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Cases laid out, witnesses testify on 1st day of Michael Dunn retrial

Dunn charged in death of Jordan Davis

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(Pool)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jurors heard opening statements and several prosecution witnesses Thursday afternoon in the closely-watched retrial of Michael Dunn on a first-degree murder charge in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

WJXT reports Assistant State Attorney John Guy said Dunn fired three shots out his car window into an SUV with teenagers inside after exchanging words over loud music, then got out, into a crouch and fired another seven shots as the Dodge Durango pulled away.

Guy said Davis was not armed and not a threat to the much larger Dunn.

"Jordan Russell Davis was just that -- a kid," Guy said. "When Jordan Davis was shot and murdered, he was leaning to his left, away from defendant, who was on his right, and Jordan Davis had nothing in his hands.

Guy told the jurors Davis did curse and was disrespecting Dunn, but it was no reason to shoot, especially not nine times, as is heard on surveillance video from inside the gas station.

Guy said after the shooting, Dunn told his fiancee to get in the car and they drove to a hotel, where he poured himself a drink, walked their dog, ordered a pizza, watched some TV and went to bed.

"In the morning, when he found out the boy in the car next to him was dead, he packed his bags and he drove home to Satellite Beach, Florida, as if nothing had happened," Guy said.

In her opening statement, defense attorney Waffa Hanania told jurors that Dunn acted instinctively to protect himself from an angry young man who he believed pointed a shotgun out the window of the SUV.

She claimed Davis was responsible for his own death.

"If not for Davis' actions after the music was turned down, we would not be here today," Hanania said.

Hanania told the jury that Dunn truly believed Davis had a gun and was going to use it. She said Dunn was never disrespectful and only pulled the trigger as a last resort -- for protection.

"Afraid for his life, having never left his car, he reached for the gun, and he got the gun that he was legally entitled to have with him, that he owned for years, but it had never used before in defense of himself, and fired to protect his life," Hanania said. "There was nothing slow or methodical about those shots," Hanania said. "There is no time to think. They all came on top of each other in response to the threat for his life."

Police never found a gun in or near the SUV Davis was in.

In February a jury convicted Dunn, 47, of three counts of attempted murder and firing into an occupied vehicle, but deadlocked on the murder charge. He faces at least 60 years in prison on the previous convictions. If convicted in the murder charge, he would also face a life sentence.

Three days after jury selection began, 12 jurors and four alternates were seated Wednesday afternoon.

Eight of the jurors are men and four are women. Ten of the jurors are white and two are black. Among the four alternates are two white women, one black woman and one white man.

The jurors and alternates will be sequestered -- kept isolated in the courthouse and spend the rest of their days at a hotel or in supervised activities.