Opening statements in Michael Dunn trial

Jury seated in trial for teen slayed over loud music death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Prosecutors are presenting their opening statements on Thursday in the trial of a Florida man charged with fatally shooting a 17-year-old teen during an argument over loud music at a Jacksonville gas station.

At the end of the third day of questioning potential jurors, Judge Michael Healey seated six men and 10 women to serve as the jury and alternates to hear the trial of Michael Dunn.

WJXT reports the jury consists of five white women, three black women, an Asian woman and an Indian or Middle Eastern woman, along with five white men and a Hispanic man. Jurors will not be told who the alternates are until just before they begin deliberations at the end of the trial -- likely late next week.

Those selected were allowed to go home for the night and report back to the Duval County Courthouse at 11 a.m. Thursday prepared to be sequestered for the duration of the trial.

Opening statements in the first-degree murder case are expected to begin at noon Thursday.

Wednesday began with 62 potential jurors to be questioned. One did not show up. The jury pool was about three-quarters women and about 40 percent African-American or other minorities.

State Attorney Angela Corey and defense attorney Cory Strolla asked those remaining if they understood the charges against Dunn, who's facing trial for first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis and attempted murder for shooting into an SUV with three other teenagers inside.

"Certainly would expect the state in the defense would want to know what people's feelings are and what their thoughts are on guns," said Rhonda Peoples-Waters, an attorney not affiliated with this case.

Four women questioned Wednesday said they knew someone who'd been killed. One said her dad was murdered and another said her close friend's son was murdered. One woman said her uncle was murdered and another woman said her brother had been murdered.

Several others said they know someone who has been the victim of crime.


In general, all those questioned said they're OK with being part of the trial, and all except one said they were OK with the right to bear arms.

One man said he believes the law is "too tightly strung" on gun restrictions.

Seven people said they have gun permits. Two said they have or use firearms for hunting only but don't have a permit.

Everyone agreed there are rules to follow with firearms.

Potential jurors were also asked about loud music. One woman said she doesn't like it and she is considerate of others around her. She said if someone is playing music too loud, she would address it. Another man said he would too.

When asked about race, one man asked, "Does the law give different views on age/race?"

All those questioned agreed to give a fair trial to Dunn and the victims.

The judge presiding over the trial is hopeful a jury of 12 and four alternates could be seated by late Wednesday and the trial could be completed by the end of next week.

The jury will be sequestered. They are to report at their hotel at 8 a.m. Wednesday before heading to the courthouse for lunch at 11 a.m.

The jury will review a packet, and the judge will let them decide if they want to have the trial on Saturday. They will be allowed visitors on Sunday.

Dunn is accused of first-degree murder in the Nov. 23, 2012, shooting death of Davis during what was described as a dispute over loud music coming from an SUV full of teenagers parked outside a Southside convenience store.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.