A Florida jury convicted 47-year-old software developer Michael Dunn of attempted murder for shooting into a carful of black teens on Saturday, but the jurors could not reach a verdict on the most serious charge of first degree murder.
Jurors spent over 30 hours deliberating on Dunn’s high-profile case, but could only agree on a verdict finding him guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count of firing into an occupied car. A mistrial was declared on the murder charge Dunn faced in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. But Dunn will still likely spend decades behind bars; each count carries a mandatory minimum 20-year sentence, to be carried out consecutively.
The fatal shooting occurred in 2012 after Dunn confronted Davis about loud music coming from his SUV. Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, claimed he fired in self-defense after seeing a firearm pointed at him from the SUV, shooting 10 times at the vehicle where three of Davis’ friends were also sitting. No weapon was found in the SUV. Prosecutors said Dunn shot because he felt disrespected by Davis.
The case has been compared to the George Zimmerman murder trial, as both raise thorny questions about race and self-defense in a state with stand your ground laws; Michael Dunn was white while the teens were black. The jury’s partial verdict comes just six months after Zimmerman was acquitted on all charges.