Home > Uncategorized > My Fearless Prediction For The Michael Dunn Trial

My Fearless Prediction For The Michael Dunn Trial

Caveats:
1: I haven’t been following the Dunn trial, and since I actually have things I need to get done, I won’t be logging into the trial feed, or following blogs devoted to recaps of the proceedings.
2: As a review of the archives on the “We are desperate for donations. Please donate today.” Law Blog will attest (yes, that’s a direct quote), I was quite wrong in my prediction of how the Zimmerman trial would turn out. I thought Rick Scott and Angela Corey couldn’t afford a loss on such a politically charged case, and Corey would go all out to secure a conviction. Oh, how mistaken I was…

But I still think the politics matters, and having dropped the ball on GZ, it’s now REALLY important for these folks to win one. Corey’s actions in the Marissa Alexander case matter here as well. If both Dunn and GZ are walking free while Alexander remains under lock and key, that’s what the pundits would call “really bad optics.” Add in that, AFAIK, Dunn has not become the sort of Treeper/Freeper/Fox News/wing-nut cause celebre GZ became, so I doubt there’d be much political downside for putting Dunn away.

In addition to my hunch that the prosecutors will actually TRY this time, there’s the facts of the case itself. Unlike Trayvon’s killing, there were numerous eye-witnesses to the events immediately surrounding the David shooting. It should be clear from the testimony that Dunn had ample opportunity to retreat, that he initiated the confrontation by walking up to the car to accost the youths for their loud music, and that he continued to fire at the car well after it pulled out and he was no longer in any conceivable danger.

So his defense would seem to come down to “I really thought they had a gun!” Florida’s self-defense statutes may be insane enough that such a declaration could conceivably form grounds for an acquittal. And after the Z case, who knows what kind of instructions the judge might issue? But I just don’t see the external pressure to double-down on the Zimmerman rulings with an even more extreme case, and I have to imagine that judge and jury will be more likely to want to show the rest of the country “We’re not totally bat-shit crazy ALL the time!”

So I’m predicting a conviction, for murder one. Since Florida has lesser included charges available automatically, it’s possible the jury could drop to murder two, but as we learned during the Z trial, with the required extenuating circumstances that’s a very long minimum sentence as well.

We shall see, of course. Share your thoughts, if you have them, and if you’d like to post comments on the progress of the trial, feel free.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. racerrodig
    February 7, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    I believe because there are far to many witnesses with no dog in this fight, that is, the 3 other passengers in the Durango, and no weapon seen nor found and the fact that the “love of his life” said he never mentioned a gun being pointed at him, he’s going away.

    The fact is that if they had a shotgun, he’d have been fired at and at the 4 or 5 foot range they were at, he’d have had both hands blown apart and since that didn’t happen……he’s screwed.

    He’s trying to have everything both ways and I’m sure this will fail. If the music was so loud, how did anyone hear you say turn it down……if it was turned back up…..and it was, how did you year what anyone said………bitch???????

    That’s just the tip of the old iceberg.

  2. wassointeresting
    February 8, 2014 at 2:56 AM

    Nope, this case is not GZ’s case all over again. Many differences as you’ve pointed out. At least CNN’s legal analyst, Sunny Hostin, thinks John Guy “learned his lesson” from the GZ case. Off-topic, she called him “McDreamy”, on air while talking to Geragos and Anderson Cooper. I’m surprised no one has called her on that. If a male lawyer talked about a female prosecutor that way, he’d be pounced on so fast.

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1402/06/acd.01.html

    GERAGOS: Well, remember also it’s like Zimmerman because it’s got Sunny’s favourite prosecutor there.

    HOSTIN: Will McDreamy did give the opening statement today.

    COOPER: I can’t believe you called the prosecutor, McDreamy.

    GERAGOS: She loves this guy. She’s got a crush on him since last trial.

    HOSTIN: He’s very good. He was a detective.

    COOPER: I heard you thought about Kevin Costner, Sunny, when watching this video.

    HOSTIN: I will say that I believe that he looks like Kevin Costner. He gave a really impassioned, very good opening statement. I think he learned from the Zimmerman case about putting the victim into the courtroom. So we heard a lot about Jordan Davis.

  3. 2dogsonly
    February 8, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Dunn has the most inept lawyer I have ever heard. I could not tell, just by audio, that he was representing defendant. No preparation, meaningless questions going to nowhere followed by ” no further questions” which is disrespectful to jurors and asks questions that elicit answers actually detrimental to his client’s defense.

    There was no evidence in Dunn’s defense from gitgo so perhaps he should have gone for some type of diminished capacity defense. But that would have taken some work which this attorney clearly is not being paid to do. Looks like state deposed witnesses and he is trying to question them from their depositions.

    I live in jax. There was no one who supported this younger FT on news. It was immediately reported there was no gun….but really kids today drive around with a shotgun??

    He tried O’Mara’s ploy of emphasizing trivia by saying :” wasn’t there a SMITH & WESSON knife ? Hoping jurors would fill in smith & Wesson w/ gun? Oh, boy. Trial is today and I’ll listen just to hear a really terrible attorney present a case.

    Dunn’s history is terrifying…gun to one wife, beat another, tried to hire a hit to kill someone, 30k insurance fraud, son disowned him. There is a daughter sticking by him. Oh, witness tampering as he sent ” love of my life” a coded message to watch her words from jail, alas.

    My prediction is guilty verdict on all counts returned in record time. Only victim’s witnesses are relatable and well spoken. Dunn looks terrifying and much older than 45 and his lawyer can’t be bothered to shave.

  4. wordsalad2009
    February 8, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    I haven’t followed the Dunn case closely, but it seems like a ‘no-brainer’ that Dunn is guilty.

    Then again, after the travesty of GZ’s acquittal…

  5. February 13, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Dunn jury has now been out for 7 1/2 hours, and is asking for certain exhibits to be sent back to the jury room. I’m guessing that means at least several jurors are leaning towards acquittal. Oh, Florida…

  6. wordsalad2009
    February 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    No verdict in the Dunn trial yet, I see. I watched that half-hour plus excerpts from interviews with former neighbors of Dunn (link courtesy of the blackbutterfly7 wordpress blog), and to say the least, it ain’t pretty:

    YouTube 20140213

    I wonder if anybody has interviewed Dunn’s two foreign national ex-wives.

    At the very least, his ex-neighbors made Dunn sound like an arrogant, abusive control-freak.

  7. wordsalad2009
    February 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Some interesting info (to me, anyway) in this Florida Times-Union piece about something called the Allen Charge that the judge may invoke if it seems like the jury is deadlocked (caveat: you may have to answer a couple of non-trial survey questions to read the whole article):

    20140214

    Boldface font my edit for emphasis:

    “We are all aware that it is legally permissible for a jury to disagree. There are two things a jury can lawfully do: agree on a verdict or disagree on what the facts of the case may truly be.

    There is nothing to disagree about on the law. The law is as I told you. If you have any disagreements about the law, I should clear them for you now. That should be my problem, not yours.

    If you disagree over what you believe the evidence showed, then only you can resolve that conflict, if it is to be resolved.

    I have only one request of you. By law, I cannot demand this of you, but I want you to go back into the jury room. Then, taking turns, tell each of the other jurors about any weakness of your own position. You should not interrupt each other or comment on each other’s views until each of you had a chance to talk. After you have done that, if you simply cannot reach a verdict, then return to the courtroom and I will declare this case mistried, and will discharge you with my sincere appreciation of your services.

    You may now retire to continue with your deliberations.

  8. wordsalad2009
    February 15, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    I tried for the longest not to get sucked into the Dunn trial, but now here I am, fretting at how long the jury is taking, especially after their last series of questions for the judge this morning.

    Can it be possible that this jerk will walk? I’m sick at the thought.

  9. wordsalad2009
    February 15, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    USATODAY 20140215

    JACKSONVILLE — After 31 hours of jury deliberations and reaching a verdict in four of five counts, the jury remains confused about the instructions regarding the first-degree murder charge in Michael David Dunn’s trial.

    Circuit Judge Russell Healey announced late Saturday afternoon that the jury had reached a verdict on four of the five counts, but the jurors said they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on count 1 — first-degree murder — or any of its lesser included offenses.

    Healey recited their latest question: “We have reviewed the weaknesses of our position, and have more to talk about. If we are unable to agree and reach a verdict, is the entire case mistried or is the single count mistried?”

    He told them only the single count would be mistried, not the entire case. The question came less than two hours after the jury announced it had reached a verdict on four of the five counts.

    Based on his research, Healey said it appears that jury deliberations can continue on Sunday, if necessary. Sunday would have been Davis’ 19th birthday.

    “We don’t really want the jury’s verdict to come down on his birthday. But it may be that way,” his father, Ron Davis, said on the courthouse steps after deliberations ended.

  10. wordsalad2009
    February 15, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    WOKV 20140215

    Updated: 7:24 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 | Posted: 5:35 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014

    Guilty of three counts of Attempted Second Degree Murder, but a mistrial on Murder.

    Counts two-four are Attempted First Degree Murder relating to the three other teens in the car with Davis when he was shot. Jurors instead judged Dunn to be guilty of Second Degree because he acted without regard for life, but also without a premeditated intent to kill.

    Dunn was also found guilty of the fifth count, shooting/firing a deadly missile.

    Dunn is now remanded back to custody. His sentencing will tentatively take place March 24th.

    This is a developing story that will be updated through the evening.

  11. wordsalad2009
    February 15, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    WOKVNews at twitter 20140215

    Wolfson: #MichaelDunn faces 15 yrs for 5th count (throwing/shooting deadly missile)

    Corey: Will fully push for retrial in Duval County

    Wolfson: #MichaelDunn faces mandatory min 20 yrs in prison (up to 30) for each of Att Murder convictions

  12. wordsalad2009
    February 15, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    I’m relieved for Davis’ family that deliberations didn’t drag on through to tomorrow.

    As Trayvon Martin’s family said, “No matter the verdict, Jordan Davis’ parents won’t ever see him again,” and tomorrow will be hard enough considering that it would have been the teen’s nineteenth birthday.

  13. wordsalad2009
    February 15, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Kudos to Dunn’s fiancee Rhonda Rouer.

    Maybe she’s shown poor judgment in other respects, but telling the truth and testifying at variance to Dunn’s own testimony took courage.

  14. wordsalad2009
    February 18, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    I’m a bit concerned, and not just about whether Dunn will be retried for murder of Davis, but his sentencing on the existing convictions.

    It’s up to the discretion of the judge whether Dunn serves those sentences consecutively or concurrently.

    Let’s say Dunn’s found “Not Guilty” on retrial for murder of Davis, but the other convictions stand, and he’s sentenced to serve them concurrently.

    Wouldn’t that be 20 years total, and given the 85 percent rule, Dunn could be out in 17 years?

    I am so not a lawyer…

  15. February 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    I guess I should stop making predictions…

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