WUFT News

Jury Selection, Trial Begins for Latest ‘Stand Your Ground’ Case

By on January 30th, 2014

Florida’s “stand your ground” law is receiving attention again.

Michael Dunn was charged with first-degree murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis after a dispute over loud music.  The trial date and jury selection are scheduled today, according to The Florida Times-Union.

This will be the first high-profile trial held at the new Duval County Courthouse, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The "stand your ground"-based trial for Michael Dunn, who is charged with first-degree murder, is set to start Feb. 3.

First Coast News

The "stand your ground"-based trial for Michael Dunn, who is charged with first-degree murder, is set to start Feb. 3.

The altercation occurred after Dunn observed Davis and his friends playing loud music from their car in the Jacksonville Gate convenience store parking lot. During an argument, Dunn told detectives, he saw a shotgun and opened fire on Davis in self-defense.

No weapons were found in the teen’s car during the investigation after the incident.

Bob Dekle, a University of Florida law professor, gave some information about Dunn’s defense.

“The question is not necessarily was there a shotgun in the car, as much as is there some reason for believing he saw or thought he saw a shotgun,” Dekle said. “Was the description sufficient to put him in fear of death or great bodily harm?”

Shawn Arnold, the managing partner of Arnold Law Firm in Jacksonville, explained that if Dunn is found guilty of first-degree murder, then he would be convicted of felony and would most likely receive a life sentence.

However, for a death sentence, the state would have to file a notice of intent to seek death penalty, he said.

Florida has seen multiple “stand your ground” cases, including the Martin-Zimmerman case. Dekle referred to “stand your ground” as a buzzword and explained why the general self-defense claim could strengthen Dunn’s case.

“Under the old law (of self-defense) a person has a duty to retreat unless retreating is useless. Most people cannot outrun a bullet,” Dekle said. “Even though they have a theoretical duty to retreat under the circumstances, it would be reasonable to not turn your back and run because you might get shot in the back.”

The jury ultimately will decide whether Dunn’s claim of seeing a shotgun in the car was valid enough to open fire on Davis.

 


This entry was posted in Crime and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Crime

James Kane, 40, now faces a charge of felony aggravated domestic battery on a person 65 or older. The attack reportedly occurred after the 72-year-old victim refused Kane permission to marry his girlfriend.

Elderly Man Attacked After Denying Assailant Permission to Marry

A Marion County man was arrested Monday after he beat a 72-year-old man. Authorities said James Kane attacked the victim after he denied Kane permission to marry his girlfriend.


molly the dog

Ocala Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty, Police Report

An Ocala man was arrested Sunday after attempting to flee his home, where police found his dog and evidence of animal abuse.


Haz-Mat

Two People Arrested in Chiefland Meth Lab Bust

Deputies say they found methamphetamine and chemicals used to produce the highly addictive drug.


The Wells Fargo on Newberry Road was robbed Friday afternoon.

Wells Fargo by Oaks Mall Robbed

The Wells Fargo Bank on Newberry Road near the Oaks Mall was robbed Friday afternoon by an unknown white male.


Crime Down in Many North Central Florida Counties, According to FDLE Report

Florida Department of Law Enforcement releases the 2013 Annual Unified Crime Report, which indicates a drop in crime in many North Central Florida counties.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments