JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A Florida man convicted at the weekend of attempted murder in a dispute over loud rap music felt he was victimized by four teenagers he shot at, according to tapes of jailhouse telephone calls released by prosecutors on Tuesday.
Michael Dunn, 47, is facing a minimum sentence of 60 years in prison in the November 2012 shootings at a Jacksonville gas station. The jury could not reach a verdict on a murder charge for the killing of one of the teenagers.
In the telephone recordings released by the Florida State Attorney's office as standard practice, Dunn is heard claiming his innocence to his fiancée Rhonda Rouer while he is being held awaiting trial.
"Not to wallow in despair or anything ... I'm the victim here. I was being preyed upon and I fought back," Dunn said during a call from an isolation cell in the Duval County jail. "I refused to be a victim and now I'm incarcerated."
The case has revived debate over racial profiling and Florida's gun-friendly self-defense laws after the jury deadlocked on a first-degree murder charge over the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was black.
Prosecutors say they will re-try Dunn, who is white, on the murder charge.
Dunn killed Davis after he parked next to the teens at a gas station store. Dunn and Rouer stopped at the store to buy white wine; the teens to buy cigarettes and gum. Dunn asked the teens to turn down the music in their vehicle and they initially complied. But Davis cranked it back up.
During his trial, Dunn testified that he fired his gun in a panic and fearing for his life. He said he saw Davis hold up what he thought was the barrel of a shotgun. He told the jury that Davis threatened to kill him in a torrent of expletive-laced abuse, although his account of what Davis said varied over time.
Prosecutors say there found no weapon in the SUV, and that Davis died in a defensive position.