JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP/WJLA) - The 47-year-old Florida man charged with fatally shooting a teen following an argument over loud music took the witness stand Tuesday, explaining the events that led up to the fateful encounter outside a Jacksonville convenience store.
Michael Dunn's explanation promised to be the most compelling testimony for the defense on the second day of its presentation.
Dunn recalled that night in November of 2012: He had just attended his son’s wedding and then dropped off his fiancée at the store to buy wine and chips while he stayed in the car outside.
"The body panels on the SUV were rattling," he described. "My rear view mirror was shaking, my eardrums were vibrating. I mean this was ridiculously loud music."
He was talking about the car next to him -- inside of a Dodge Durango were a teen and three of his friends. Suddenly, a confrontation over the loud music resulted in what Dunn tells jurors was one of the teenage passengers pulling out what he thought was a shotgun:
"He says, yeah I am going to kill you, I looked and I am looking at a barrel and he's threatening me."
Dunn admitted to then taking his own gun out of the glove box, aiming at the SUV and pulling the trigger nine times. The medical examiner said the bullet that killed Davis showed he was leaning away and sitting down when hit, and police never even found a weapon in the teen’s vehicle.
Dunn and his fiancee never called the police, and is now being charged with first-degree murder.
Prosecutors rested their case Monday, a week after jury selection began.
Before Dunn took the stand, Circuit Judge Russell Healey rejected a defense request to have a family counselor testify about how the stress Dunn suffered during the encounter explains his actions.
Dunn's defense attorney wanted John Abuso to testify that the stress of a threatening situation could explain why Dunn left the scene of the shooting and returned with his fiancee to their hotel room where they ordered pizza. They drove from Jacksonville back to where Dunn lives on Florida's Space Coast the next morning.
"All I'm testifying to is that what Mike did is very consistent with acute stress syndrome," said Abuso out of the presence of jurors.
The judge said Abuso couldn't testify because the defense hadn't presented any prior evidence that Dunn was under stress.