JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury has found Michael Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder charges and guilty of one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile in the trial of a Cobb County teen.
Judge Russell L. Healey has declared a mistrial on the first-degree murder charge as the jurors were deadlocked.
Dunn is charged with first-degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside a Jacksonville convenience store in 2012. Dunn claims he shot the Marietta teen in self-defense. But prosecutors told jurors Dunn shot the teen because he felt disrespected by Davis during an argument over loud music.
Dunn showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. Davis' parents each left the courtroom in tears.
Earlier in the day, jurors said in a note to Judge Russell L. Healey that they were having trouble reaching agreement on the murder charge. He asked them to continue their work, and they went back to the deliberation room for two more hours.
"I've never seen a case where deliberations have gone on for this length of time ..." Healey said after the verdict. "They've embraced their civic duty and they are to be commended for that."
“It was shock. I actually did a double take, because I couldn't believe it and as some details have come out, it was something that certainly shouldn't have happened,” family friend Larry Peck told Lucie.
The Dunn trial was the latest Florida case to raise questions about self-defense and race. Dunn is white and the teens were black.
It came six months after George Zimmerman was acquitted of any crime for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, about 125 miles south of Jacksonville. The Dunn trial was prosecuted by the same State Attorney's Office that handled the Zimmerman case. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic, while Martin was black.
Dunn's attorney, Cory Strolla, told reporters before the verdict that he believed there was political pressure on the State Attorney's Office and an excess of media attention because of Zimmerman's acquittal.
"I believe there is a lot vested in this case, politically," Strolla said. "The case, on the heels of not guilty in George Zimmerman, just escalated that political pressure."
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