Michael Dunn, the man who pumped nine shots into a parked Dodge Durango full of teenage boys, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis after a dispute over the kids' loud music, took the stand Tuesday in his defense, telling the jury, "I thought I was going to be killed."
Dunn, 47, claimed that he saw what he believed was the barrel of a shotgun, which prompted him to start firing. Police found no weapon in the teens' SUV.
Also been swirling around the case are letters believed to have been written by Dunn while in prison awaiting his trial.
According to several news outlets, Dunn, who is on trial for first-degree murder for the November 2012 shooting of Jordan, wrote letters to family members, friends and others claiming that he was being treated unfairly by the media and that the court system was biased toward blacks. In a letter to his daughter about "thugs," he wrote, "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," WTEV News reports.
While it is unclear if the letters were allowed to be included in the court proceedings, the state attorney's office released more than 150 pages of evidence in the first-degree murder case, which included copies of the letters written by Dunn.
In many of the letters, Dunn wrote about his health, the status of his case, what happens next in the legal process and what he was doing to pass his time, WTEV News reports.
He told unknown recipients that he was a target of media bias and that he was not the monster the media has portrayed him to be.
"As you can imagine, I'm not getting much sympathy from the press," Dunn wrote. "The're (sic) a bunch of liberal b——-s." He goes on to say that, "North Florida is more like the Deep South. They seem to have a lot of racial guilt, or at least the prosecutor's office does."
In another letter, Dunn claimed that the state attorney's office is playing legal games and trying to break him financially with fees. He also accused them 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 noted. He went 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."
In another letter to his girlfriend Dunn discussed plans to move once the trial is over with so that he could put all this behind him. He noted that he had the "truth and the law on my side" but he also expressed concern about the potential racial makeup of the jury.
"My fear is that if I get black on my jury it will be a mistrial, as I am convinced they will be racially biased," he wrote.
During the trial on Tuesday, Dunn testified that he pulled into the parking lot so his fiancee could buy wine and chips at the convenience store. He asked the teens, who were already parked, if they could turn down what he described as "ridiculously loud music," CNN reports.
The music stopped. And Dunn thanked them, he claimed. The music started back up again, and Dunn alleged that he heard, "I should kill that motherf—ker," and then, louder, "I should f—king kill that motherf—ker."
Dunn claimed that he lowered his window and asked the teens if they were talking about him. He said that a passenger reached down and picked something up and "slammed it against the door … and said, 'Yeah, I'm going to f—king kill you.'"
Dunn testified that he saw four inches of what looked like a shotgun barrel above the SUV windowsill.
The passenger cracked the SUV door and said, "You're dead, bitch! This s—t is going down now," Dunn testified.
Dunn claimed that he was scared for his life and grabbed his pistol out of the glove box and yelled, "You're not going to kill me, you son of a bitch."