Finally all the speculation about the jury deliberations in the Michael Dunn murder trial are being answered, as a white female juror has come forward to say that she wanted Dunn to be convicted of first-degree murder—as did 9 of the 12 jurors who participated in the deliberations.
In an interview with ABC’s “Nightline,” Juror No. 4, identified as “Valerie,” said the jury initially started out at 10-2 in favor of first-degree murder, but one of the 10 started wavering over the course of the 30 hours of deliberations and eventually changed his vote, making it 9-3 in favor of conviction.
She said each of the 12 jurors believed Dunn crossed a line when he continued to fire at the SUV as it fled the scene because any threat he might have felt was over.
“We all believed that there was another way out, another option,” she said.
Asked if Dunn got away with murder, she said, “At this point, I do.”
Valerie said Dunn’s decision-making was all wrong.
“Roll your window up, ignore the taunting, put your car in reverse … move a parking spot over,” she said. “That’s my feeling.”
Dunn faces at least 60 years in prison for riddling an SUV containing four teenagers with 10 bullets. He was found guilty on three counts of attempted murder in a case that enthralled the nation.
Though the Jacksonville jury deadlocked on the count of first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was hit by three of the 10 bullets, Florida State Attorney Angela Corey said after the verdict that her office would retry Dunn for first-degree murder.
Still, legal experts pondered whether Corey would ultimately decide to go through with another gut-wrenching trial after Dunn’s sentences are rendered by Circuit Judge Russell Healey. Since each of the three attempted-murder convictions carries a 20-year minimum and each of the sentences must run consecutively, not concurrently, when added to the conviction for shooting into the car (which brings up to another 15 years), Dunn is looking at 60 to 75 years in prison.
Analyst Richard Kurtz told USA Today that with Dunn facing at least 60 years in prison, which is a life sentence for a man of 47, Corey would probably consult with the Davis family and likely decide not to go through with a first-degree murder retrial.
After the verdict, Dunn turned to his lawyer, Cory Strolla, and asked, “How is this happening?” as if he had never considered the possibility of conviction.
“Obviously, my client is devastated at the outcome. Never saw it coming one bit,” Strolla said, confirming as much. “So it’s hard. It’s hard for the family. I know his family’s devastated.”
It will be at least two months before Dunn gets sentenced. After a sentencing report is prepared, which takes about a month, the attorneys will meet at on March 24 to schedule a sentencing date.
Jordan’s father, Ron Davis, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that while he believed Dunn should have been found guilty of first-degree murder, he thought jurors tried hard to render a just decision.
“We believe absolutely with all of our hearts that they did everything that they could to come to what they believe was the most just decision,” said Jordan Davis’ mother, Lucia McBath. “We do now know that they were torn.”
The release of transcripts of Dunn’s phone calls from jail will not gain him much sympathy. In the calls, Dunn reveals that he believes he was the victim in the conflict.
“Like, I’m the f***ing victim here,” Dunn said. “I was the one who was victimized.”
“I mean, I don’t know how else to put it,” Dunn continued. “They attacked me. I’m the victim. I’m the victor, but I was the victim, too.”
He also continued to derogate the Black teenagers involved.
“When the police said that these guys didn’t have a record I was like, you know, I wonder if they’re just flying under the radar,” he told his fiancee, Rhonda Rouer. “Because they were bad.”