Investigators found nine bullet holes in an SUV where a black teenager was shot dead by a middle-aged white man in Florida after an argument over loud music outside a convenience store, a detective testified Saturday in a murder trial that has rekindled smoldering debates over the state's self-defense laws.
A bullet fired into the rear door of the Dodge Durango killed Jordan Davis, 17, of Marietta, Ga., in Nov. 2012.
Michael Dunn, 47, a software engineer from Brevard County, is on trial in Jacksonville, charged with first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile.
Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, has pleaded not guilty and claims he shot Davis in self-defense on Nov. 23, 2012.
Davis was in the car with three other friends at the time of the fatal shooting and Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Detective Andrew Kipple's testimony about bullet holes Saturday showed that the SUV's driver and front-sear passenger narrowly escaped being shot.
Kipple said that while he found a several items including cups, a cellphone, a basketball and a bottle of hair gel, he did not find anything that could be considered a weapon. He said no one had entered the vehicle since the police initially arrived on the scene.
Also on Saturday, Rhonda Rouer — Dunn's fiance — testified that just before the defendant fired at the SUV, he told her: "I hate that thug music," according to The Florida Times-Union newspaper.
During her testimony, Rouer repeatedly broke down crying, hyperventilated and shook uncontrollably, the newspaper reported. She said she was inside the store during the shooting but heard the gunfire.
In opening statements Thursday, prosecutor John Guy told jurors that Davis did not pose a threat to Dunn — and that there was not a weapon in the Durango.
Meanwhile Dunn's lawyer, Cory Strolla, told jurors that his client felt threatened by the group in the SUV and fired in self-defense. Under Florida law, Dunn had a right not to be a victim, the attorney argued.