Fla. Man Guilty of Lesser Counts in Music Shooting - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Fla. Man Guilty of Lesser Counts in Music Shooting

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(CNN) --- A jury on Saturday night convicted a Florida man on four charges related to his shooting into an SUV full of teenagers during an argument over loud music, but could not decide on the most serious charge -- murder.

Michael Dunn was found guilty on four charges, including three for attempted second-degree murder, which could land him behind bars for decades. But they couldn't reach a verdict on the most significant charge: first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

As the decisions became clear about 7 p.m. Saturday, Dunn looked ahead solemnly with a frown but no tears. His lawyer, Cory Strolla, told reporters later that his client was "in disbelief."

"Even as he sat next to me, he asked, how is this happening," Strolla said. "... It has not set in. I don't think it will set in anytime soon."

A jury on Saturday night convicted a Florida man on four charges related to his shooting into an SUV full of teenagers during an argument over loud music, but could not decide on the most serious charge -- murder.

Michael Dunn was found guilty on four charges, including three for attempted second-degree murder, which could land him behind bars for decades. But they couldn't reach a verdict on the most significant charge: first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

As the decisions became clear about 7 p.m. Saturday, Dunn looked ahead solemnly with a frown but no tears. His lawyer, Cory Strolla, told reporters later that his client was "in disbelief."

"Even as he sat next to me, he asked, how is this happening," Strolla said. "... It has not set in. I don't think it will set in anytime soon."

The incomplete finale to this emotional, hot-button trial -- partly because of the fact Dunn is white and the teenagers who were shot at, including Davis, are black -- echoed George Zimmerman's trial for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin about 120 miles down the road in Sanford, Florida. While stand your ground wasn't used by Dunn, his lawyers did argue that he fired in self-defense.

With the partially hung jury, State Attorney Angela Corey said prosecutors would press for a new trial in Duval County on the murder charge.

"Justice for Jordan Davis is as important as it is for any victim," Corey said.

Even without a final decision on that count -- and pending defense appeals -- the 47-year-old Dunn appears set to face a lengthy prison term.

Prosecutor Erin Wolfson explained Saturday night that each attempted second-degree murder conviction carries a minimum sentence of at least 20 years. There's also a 15-year sentence possible on the conviction for shooting in the teenager's vehicle.

Earlier Saturday, Judge Russell Healey acknowledged that the jury of four white women, two black women, four white men, an Asian woman and a Hispanic man was "struggling, obviously."

"But it's not for want of trying to reconcile all of this," he said then. "I think we've got some analytical people in there who are trying to do just that -- trying to analyze this from every possible angle."

Davis' mother, Lucia McBath, said that even without a decision on the murder count tied to her son, her family is "so very happy to have just a little bit of closure."

"It's sad for Mr. Dunn that he will live the rest of his life in that sense of torment, and I will pray for him," McBath said. "And I've asked my family to pray for him."

Echoes of Trayvon Martin

It was November 23, 2012, when Michael Dunn pulled into a gas station in Jacksonville, parking next to a red SUV full of teenagers.

Loud music was coming from that car, and Dunn expressed his displeasure.

What came next is a subject of dispute. Clearly, there were words exchanged. And without doubt, Dunn ended up opening fire on the vehicle, killing Davis.

But did one of the teens flash a gun? Dunn said so, but prosecutors said that's not true -- pointing to the fact the teens were unarmed. And was the defendant acting in self-defense? Again, the two sides come to opposite conclusions.

Some were quick to compare Dunn to George Zimmerman, who ultimately was acquitted of murder for shooting Martin.

Martin's own parents were among them, claiming Davis' killing is another reminder that in Florida, "racial profiling and stereotypes" may serve as the basis for illegitimate fear "and the shooting and killing of young teenagers."

But Dunn's defense attorney, Strolla, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Friday that the Zimmerman and Dunn cases aren't so similar.

There was a physical confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin, and police gave Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt about defending himself, Strolla said.

"My client did not wait to become that victim," he said. "My client did not wait to either get assaulted by a weapon or have someone potentially pull a trigger," he said.

Though a weapon was never found, Strolla maintains the youths could have had one. Dunn felt threatened and acted, he said.

"Now, does it sound irrational? Of course it sounds irrational. But have you ever been in that situation?" Strolla asked.

On Saturday night, Strolla said that no one can celebrate the Jacksonville jury's decision.

"Everybody lost something in this," the lawyer said, noting that the prosecutors didn't get the murder conviction they wanted while Dunn was convicted on four other charges.

His client "will live to fight another day" in court, but he and his loved ones are suffering now. Strolla acknowledged, too, the pain felt by Davis' family.

Especially on Sunday, which would have been Davis' 19th birthday.

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