The prosecution rested and the defense began their case today in the murder trial of Michael Dunn.
Dunn is accused of opening fire into a Dodge Durango in which 17-year-old Jordan Davis was riding with three friends the night of Nov. 23, 2012. Dunn allegedly shot the teen at the Jacksonville, Fla. gas station after an argument over loud music.
Maria Pagan, an analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, testified about the steps Dunn took before shooting the teen. Her testimony bolstered the contention from prosecutors that Michael Dunn acted with premeditation when he fatally shot Davis.
Jurors saw dramatic photos of the body of slain teenager and viewed the clothing he was wearing the night he was killed.
Associate medical examiner Stacey Simons testified that Davis was shot 3 times. One bullet entered the right side of his chest and punctured his diaphragm, liver, lungs and aorta. The other two entered each leg. Simons said she believed Davis was leaning away from, not moving toward, his shooter when the fatal shot entered his body.
But in a combative cross-examination, defense attorney Cory Strolla asked whether Davis might have been standing outside the vehicle while he was shot. Simons stuck with her theory.
In his opening statement, Strolla told jurors that Davis was trying to get out of the Durango when Dunn shot him.
The defense began their case with a slew of friends that testified about Dunn's “reputation for peacefulness.”
“I have always thought he was a gentle man,” said Randy Berry, the instructor who taught Dunn how to fly airplanes. Berry’s wife, Beverly, testified, “Never have I observed anything other than a very calm demeanor.”
|Ron Davis with his son Jordan|
Next the defense called Jordan Davis' father, Ron Davis, to the stand. Defense attorney Strolla attempted to impeach Davis with a deposition he had given in December. Strolla implied that the other three teens in the SUV with Jordan had different stories.
Strolla read to the jury Ron Davis' words from his deposition, “I think they were all in shock because what one was saying, the other was saying something a little bit different than the other one… they were trying to explain to me but I wasn’t hearing them."
Davis explained under cross examination that he didn't mean the boys' stories were different just that he didn't make sense of any of it because he was devastated.
Michael Dunn's son, whose wedding Dunn had attended that evening, testified that his dad wasn't drunk and his behavior wasn't inappropriate at his wedding.
Under cross Chris Dunn admitted that he had only seen his dad three times in the last fifteen years and didn't have a close relationship with him. Michael Dunn wiped tears away as his son testified.
Dunn's ex-wife Phyllis Molinaro testified that there was no animosity between them at the wedding and everything went fine.
There will be an argument outside the presence of the jury tomorrow on the validity of a defense expert testifying about "Acute Stress Reaction". The defense could possibly wrap up with Michael Dunn taking the stand.
The judge expects closing arguments to begin tomorrow afternoon. Prosecutor Angela Corey expects to need 2 ½ hours for closing. Defense attorney Strolla said he will likely need 1 ½ hours.
Court resumes Tuesday at 9:00am ET.