The Florida criminal case of Michael Dunn, who shot at a car full of teenagers and ended up killing one of them back in 2012, attracted media attention in particular for its apparent similarities to the case of George Zimmerman.
In both cases, a man shot and killed a black teenager in what they claimed to be self defense. George Zimmerman, who was ultimately found not guilty, was able to demonstrate to the jury that he had been involved in a physical altercation with the teenager and thus had reason to believe his life was in danger.
Dunn, on the other hand, fired 10 rounds at a car full of teenagers who refused to turn down the volume of their music. There was no fight, and although Dunn said he feared that the teens had a gun, no gun was ever found. And, as our criminal defense lawyers know, that is just the beginning of what led to Dunn’s guilty verdict.
Back in November of 2012, Michael Dunn was at a gas station with his girlfriend. Close by was a car full of teenagers, among them Jordan Davis, who was 17 years old at the time. The car full of teenagers was playing loud music, and Dunn asked for the volume to be lowered. One of the teenagers complied, turning down the music, but then Jordan Davis turned the music back up and began to argue with Dunn.
At one point, according to Dunn, while his girlfriend was in the gas station, Davis threatened to kill Dunn and pointed what looked like a firearm in his direction. That is when Michael Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled out a handgun and began to fire at the vehicle, hitting and killing Jordan Davis.
After the car full of teens drove away, Dunn’s girlfriend returned to the car, and the two of then proceeded to return to the hotel at which they were staying and order pizza, never contacting the police. As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, that was a grave mistake. If Dunn felt that he was acting in a lawful manner, in self-defense, he should have immediately reported the incident to the police. Not contacting the police, and simply returning to a hotel to eat pizza after being involved in a shooting, looks highly suspicious.
From experience, our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that optics often govern a great deal of what transpires in the court of law. Even legal behavior, if followed by apparently questionable actions, can seem questionable itself. Dunn’s actions following the incident undoubtedly contributed to his being found guilty of first-degree murder and his sentence of life in prison.
If you have been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert immediately, by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363), to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.