Jury selection in Michael Dunn retrial continues
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Prosecutors, lawyers for Michael Dunn and Circuit Judge Russell Healey will meet with another 40 prospective jurors Tuesday, plus 28 others who passed a first round of questioning on Monday.
Forty more are on tap to be interviewed on Wednesday to hear the retrial of Michael Dunn in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, WJXT reports.
Healey said he hopes to have a jury seated and begin opening statements on Thursday morning.
In February, 12 jurors found Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted murder for firing a dozen shots into an SUV full of teenagers during a confrontation outside a Southside Gate convenience store in November 2012. The panel however, deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge in Davis' death.
Dunn claimed he saw Davis with what he thought was a shotgun and fired in self-defense. Police who processed the scene after the shooting found no gun in or around the SUV.
Healey is allowing jury selection for the retrial to proceed, but said he reserves the right to grant a defense motion to move the trial out of Jacksonville if there is difficultly seating an impartial panel.
Healey told prospective jurors he expects them to have heard something about the case, saying, "No one lives in a vacuum." He said Monday he hoped a jury could be seated in three days and said the jurors could be sequestered during the trial.
Once testimony begins, prosecutors are expected to call many of the same witnesses: the other three teenagers in the car, Gate employees, police officers and the medical examiner.
The defense is led by a new, court-appointed attorney, Waffa Hanania, and there are names on the list of witnesses who could be called to testify on behalf of Dunn in this trial that were not involved in the February trial.
Healey banned news cameras from the courtroom during jury selection, but reporters will be allowed to observe the process.
While demonstrators chanting "Justice for Jordan" were outside the courthouse on Monday and Davis' parents talked to the media, all was quiet Tuesday as
Dunn has yet to be sentenced for the February convictions. Regardless of the outcome of the retrial, it is doubtful Dunn will ever get out of prison, as he faces at least 60 years in prison -- 20 years each for the three attempted murder convictions.
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