Anonymous letter: Driver of SUV hid Davis' gun

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Critical to Michael Dunn's claim of self-defense is his claim of seeing a gun, or something that looked like one, before he fired 10 shots into an SUV, killing Jordan Davis. It came up during the February trial, and questions about a tripod inside the Dodge Durango that Jordan Davis and three other teens were in have already come up in the second trial. Could that have been mistaken for a shotgun?

The three surviving teenagers were asked in the first trial, if in the few minutes that they pulled the SUV into the parking lot of the neighboring strip mall before returning to the Gate station, they either hid or tossed anything out. In every case, the teenagers denied moving anything out of the vehicle.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office patrolmen and evidence technicians were also asked about whether that area, area trash bins and even the roof of the building were searched.

On Friday, News4Jax uncovered new documents that indicate that this issue could play an even bigger part of the retrial.

Evidence photo of Dodge Durango after Jordan Davis' shooting.
Evidence photo of Dodge Durango after Jordan Davis' shooting.

On the witness list for the defense is Trey Brunson, associate pastor of First Baptist Church. An anonymous letter to Brunson postmarked July 28, 2014, claims Davis did have a weapon.

The letter begins, "I was told this by someone who was there. After they drove to the end of the parking lot next to some bushes, Tommy (Stornes), the driver, took the gun from Jordan ... He kicked a hole in the ground between the bushes and he buried it."

ANNONYMOUS LETTER: Driver of SUV hid Davis' gun

Later in the letter, the writer states, "A long time later he went back, but he couldn't find the gun ... I know the gun is still there. It is between two bushes."

The letter concludes: "I can't tell anyone else cus (sic) they kill snitches. They should not have lied."

Brunson (no relation to Leland Brunson, one of the occupants of the Durango) gave the letter to the state attorney's office the very next day. The day after that, investigators returned to that parking lot with shovels, metal probing rods and metal detectors. The report said, "No items of evidence were recovered."

Other documents and photos obtained by News4Jax show searches were done of the area described turned up nothing.

State Attorney Angela Corey and prosecutor John Guy had been at the scene to do a walk-through and take photographs, particularly in the area where witnesses said the Durango stopped after it had been shot up by Dunn.

It is not known if defense lawyer Waffa Hanania will bring this up during Dunn's retrial, but she did not question Stornes specifically about this during his prosecution testimony on Friday.

A local attorney who has been following the case said that this letter will not likely be used in court.

"Nobody can authenticate, nobody can cross examine the writer of this letter and even in the letter they are quoting someone else -- it never gets in front of the jury," Randy Reep said.

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