The Trial of Michael Dunn; DEADLY RUN-INTO UNFOLD Plenty of Sideshows for Media as Dunn Murder Trial Begins

By Hannan, Larry | The Florida Times Union, February 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

The Trial of Michael Dunn; DEADLY RUN-INTO UNFOLD Plenty of Sideshows for Media as Dunn Murder Trial Begins


Hannan, Larry, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Larry Hannan

The circus comes to Jacksonville Monday. But this ring of murder, white-on-black crime and racial tension is not the kind you bring the kids to.

On the high wire is 47-year-old Michael David Dunn, accused of murdering 17-year-old Jordan Davis after an argument over his loud "thug music." The ringmaster is State Attorney Angela Corey, trying to rehabilitate her national reputation as a prosecutor following her much-criticized failure to convict George Zimmerman in last year's "stand-your-ground" trial. And outside are sideshow criers in the form of protesters and activists.

The circus atmosphere includes media who have given the case national attention after the Zimmerman case in Sanford because Dunn is white and Davis is black. About 180 media credentials have been issued for the trial to organizations as diverse as Al-Jazeera America, Fox News, the Associated Press and CBS.

Dunn, a Brevard County man who was visiting Jacksonville for his son's wedding, has been in jail since his November 2012 arrest on charges of first-degree murder in Davis' death. He also faces three counts of attempted murder of the key witnesses against him, teenagers Leland Brunson, Tommie Stornes and Tevin Thompson, who were in a Dodge Durango with Davis when Dunn opened fire on them.

The shootings occurred in a Southside Gate gas station parking lot moments after Dunn drove in and complained to the teenagers about their loud "thug music." After one teen turned the music down, Davis turned it back up, an argument began and Davis cursed Dunn.

"You can't talk to me like that," Dunn is reported to have replied.

What happened next depends on who is talking.

According to his arrest report, Dunn said he was threatened and saw a gun. He fired at the Durango, killing Davis.

The teens in the Durango fled to the adjacent parking lot, then returned.

The surviving teens said they never had a gun, and police never found one in the Durango or elsewhere.

PROSECUTORS CAN'T LOSE?

The case is returning two prosecutors to national prominence whom people outside of Northeast Florida first met during the Zimmerman trial, State Attorney Angela Corey and Assistant State Attorney John Guy.

Zimmerman's trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin became a television sensation for weeks. Corey, whose office covers Duval, Nassau and Clay counties, was the special prosecutor in the case and Guy was one of the courtroom prosecutors.

After Zimmerman was acquitted, Corey faced nationwide criticism, with critics saying Zimmerman shouldn't have been charged at all or was overcharged. Corey is personally prosecuting Dunn, with help from Guy and Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson.

Jacksonville attorney Janet Johnson, who was a legal commentator during the Zimmerman case, said Corey's decision to try the case herself shows that prosecutors think it will be an easy victory for them.

"The prosecution has a very strong case," Johnson said. "It's a good move for Corey to get the conviction herself and get the credit for it."

It gives her a chance to rehabilitate her image after the Zimmerman trial, Johnson said.

Rod Sullivan, a law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, said he applauds any state attorney who gets out of the office and into the courtroom.

"If Dunn is convicted, it will help her politically, but I don't fault her for taking on a high-profile case," Sullivan said. "On the flip side, if Dunn is acquitted, or if a mistrial is declared, or if the case is overturned on appeal - Corey's reputation will be damaged."

But Johnson said it was hard to imagine an acquittal.

"Even as a defense lawyer I look at this and don't see how the prosecution could lose," she said.

Dunn faces life without the possibility of parole if convicted of killing Davis. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Trial of Michael Dunn; DEADLY RUN-INTO UNFOLD Plenty of Sideshows for Media as Dunn Murder Trial Begins
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.