Jury Gives Partial Verdict in Florida "Loud Music" Trial

Florida's Stand Your Ground laws were again under scrutiny this week in the trial of Michael Dunn, who allegedly shot and killed a black Jacksonville teenager during an argument over loud music. On Saturday, the jury announced it had only reached a partial verdict: Dunn was found guilty of three counts of second-degree attempted murder and one of firing a gun into an occupied car. On the count of first-degree murder, the judge declared a mistrial.

In November, Dunn allegedly complained about the loud music coming out of an SUV in a convenience store parking lot. Dunn, who is white, fired on the vehicle, which held 17-year-old Jordan Davis and three other teenagers, ten times. He continued to fire after the car pulled away. Davis, who was struck three times, died from his wounds. Instead of calling 911, Dunn returned to the motel where he was staying for the evening and drove back to his hometown the next day.

Dunn claimed that Davis threatened him and that he saw a shotgun sticking out of the SUV. His fiancée, who was inside the convenience store at the time, testified that Dunn never told her that he had seen a weapon in the car. Still, according to the New York Times, under Florida's legendarily broad Stand Your Ground law, "Mr. Dunn needed only to have been convinced that he saw a shotgun, whether or not one was present."

It remains to be seen what will happen to the case now. But even without a murder verdict, Dunn is looking at 60 years in prison for the charges of attempted murder. Sentencing is scheduled for March 24.

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