction rate, if you include the guilty pleas, their “success rate” is closer to 98%. In the Fed world, you try a case and lose, you get slammed with extra time. “Cooperation” and “acknowledgment of guilt” earns you a time credit.

        “My experience in lower courts is that prosecutors over-charge and pressure the defendant into a plea.”

        Sure.

        My point is, they’re not bringing cases TO TRIAL that they believe have a credible reasonable doubt.

        That point was made in response to you writing ““There is usually reasonable doubt in any trial.”

        If what you meant to say was that there is usually reasonable doubt in any “case” (which may or may not be brought to trial), I’d certainly agree. As you say, most cases can’t be brought to trial as matter of sheer practicality and limited resources.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Laser Beam in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 12, 2014 at 7:43 am

      “Most prosecutors will not bring a case unless they perceive a solid prospect for a conviction, and therefore believe they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

      Unless of course it’s Angela Corey. In the shadow of the Trayvon Martin fiasco.

        Hence, the conditional “most”.

        And I expect a close examination of Corey’s record would show she wins most cases she brings to trial–hence, they lacked reasonable doubt.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

On the subject of the bullet trajectories, I don’t believe that the rear passenger door of the red SUV was open at all.
Remember that it was stated the two vehicles were right side by side when first parked, making the rear door of the SUV just slightly behind Dunn’s front driver door. Therefore making a more straight line trajectory of the first 3 bullets fired into the rear door.

Dunn paused in his shooting at the same instant that Tommy
‘slammed into reverse’ and I would assume he floored the gas pedal having just been shot at. The SUV reversed quickly and the front passenger door would have been further back from Dunn’s shooting position from his driver door than the rear passenger door had been, making the next 3 bullet trajectories into the front door at a sharper angle. Dunn’s theroty that the trajectories ‘should’ have lined up on both doors would only be valid if the SUV had not moved.
Another point, this type of SUV is quite large and requires stepping out onto the running boards and then stepping to the ground. Dunn’s description of Davis exiting the SUV does not mention this.
Lastly, Dunn testifies that he is not familiar with the term ‘thug’ therefore he would have never used it. Rhonda states he used the word ‘thug music’, as well the police video of his interview shown in court yesterday recorded him telling the detectives that he was watching from the hotel window waiting for another truck full of ‘thugs’. He says this very clearly in the video.
I am curious as to why Dunn obtained a concealed weapon permit 5 years ago. Did he have a previous run-in with so called ‘thugs’ therefore making him very nervous and obviously trigger happy for this very unfortunate incident?
IMHO this man is certainly much more book smart than street smart and reacted way over the top to what was actually happening. I believe he is guilty and my sincere condolences to the parents and friends of Jordan.

@platypus You and Amy seems to have missed the point. I was merely articulating why some of us are uneasy with the exist state of gun laws in this country. I was putting it in the context of this case and the actions of Dunn. I was not advocating. It was part of a larger point in which I hypothesized that Dunn had his gun out much earlier than he admits. I also think his judgement was impaired; although whether he was legally drunk is impossible to know since he ran. That no witness was willing to say he drank a lot is not surprising. The witnesses were family and the hosts of the wedding might be held liable if he was drunk.

“Guns (firearms) have provided liberty for more people than kisses and talking has. Probably by a factor of 100.”

Are you talking about organized armies, militias and revolutions? Certainly you are not talking about individuals. Even in our revolution the militia played a small, albeit significant part. It was organized armies that played the major role. Washington had no faith in the militia.

So if you strap a gun to you hip because you believe in liberty, you are deluding yourself.

I’ll bet firearms have also been responsible for more grief and repression by a factor of 100.

BTW, I concede that private guns have undoubtedly protected many people and foiled many crimes. But our attitude toward guns makes it very easy for bad guys to get them. So the overall good is hard to access.

    I was merely articulating why some of us are uneasy with the exist state of gun laws in this country.

    Child, you don’t understand the exist [sic] state of gun laws in this country.

    You claimed that there is “unrestricted ownership” of guns in this country. There isn’t.

    You claimed that there is “unrestricted access to guns” in this country. There isn’t.

    You claimed that there’s a demand in this country for “the unrestricted ability to carry guns anywhere, anytime by anybody”. There isn’t.

    So hush up and go practice staring down big scary tobacco-wielding strangers on the subway, Mister Karate Kid, and don’t concern yourself with law-abiding CCL holders like l’il ol’ me and and our big scary boomsticks. 😉

      Rational in reply to Amy in FL. | February 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      Wow, you found a typo! You must be brilliant.

      You are a perfect example of what is wrong with the discussion in this country. You have no ability to comprehend what is written. You live on fallacies. Then you react rather than think. You are defensive and hostile. That is just the kind who should not walk around with a boomstick. We will probably read about you one day. In the mean time you should switch to cap pistols. They will do the same job for your fragile psyche and save you and the rest of us a lot of grief,

      Write back after you learn to read.

      BTW, Dunn is going down. Even the majority of the ideologues on this site think he is an a-hole.

        I quoted your own words back at you, and informed you that you were wrong. I’m sorry that this has wounded you so.

        As for Dunn, I agree that there’s no evidence that this was a good shoot. Check my comments here, or on twitter: I’ve never defended his use of force, ever. I’ve been consistently a critic of his actions. I can’t think why you’d assume that assume that someone who supports lawful CCL would automatically support an apparently unlawful shooting any more than you’d assume that anyone who supports citizens being allowed to drive must support those who commit vehicular homicide.

        Reading comprehension is fundamental. I’m sorry the “no child left behind” system appears to have failed you. I hope things get better for you.

        As your Mister Miyagi would say, “Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off.” Or as my mama would say, bless your heart.

          Rational in reply to Amy in FL. | February 13, 2014 at 10:17 am

          @ AMY If you re-read my original comment, it was an examination of the credibility of Dunn’s testimony.

          I made one comment about thoughts (fears, concerns) of those of us who think laws like those in FL are problematic and overly permissive. I did not advocate. I tried to point out the THINKING (right or wrong) of some people concerned about other people routinely walking around with guns. I would think you might have some interest in their thinking; even if you disagreed with it. We do live in a democracy. You proceeded to jump at that one part and try to tear me a new one. Talk about a knee-jerk reaction!

          I guess I should expect no less on an ideological Board like this.

          BTW, I did notice that you had a nuanced position on Dunn. But I guess any comment that even hints at any kind of gun law gets your dander up.

        Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 6:03 am

        “You have no ability to comprehend what is written. You live on fallacies. Then you react rather than think. You are defensive and hostile.”

        LOL. You’ve just described the way you have come off in pretty much every comment you’ve written on this thread.

        Whether you know it or not, you are displaying the classic Leftist pattern to debate. State your opinion as though there’s no possible reasonable alternative view, be emotional and take other people’s differing viewpoints personally, play tough, insult the others, then play victim and claim other are unintelligent bullies.

        Well done! LOL.

          Rational in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 13, 2014 at 10:29 am

          Whether you know it or not, you and most members of this Board are displaying the classic right-wing pattern to debate. State your opinion as though there’s no possible reasonable alternative view, be emotional and take other people’s differing viewpoints personally, play tough, insult the others, then play victim and claim other are unintelligent bullies.

          To prove my point, I refer you to the numerous responses to my original comments. It was I who was immediately insulted for not accepting the collective ‘wisdom’ of this far right-wing ideological site.

          I was originally pointed here by someone posting on another site. He claimed I could learn the truth here. I am open-minded enough that I gave it a try. I am still waiting. What I see is a bunch of people reinforcing each other with ideological crap. The Dunn case actually seems to be the exception. But if you look at the other articles and the tenor or the comments, the point of view of people on this Board is clear and one-sided.

          Obviously, you would see any questioning of that as invalid. That is not classically right-wing. It is classically ideological.

          Yukio Ngaby in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 13, 2014 at 11:52 am

          @ the horribly mis-named Rational

          So your response was a cut & paste equating to “I know you are but what am I?” LOL. A Pee Wee Herman strategy? Really?

          And to “prove your point” you’re going to say that everyone here except yourself is wrong and are merely indulging in the reinforcment of ideologies. Heh. Good one. Truly you have proven yourself to be the “sole” open-minded one here. Congrats. You have convinced me. I now believe that guns are indeed evil and have a will of their own.

          And I just love how your idea of being “open-minded” is to begin your case with statements like “That is the crux of what we ‘anti-gun’ nuts think. Had Dunn not had the gun, he would have behaved differently.” and not expect anyone to oppose your TRUTH. LOL.

          “Obviously, you would see any questioning of that as invalid.”

          Ooo, you know all about me. And all about my opinions, and all about my political beliefs, and my character, and my inherent “close-mindedness” etc. How? Because of the damning facts that I’m here and I disagree with you about guns. LOL.

          But… but I thought you were the open-minded “Rational” one and the “victim” to boot. Gosh, it almost seems like you’re projecting the low opinion you have about your opponents right into your own arguments. Weird. Surely you’re above that…

      Yukio Ngaby in reply to Amy in FL. | February 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

      SNAP.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Rational. | February 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    “It was organized armies that played the major role. Washington had no faith in the militia.”

    And what do you think that our “Organized Army” was made up of, since we weren’t actually a nation and the only Organized Army was actually the British. Our “Army” was made up of militia’s. You are obviously a believer in revisionist history.

    “But our attitude toward guns makes it very easy for bad guys to get them. So the overall good is hard to access.”

    You are right to a point, but that is also part of the price of freedom. Yes, freedom is messy and sometimes dangerous but I will quote a local radio host here in Little Rock named Dave Elswick he was paraphrasing Tomas Jefferson, I believe, but the quote is; “I will take the messy dangers of freedom over the safe complacency of slavery any day.”

    Also, you have to remember that for every time someone misuses a gun there where about 8 million other gun owners that broke no law what so ever.

      Rational in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Are you basing you claims on the history you learned in Elementary School? That is the fairy tale view of history. Hopefully your views on guns are better informed.

      Washington was aghast when he was first appointed General and visited New England. See this source that I looked up for your edification. It is based on a letter Washington wrote deploring the militia. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/washington-blames-militia-for-problems

      The Continental Army was made up of men who enlisted for a defined period of time. They were issued weapons, uniforms and materiel. They used military muskets; not civilian rifles. They were trained by men like Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. They had ranks. They were not a militia. A volunteer is not the same as a militia member.

      Militia could quit. Washington sentenced deserters to be shot or hung. In one instance, Washington pardoned all but one. But he made the pardoned soldiers execute the one. Sound like a militia to you?

      You should read about the battle of Cowpens. Brigadier General Daniel Morgan was warned not to count on the local militia. They tended to run in the face of a real army. He put them in front of the Army troops to force them to face a charge. He allowed them to fire one round and retire.

      BTW, there was a French Army and Navy that was instrumental in the victory. The French fought in many battles in the latter part of the war; including Yorktown. So even by your definition there was more than one army during the Revolutionary War. By the end, the militia was irrelevant.

      It was the same with the VietCong. They were replaced by the North Vietnamese Army.

      What is wrong with revisions? It is only wrong if you rewrite history for ideological reasons. But historians, today, can do a much better job than historians in earlier eras. Using all our modern computers, communications, cataloging and science. Journals can be assembled. Experiments can be run. Old accounts can be compared. Legends can be debunked. I will take revision when it is done by scholars.

      Your comments on democracy are double edged. I don’t own a gun. But I am not a slave. It could be that the majority comes to believe that private ownership of guns needs to be justified. Then what? What if the majority wants restrictions on guns?

      I live in NY. We are pretty much there. But we still have our freedom.

      Those quotes about liberty are abstract. I much prefer reality. We have not used a militia since 1812 and that was a disaster. We do have a National Guard and Reserves. But they have nothing to do with the private ownership of guns.

      BTW, if you think you will take to the woods and fight for ‘freedom’, think again. Eric Rudolph was an accomplished survivalist and he was caught scrounging in a garbage container. Besides, he was trying to infringe my freedom. He wanted to ban abortion and contraception.

      While we are on this freedom kick: What do you think about all the people locked up for non-violent drug offenses. Are you OK with that? Shouldn’t they be able to own guns. The predicate crime is a violation of their liberty. I should have a right to put whatever I wish into my body. Why is it the government’s business? If I get beat on a deal, why shouldn’t I be able to use a gun. I can’t go to the police or the courts.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Rational. | February 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm

        First of all are you actually siting the history channel? They get more of history wrong than they do right.

        If you take time to actually read the letter, it is full of the complaints I would expect from any lifetime military man about a thrown together militia.

        I would also point out that without the militia’s well we would probably be speaking with British accents still today.

        Also, you are incorrect about the standing army. The Battle of Lexington and Concord was on April 19th, 1775. The Continental congress did not even approve the creation of a standing Army until June 14th, 1775 and appointed Washington commander. An appointment which by the way he tried to turn down.

        Even throughout the war the “Continental Army” could at best be called incomplete and Washington used both “regulars” and the, according to you much hated, militia throughout the war.

        Also, where do you think the “regulars” came from, if not the militia’s.

        Also, if I remember correctly other than logistical support, supplies, powder and ammo, the French didn’t enter the war until 1778.

        So basically your overly wordy response has once again only served to show your willful ignorance. Also, your anti-gun crazy is showing by your implication that all people who own guns want to live in the woods or be in a militia.

        Also, I support your right to choose not to own a gun, our point is don’t screw with our right to choose to own a gun.

          Rational in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 13, 2014 at 10:02 am

          What sources are you citing? Zero.

          So the fact that Washington has some gripes invalidates his complaints about the militia? Anyone who complains is wrong?

          I didn’t say that the militia wasn’t instrumental at Lexington & Concord. They were decisive at Bunker Hill in that the British left Boston Harbor. But had we continued with a militia, we would all be speaking with a British accent.

          Thank you for acknowledging that there was a Continental Army. In prior posts you seemed to gave most of the credit to the militia. I am sure that Washington supplemented with whatever he could. But the bulk of his army was regulars. I am sure he would have used even more regulars if the Continental Congress could have raised money. But they had no ability to tax.

          Did the Continental Army include some who were militia? Probably. So what? They needed to be trained. In WW II the Army did not. I am a sailor. So I guess I am qualified to be in the Navy without intense training.

          I said the French came in later. So what are you disputing? Without them we would certainly still be speaking with British accents.

          So basically your terse response has once again only served to show your willful ignorance. Also, your pro-gun crazy is showing that you will justify gun ownership by any argument regardless of whether it is based on fact. I set them up and you will knock them down – with or without fact or logic.

          We, the growing majority, will screw with your right to choose to own a gun if that comes in conflict with public safety. We have lost the most recent federal battle. But it is sites like this that seem obsessed with Dunn because of the implications.

      You guys mind having your “Washington/militia” debate on a post that’s actually about that subject?

      Not saying it’s not without merit, but this is not the place for it.

      Thanks.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        My apologies. I think you are doing a masterful job. I am sorry that I intruded with an irrelevant comment. I hope you see some of my other comments as more on point.

        I am particularly taken with how Dunn tells a story in which he changes attitude to justify each action in the chain of events.

        For instance: He is not thinking (tunnel vision) when he fires the 2nd burst, but he is thinking tactically and rationally(defending his fiance and himself) by suppressing fire for the 3rd burst. Then he is irrational, again, as he flees. Seems rather convenient.

        I am sure he cycled through a number of emotions. I would have. But his narrative does an uncanny job of explaining away all of the evidence after he has heard the evidence.

        I didn’t think the cross emphasized that enough. But I am going by your reports. I couldn’t watch it.

        Thank you.

@Yukio Ngaby

Had Dunn not had the gun, he would have behaved differently.

YEP. Do you really dispute that? Do you want to claim it is irrelevant? Dunn was loose from drink and had a gun. Double Dutch courage.

    Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Would Dunn have behaved differently? Who knows? I know nothing about him other than what has come out during this case.

    You want to blame the gun and booze, to further your anti-gun stance (and possibly a call to reinstate Prohibition, I guess).

    But there’s no shortage of guns nor booze in the U.S. If guns and booze were really all that was needed for Dunn to act the way that he did (or even be partially responsible for his behavior), there would be guys like that blazing away at loud teens non-stop. We would like Liberia during one of their civil wars 24/7.

    But guess what? We don’t. In fact, this incident is so infrequent it makes national– no, make that international news.

    You see I hold Dunn responsible for his own actions. You want to say that guns and booze are at least responsible –“Double Dutch courage”– so you can use it as ammo (ooo, violent metaphor alert!) for your anti-gun views.

    Try again.

    You want to pass laws based on cherry-picked incidents and you smell a potential one here. I would look elsewhere.

      Rational in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      I am not trying to further any agenda. I certainly wouldn’t bother to try that here.

      But you seem very concerned that someone might find my argument compelling.

      We may not be Liberia, but we seem to have enough murders by gun to be concerned. There are few as tragically absurd as this one. Even if it was SD, it is still absurd that someone died over such a random event.

      You don’t want to think about that. So you need to claim I have an agenda. Even if I did, that doesn’t invalidate me unless I distort, fabricate or cherry pick.

      Dunn was, allegedly, in a good mood. Davis had no criminal record. One is dead. The other is destitute and may spend his life in prison. You have an explanation for that?

      I offered a hypothesis that it took booze and a gun. You don’t like that. OK, you tell me what precipitated 2 people who were going about their own business to get into a fight that ended in tragedy. Neither one wanted this. Yet it happened. OK, the booze didn’t matter. Neither did it matter that Dunn had a gun. So what mattered?

        Hey, Rational, read this decision today from the Fed. 9th Circuit.

        May want to have a good friend come sit with you while you read though:

        Peruta v. Gore, Fed. 9th Circuit, states MUST allow carry of firearms outside the home for personal protection for the large majority of typical citizens.

        http://is.gd/sQkaZm

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        “I am not trying to further any agenda.”

        LOL. Sure you are. You wrote:

        “So basically your terse response has once again only served to show your willful ignorance. Also, your pro-gun crazy is showing that you will justify gun ownership by any argument regardless of whether it is based on fact.” and “We, the growing majority, will screw with your right to choose to own a gun”

        Or was that another Rational?

        “But you seem very concerned that someone might find my argument compelling.”

        Really? What is indication is there of that? You seem very fixated on assigning me my feelings. Weird.

        Anti-gun people have been making that argument for years and the popularity of gun control just keeps on dropping. Too bad for your cause.

        “We may not be Liberia, but we seem to have enough murders by gun to be concerned.”

        Statistics show that violent crime has been steadily decreasing in the US for a number of years. Your personal concern is your business, but not a compelling argument.

        As far as absurdity goes, I for one am glad that you are the ultimate arbiter on what is absurd. Do you think it is absurd for people to die by slipping in the shower, drowning in a pool, being struck by a driver while walking home?

        “You don’t want to think about that. So you need to claim I have an agenda.”

        LOL. You’ve already stated you have an agenda. Look above. I’m not going to quote you again.

        “Dunn was, allegedly, in a good mood. Davis had no criminal record. One is dead. The other is destitute and may spend his life in prison. You have an explanation for that?”

        Yeah. Dunn murdered [I believe it’s a murder] a guy. Pretty simple. Dunn’s likely a bad guy– most murderers are.

        “OK, you tell me what precipitated 2 people who were going about their own business to get into a fight that ended in tragedy. Neither one wanted this. Yet it happened. OK, the booze didn’t matter. Neither did it matter that Dunn had a gun. So what mattered?”

        Are you kidding me? The most intelligent and the wisest people throughout history have written volumes on the subject. But you want me to explain all of it in a comment. LOL.

        What mattered? Well the gun didn’t tell Dunn to shoot up an SUV, nor did the gun cause him to do it.

        Dunn is responsible for his own actions. If you want to know why he did it, then ask Dunn.

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