A Florida man faces decades in prison after shooting into an SUV full of teenagers during an argument over music. Michael Dunn has been convicted of three counts of attempted second-degree murder. Each carries a minimum sentence of 20 years.
According to an article from CNN, in November 2012, Dunn pulled in to a Jacksonville gas station and parked next to an SUV that was playing loud rap music. Dunn claims that one of the teenagers threatened him after he asked them to turn the music down.
After seeing what he claims was the barrel of a gun sticking out of one of the windows, Dunn fired ten bullets total at the car full of kids. Prosecutors say that he lost control over music he didn’t like.
One of the teenagers was killed. Dunn testified to trying to stop an attack, not kill anyone. The lack of a murder conviction has caused protests outside the Jacksonville courthouse.
In the teenagers’ SUV, police did not find a gun. Dunn also never called the police and allegedly went on to have a seemingly normal afternoon after firing the shots.
Dunn did not have contact with the police until he was at his home, more than 100 miles south of where the event occurred. He claims he was not in the right state of mind at the time of the incident.
Questions have been raised about whether racism was what led to the deadly incident. The prosecution wants another conviction, for murder, but Dunn could appeal the convictions he already has.
Dunn’s criminal defense attorney said that he would challenge the convictions at a different venue in the future, according to the article.
Analysts of the case disagree with Dunn’s conviction, according to the article. One criminal defense attorney stated that the case is another example of overcharging.
The question of intent for a first-degree murder charge is needed. The jury needs to look at whether the attack was planned or strategic. The prosecution should give jurors all the necessary information about the issue of intent in order to have a fair trial and avoid overcharging.
Criminal cases can be confusing. It is important to have a qualified attorney on your side to defend you.. If you have been charged with a serious crime, you should contact an experienced Riverside criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.