Thursday afternoon, prosecutors and defense attorneys laid out their different versions of the November 2012 night that a middle-age software engineer from central Florida fatally shot a 17-year-old teen during an argument over loud music outside a Southside convenience store.
Later in the day, the first seven witnesses for the state testified before court was recessed for the day.
Just after noon, Judge Russell Healey invited the jury into court, had them sworn in and thanked them for their service. He instructed them to not treat statements by the lawyers in the case as facts, or not to view any media coverage of the trial or discuss the case among themselves.
Assistant State Attorney John Guy presented the state's opening statement, giving a moment-by-moment account of the events of Nov. 23, 2012, the night Michael Dunn confronted Jordan Davis and three other teenagers parked in an SUV next to his car about loud music coming from her car.
Guy said the teens were heading to the Avenues Mall when they stopped at the Gate gas station on Southside Boulevard at Baymeadows Road. He said Dunn was there with his girlfriend after leaving his son's wedding, and the music coming from the teens' SUV was loud.
"Jordan Davis is 5 feet 11 inches tall, 145 pounds. The defendant is 6-4 and well over 200 (pounds)," Guy said. "But Dunn and Davis exchanged F-bombs back and forth. The defendant rolled down his window again and said, 'Are you talking to me?' And Davis said, 'Yeah, I am.' The defendant said, 'You're not going to talk to me like that' while reaching in his glove box, and grabbed the gun and pulled the trigger three times. Every one of those shots went through the door and into Jordan Davis' body."
Guy said Dunn's actions were deliberate, and after firing the first shots at the unarmed teens, he said the driver of the SUV Davis was in pulled out to protect the other teens.
"Tommie Stornes backed up and pulled as fast as he could into adjacent parking lot, but the defendant pulled the trigger three more times," Guy said.
Guy told the jury Dunn fired a total of 10 shots into the Dodge Durango, killing Davis. When Dunn's girlfriend returned from the store, they drove away.
Guy ended his 28-minute opening statement by saying that over the course of the trial, the evidence shown will be sufficient to find Dunn guilty of one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
Next up, defense lawyer Cory Strolla told the jury in his opening statement that the three surviving teenagers in the car will admit that it was Davis that used curse words in the confrontation, and that the music was so loud, they don't know for sure if Davis threatened Dunn.
Strolla also raised the possibility that when the SUV backed out of the parking space and stopped more than 100 feet away before returning, the teenagers might have ditched a shotgun or other weapon that Dunn thought he saw through the window.
"You've got two men from the SUV fumbling in the back, looking like they're stashing something," Strolla said. "Not doing a roll call, not, 'Oh my God, our friend has been shot!'"
Strolla said the homicide detectives and state attorney's investigators botched the case and never checked the adjacent parking lot until four days later, and that's likely why a weapon was never found.
"Law enforcement didn't care, the state attorney's office didn't care," Strolla said.
"The first officer on scene knew the SUV left, but they didn't check anywhere, (that the) boys made phone calls and people came to that parking lot," Strolla said. "For days, not one officer checks the parking lot, Dumpster, anything. That entire parking lot had been exposed to the public."
He also noted that none of the teenagers in the vehicle called 911 until they returned to the front of the Gate station.
Strolla said the jurors must leave sympathy for Davis' family out of it and they'll find out his client was only defending himself.