Updated Feb. 15, 7:00 p.m. The jury in the Michael Dunn murder trial, in the murder of Jordan Davis, is deadlocked on the charge of first degree murder and the lesser charges of second degree murder. The judge declared that charge of murder to be mistried. Michael Dunn has been found guilty of attempted second-degree murder on three counts and of firing missiles.
Each count of attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. The prosecution has the option of re-trying Dunn on the murder count.
Watch Jordan Davis' parents reaction to the verdict here.
Updated Feb. 15, 5:59 p.m. From The Root contributor Tonyaa Weathersbee in the court: "Jury is deadlocked on the murder one charge—the murder of Jordan Davis—and the second degree and manslaughter charge attached to it. They have reached a decision on the three attempted murder charges and the firing deadly missiles charge; we just don't know what it is. The judge has sent them to deliberate further to break the deadlock."
According to a CNN analyst, the jury—made up of four white females, two black females, four white males, an Asian female and a Hispanic male—have been quite fiesty, stating that yelling can be heard through the walls during delibirations.
CNN believes that the jury has come back with guilty verdicts on four counts, three of which carry 20 years apiece for Dunn, meaning that he would serve a minimum 60 years with no possibility of parole. A hung jury on the first charge doesn't mean that the entire case is thrown out but rather that he could be charged again with first-degree murder. In this case, another jury would hear the same information in hopes that they could reach a conclusion. Whether or not Dunn is charged again with first-degree murder would be the decision of States Attorney Angela Corey. If so, sentencing on the other charges would most likely be held until a new jury can reach a conclusion on the first-degree murder charge.
Updated Feb. 15, 10:45 a.m. From The Root contributor Tonyaa Weathersbee in the court: "In recess again. Jury had more questions. They wanted to know if they had to consider each count separately or together. For example, they wanted to know if they found that deadly force was justified against one victim, could they find that it wasn't justified against the others."
Updated Feb. 15, 9:50 a.m. Jordan Davis' mother, Lucia McBath, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, as jurors reconvene on their fourth day of deliberations. The Dunn jury has now taken longer than George Zimmerman's jury took to acquit him in Trayvon Martin's murder trial last summer.
Updated Feb. 14, 7:35 p.m.: After a total of 19 hours of deliberations, the five men and seven women considering the case against Michael Dunn said they had "reached a wall" and asked the judge if they could be excused for the night. He granted their request.
From their earlier question to the judge, it appears that they are deadlocked on one of the five charges against Dunn, which include one count of murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of firing deadly missiles.
The court session will resume tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
Updated Feb. 14, 5:30 p.m.: From The Root contributor Tonyaa Weathersbee in Jacksonville: "Jurors asked if they could reach a verdict on four of the five counts but deadlock on one, and the judge said yes. Then they asked for a 30-minute break, which the judge just added to their hour dinner break."
Day 3 of Florida jury deliberations began at 9 a.m. Friday, bringing the total number of hours spent deciding the fate of Michael Dunn—the 47-year-old white man who shot and killed unarmed black teen Jordan Davis after an argument over loud rap music in Jacksonville, Fla.—to more than 10 hours.
On Thursday the five men and seven women on the jury asked to see a foam mannequin used as visual display to show where the teenager was struck and wanted to know the date of a letter Dunn sent to his family, First Coast News reports. First Coast News notes that when the jurors were told that the letter was written in June 2013, a few jurors nodded, as if they knew and expected that answer.
Although not all of Dunn's writings have been submitted into evidence, his correspondence with family and friends has taken center stage in the court of public opinion. In one letter, Dunn claimed that the state attorney's office was playing legal games and trying to break him financially with fees. He also accused the office of being sympathetic to blacks, WTEV News reports:
"It's spooky how racist everyone is up here and how biased toward blacks the courts are. This jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs," he notes. He goes on to say "This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these **** idiots when they're threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior."
First Coast News also reported the Dunn wrote a coded message in a letter to his fiancee that the news site believes reads, "Three things that are certain in this life: Death, taxes and that the press will get it wrong."
Also on Thursday, Dunn's lawyer, Cory Strolla, spoke with reporters for a full 20 minutes, answering a litany of questions. Strolla said that he believed it was unfair that the prosecution got four attorneys while the defendant was allowed only one. He also said that Dunn was holding up about as best as could be expected and that the George Zimmerman case has created more of an "investment in this case politically." "Had we never heard about George Zimmerman, I don't think you or I would be standing here talking about Mr. Dunn," Stolla said.
He also stated that this was not a "black-and-white issue" but, rather, "a subculture thug issue. And again, it doesn't go to race. It goes to how people behave and respond to situations," USA Today reports.
There are some who believe that State Attorney Angela Corey, who also prosecuted the Zimmerman case, may have overcharged Dunn with first-degree murder. In order for the jury to come back with a guilty verdict, which would carry a life sentence, the prosecution would have to prove that Dunn's shooting of Davis was premeditated. Although there is no time-limit requirement in establishing premeditation in Florida, if jurors don't believe that the shooting was premeditated, they can still consider second-degree murder and manslaughter as options for a conviction.
"Jury still deliberating," The Root contributor Tonyaa Weathersbee reports from Jacksonville. She also says that the judge had observers removed from the courtroom because of "thin walls." Check back with The Root throughout the day for up-to-the-minute information.
Read more of The Root’s coverage of the case in “How Keeping Our Sons Safe Makes It OK for Whites to Be Racists.”