High-Profile Jacksonville Murder Goes To Florida Supreme Court

Dec 16, 2019
Originally published on December 16, 2019 1:19 pm

A man convicted in the high-profile shooting death of a teen in a Jacksonville convenience-store parking lot in 2012 is appealing to the Florida Supreme Court. 

Michael Dunn, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, filed a notice this week that is a first step in asking the Supreme Court to take up the case, according to documents posted Thursday on the court website. As is common, the notice does not detail the arguments that Dunn, who is representing himself, will make. 

The 1st District Court of Appeal in September rejected arguments by Dunn, who contended, in part, that he had received “ineffective assistance of counsel” during his trial. As an example, Dunn argued that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to hire an expert to examine audio from the convenience store’s surveillance video, but the appeals court rejected the argument. 

The racially tinged case drew national media coverage and came amid increased scrutiny of the deaths of young black men. Dunn is white, while Davis was black.

The shooting came after Davis and three friends stopped at a Gate convenience store and Dunn pulled into an adjacent parking space. The teens were listening to loud music, and Dunn asked them to turn it down. Ultimately, Dunn and Davis exchanged words, and Dunn fired repeatedly into the Dodge Durango that carried the teens. 

Dunn was convicted of first-degree murder while discharging a firearm, three counts of attempted second-degree murder while discharging a firearm and one count of shooting or throwing deadly missiles, according to the appeals-court ruling. He was sentenced to life in prison for the murder.

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