Michael Dunn was found guilty by a Florida jury on three counts of attempted second-degree murder. Jordan Davis was the 17-year-old victim who was shot and killed in a heated argument over loud music at a gas station in November 2012.
The Michael Dunn verdict came after a full day of deliberation by jurors who remained at a stalemate regarding the first-degree murder count. Judge Russell Healey declared a mistrial based on that particular first count.
The jury asked the judge the following question, saying they had: “reviewed weakness of our position and have more to talk about. If we are unable to agree and reach a verdict, is the entire case mistried or just that count?” Judge Healey replied to the effect that if the jury were unable to reach an agreement on the first-degree murder count then that count would be mistried.
The jury were able to agree on 4 of the 5 counts against Michael Dunn even though they failed to reach agreement on the first. The judge used what is known as an Allen Charge which essentially sends the jury back to discuss the case to try to reach a verdict.
The jury sent three questions to the judge regarding the use of force and self-defense, asking if the two were to be regarded as separate charges. Judge Healey responded in the affirmative. When he was asked if it is decided that deadly force was justified against one person, could it be justified against the others present. The judge said “not necessarily.”
Corrine Brown, the Jacksonville congresswoman, also showed up to the courthouse for the high profile case, saying to reporters: “I just want justice for Jordan and for the family. Guilty on any count, guilty.”
Dale Carson, a legal analyst, commented on the Michael Dunn verdict: “There’s some early concern with a mistrial brewing in connection with the primary charge here. If they don’t reach an agreement, that means it’s a hung jury and typically that will lead to a mistrial and a potential re-trial here by the state of Florida here in Jacksonville.”