Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Michael Dunn Tag

Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson made a solid presentation in the first of the State's two closing arguments. (The State has a second closing argument after the defense's close.)

Reasonable Doubt

She touched upon all the key points, using powerpoint slides and forensic photos, beginning with a definition of a reasonable doubt, defined in the negative as is pretty much the norm. [caption id="attachment_78557" align="alignnone" width="450"](Reasonable Doubt.) (Reasonable Doubt.)[/caption]

 First Degree Murder

The elements of the crimes with which Dunn is charged, beginning with first degree murder. [caption id="attachment_78558" align="alignnone" width="450"](Murder 1st Degree.) (Murder 1st Degree.)[/caption] In the context of first degree murder she also provided a definition ofpremeditation:

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

Welcome to day six of our live coverage of the "loud music" 1st degree murder trial of Michael Dunn in real time. Here are three live video feeds. Expectations are that this morning will see closing arguments, in the following sequence: State, Defense, State. Then the jury will be charged (read the jury instructions) and provided with their verdict forms. The jury instructions in this case are extensive. Not only are there the five primary charges on which Dunn was indicted--first degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, and firing into an occupied vehicle--there are also the lesser included crimes of each, as well as Florida's 10-20-Life statute (775.087), made infamous by the Marissa Alexander case.  Add on top of that Florida's very lengthy and convoluted justification jury instructions, and it's not hard to see that the jury's going to receive a very large packet of instructional material, indeed. (Sadly, I expect the standardized jury instructions will once again include the instruction on Stand-Your-Ground, despite the fact that SYG plays no more of a role here than it did in the Zimmerman trial--meaning, none. Their inclusion will provide plenty of fodder for the "SYG-phobics" and, of course, journalists.) Our end-of-day wrap-up discussing these issues as well as yesterday afternoon's testimony by Michael Dunn, and rebuttal by State-called witnesses Rhonda Rouer and Homicide Detective Musser can be found here: “Loud Music” Murder Trial Day 5: Dunn Testifies, Defense Rests Below the live video feeds is a live Twitter feed with my live tweets and those of others reporting on the trial. We plan to do a brief mid-day summary when the court recesses for lunch, then our usual lengthier coverage/analysis after the court recesses that day's end. At the bottom of this post, below the Twitter feed, I've embedded yesterday's testimony by Dunn, Rouer, and Musser.)

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:

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

---------------- Welcome to day five of our live coverage of the "loud music" 1st degree murder trial of Michael Dunn in real time. Here are a couple live video feeds, with the smaller, upper-most feed proving the most reliable yesterday. Expectations are that this morning will see the last two defense witnesses. One of these is expected to be some kind of expert on stress reactions, but is a bit of a "surprise witness" from the perspective of the State. A hearing will be held at 8AM to discuss whether to allow this testimony, in the form of a Daubert hearing. The second witness, I expect, will be the defendant, Michael Dunn himself. At present there seems insufficient--meaning no--evidence of self-defense necessary for the defense to meet its burden of production on the issue of self-defense. If they fail to meet this burden the jury will not be instructed on self-defense and a conviction is certain. Our end-of-day wrap-up discussing these issues as well as yesterday afternoon's testimony can be found here: “Loud Music” Murder Trial Day 4: Entire Self Defense Narrative At Risk At the bottom of the post is a live Twitter feed with my live tweets and those of others reporting on the trial. We plan to do a brief mid-day summary when the court recesses for lunch, then our usual lengthier coverage/analysis after the court recesses that day's end.

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

---------------- Welcome to day four of our live coverage of the "loud music" 1st degree murder trial of Michael Dunn in real time. Here are a couple live video feeds, with the smaller, upper-most feed proving the most reliable yesterday. Before we get to that, there has been much discussion and some confusion about the number, sequence, and tempo of the gunshots fired by Michael Dunn at the red Durango SUV in which Jordan Davis was followed.  Those interested can hear the shots fired on the gas station surveillance tape here:  “Loud Music” Murder Trial: Sequence of Gun Shots. At the bottom of the post is a live Twitter feed with my live tweets and those of others reporting on the trial. We plan to do a brief mid-day summary when the court recesses for lunch, then our usual lengthier coverage/analysis after the court recesses that day's end.

The court moved through three witnesses this morning, including two evidence technicians and the Deputy who executed the Jacksonville arrest warrant on Michael Dunn at his residence the day after the shooting. Before the trial proper started there was apparently an evidentiary issue that needed to be addressed. There existed a forensics photo that had a portion highlighted. Unfortunately, it was the wrong portion, so a second version was made. In confusion the first photo was admitted into evidence. It only took two highly educated lawyers and a presumably similarly well-educated judge 15 or 20 minutes to figure out how to resolve this difficult. They did manage to do so, however, in a cooperative spirit. [caption id="attachment_78069" align="alignnone" width="450"](Defense Counsel Cory Strolla and State Attorney Angela Corey.) (Defense Counsel Cory Strolla and State Attorney Angela Corey.)[/caption] State Attorney Angela Corey would take the lead on the two evidence technicians, before turning things over to Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson for direct of the Deputy. [caption id="attachment_78073" align="alignnone" width="450"](State Attorney Angela Corey.) (State Attorney Angela Corey.)[/caption] Ron Davis, father of Jordan Davis, was again present in the courtroom.

Detective Andrew Kipple, Lead Crime Scene Technician

[caption id="attachment_78072" align="alignnone" width="450"](Detective Andrew Kipple.) (Detective Andrew Kipple.)[/caption] The first State's witness was Detective Andrew Kipple, the senior evidence technician involved in processing the crime scene and evidence..  His testimony would consume the large majority of the morning.

UPDATE 2-11-2014 - Testimony over, here's the latest update: “Loud Music” Murder Trial Day 5: Dunn Testifies, Defense Rests. ---------------- Welcome to day three of our live coverage of the "loud music" 1st degree murder trial of Michael Dunn in real time. Here are a couple live video feeds, with the smaller, upper-most feed proving the most reliable yesterday. At the bottom of the post is a live Twitter feed with my live tweets and those of others reporting on the trial. We plan to do a brief mid-day summary when the court recesses for lunch, then our usual lengthier coverage/analysis after the court recesses that day's end.

The court moved through nine witnesses today, as they proceeded with the State's presentation of its case in the "loud music" first degree murder trial of Michael Dunn, for the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. These witnesses consisted of several first-responders to the scene, the three young-men who were with Davis in the Durango SUV when Dunn opened fire, and two witnesses who observed the SUV for the brief period it had pulled away from the gas station. The first four witnesses were all first responders -- three police officers and a Fire & Rescue paramedic -- who arrived at the scene after the shooting had taken place. In order they were:

Robert Holmes, Patrol Officer, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

[caption id="attachment_77961" align="alignnone" width="450"](Patrol Officer Robert Holmes) (Patrol Officer Robert Holmes)[/caption] Assistant State Attorney handled the direct examination of Holmes. [caption id="attachment_77963" align="alignnone" width="450"](Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson) (Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson)[/caption] Holmes is a 7-year veteran of the police department, with prior Navy service.  Perhaps the most remarkable part of his testimony to me was how little first aid training he'd received either as a policeman or seamen.  Basically, his training was limited to CPR (last taught to him 7 years prior at the police academy) and how to use a tourniquet. Period. Holmes described receiving the call of shots fired, arriving at the scene to see Jordan Davis cradled in the arms of his friends.  Davis had no pulse.  There was no pool of blood (of course, given the deep internal nature of the wound and the fact that Davis' blood pressure would have been zero at that point, there wouldn't be much blood).  When Andrew Williams performed CPR compressions, however, Holmes observed blood coming from Davis' back.  He described Davis' friends as shocked, as he drove them collectively back to the police station to meet with detectives. On cross, Strolla asked why Holmes hadn't performed first aid himself, rather than let a "civilian" do it.  It was here Holmes explained the paucity of his first aid training, and indicated that he'd thought it best to defer to a civilian who purported to have greater skills. Strolla also explored the apparent fact that the interviews conducted at the police station by detectives were not recorded, despite the station having adequate capabilities to do so.  It seems he intends to argue that this allowed the statements of the Durango survivors to be altered and coordinated over time. One interesting point on direct arose when Corey asked Holmes where his notebook was from the night of the shooting, and Holmes casually indicated that the notebook was gone, destroyed.  This seemed as if it might have some import, but Strolla never touched upon it in cross. Offline, a Federal law enforcement officer contacted me to share that in his service notebooks were dated and destroyed by fire at pre-determined intervals, to ensure the confidentiality of their contents.  Perhaps a similar policy is being followed by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Holmes came across as professional and objective, as is typical of police officers of any meaningful experience.

The court moved through five witnesses this morning, as they proceeded with the State's presentation of its case in the "loud music" first degree murder trial of Michael Dunn, for the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The first four witnesses were all first responders--three police officers and a Fire & Rescue paramedic--who arrived at the scene after the shooting had taken place. In order they were:

Robert Holmes, Patrol Officer, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

[caption id="attachment_77961" align="alignnone" width="450"](Patrol Officer Robert Holmes) (Patrol Officer Robert Holmes)[/caption]

Assistant State Attorney handled the direct examination of Holmes.

[caption id="attachment_77963" align="alignnone" width="450"](Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson) (Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson)[/caption]

William Spicer, Engineer/Paramedic, Jacksonville Fire & Rescue

[caption id="attachment_77964" align="alignnone" width="450"](William Spicer, Paramedic) (William Spicer, Paramedic)[/caption]

Welcome to day two of our live coverage of the "loud music" 1st degree murder trial of Michael Dunn in real time. Here are a couple live video feeds, with the smaller, upper-most feed proving the most reliable yesterday. At the bottom of the post is a live Twitter feed with my live tweets and those of others reporting on the trial:

The key legal narratives of both the State and defense began to emerge this afternoon as the Michael Dunn "loud music" murder trial kicked off with an afternoon launch. Dunn, 47-years-old, is charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The State believes Dunn shot Jordan out of anger over Jordan's loud music, whereas Dunn claims he shot in lawful self-defense. Dunn is also charged with attempted murder for shooting the other three young men in the car, Leland Brunson, Tevin Thompson, and Tommie Storns. Finally, he is charged with the offense of firing a gun into an occupied vehicle. The trial started with Judge Russel Healey instructing the jury on their responsibilities in hearing the case, as well as various procedural facets common to any criminal trial.

Assistant State Attorney John Guy Delivers Opening for Prosecution

Following these introductory remarks, the State's opening was presented by Assistant State Attorney John Guy, and delivered in the emotive style so familiar from his performances during the Zimmerman trial. Alas, he chose to speak in such a soft voice that he was essentially inaudible. The use of headphones, however, makes it possible to hear his remarks. Consistent with the state going for 1st degree murder, and barring that 2nd degree murder, Guy emphasized the several concrete steps Dunn had to take in order to bring fire upon the Durango -- open glove compartment, remove pistol, chamber a round, grip the gun with both hands, fire, fire again, fire again, etc. -- all presumably to set the hook for premeditation and first degree murder. In addition, he emphasized Dunn's angry use of deadly force violence in response to being, as Guy put it, merely disrespected, to set the hook for malice necessary for second degree murder.

Attorney Cory Strolla Delivers Opening for the Defense

Defense Attorney Cory Strolla spent roughly twice as much time on his opening remarks, focusing on the three themes beloved by all defense counsel. First, the evidence is weak and contradictory and was collected and evaluated by police and prosecutors in an unprofessional and untrusthworthy manner. Second, if any one of the jurors has not been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of Dunn's guilt, "stick to your guns" and do not allow yourself to be persuaded by the other jurors -- each of you is bound to make your own decision. And three, if you can hold off coming to a conclusion until we have a chance to present our side of things, you'll see that there are reasonable explanations for our client's conduct on every front.

As we did during the Zimmerman trial, we plan to cover the "loud music" 1st degree murder trial of Michael Dunn in real time. Here are a couple live video feeds, we're not yet sure which will prove more reliable. At the bottom of the post is a live Twitter feed with my live tweets and those of others reporting on the trial:

The Florida "loud music" murder trial begins at Noon today. As you'll recall, 47-year-old Michael Dunn is charged with 1st degree murder (FL Statute 782.04) in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, and the attempted murder of three of Davis' companions, all of whom were also struck by bullets.  Dunn claims that he fired in self-defense.  The State argues that Dunn killed only because he objected to the youths' loud music. State Attorney Angela Corey (pictured above) will be leading the prosecution in the court room, along with Assistant State Attorney John Guy.  The defense counsel is Attorney Cory Strolla. [caption id="attachment_77831" align="alignnone" width="450"]Attorney Michael Dunn, speaking to defendant Michael Dunn in "loud music" murder trial (Attorney Cory Strolla, speaking to defendant Michael Dunn)[/caption] The jury selection process was completed yesterday, with 16 jurors empaneled.  Although no video or audio was broadcast during voir dire (in sharp contrast to the Zimmerman trial), thanks to the excellent on-location work of journalist Stephanie Brown of WOKV, we enjoy some understand of the jurors' profiles and possible perspectives. Juror J7 Juror J10 Juror J12
Font Resize
Contrast Mode