TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A state appeals court Monday rejected an appeal by a man convicted in the high-profile shooting death of a teen in a Jacksonville convenience-store parking lot.
A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal turned down 11 arguments raised by Michael Dunn, who was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in the November 2012 incident that involved the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.
The Tallahassee-based appeals court rejected an earlier appeal by Dunn in 2016. The ruling Monday dealt with additional arguments, including that he had received "ineffective assistance of counsel" during his trial.
As an example, Dunn argued that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to hire an expert to examine audio from the convenience store's surveillance video, but the appeals court rejected the argument.
"Dunn asserts that a sound recording could reveal that the sound heard two or three seconds before Dunn began firing his gun was a gunshot fired from another, unknown weapon," said the seven-page ruling by appeals-court judges Brad Thomas, Lori Rowe and Ross Bilbrey. "But Dunn's claim is refuted by the record. An accident reconstruction expert examined the sounds heard on the store's video and made no mention about another gun being fired before Dunn started shooting. Further, Dunn, who testified at trial, never alleged that anyone else fired a gun. Thus, Dunn's assertion that an expert would have examined the sound recording and concluded that a gunshot was fired before Dunn started firing is mere speculation."
The racially tinged case drew national media coverage and came amid increased scrutiny of the deaths of young black men. Dunn is white, while Davis was black.
The shooting incident came after Davis and three friends stopped at a Gate convenience store and Dunn pulled into an adjacent parking space. The teens were listening to loud music, and Dunn asked them to turn it down. Ultimately, Dunn and Davis exchanged words, and Dunn fired repeatedly into the Dodge Durango that carried the teens.