JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Florida man charged with fatally shooting a teen following an argument over loud music took the witness stand Tuesday, explaining the events that led up to the fateful encounter outside a Jacksonville convenience store.
Michael Dunn's explanation promised to be the most compelling testimony for the defense on the second day of its presentation.
Dunn is charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty and says he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis of Marietta, Ga., outside a Jacksonville convenience store in 2012.
According to authorities, an argument began after the 47-year-old Dunn told Davis and his friends to turn the music down they were listening to in an SUV outside the store. One of Davis' friends lowered the volume, but Davis then told him to turn it back up.
Officials say Dunn became enraged and he and Davis began arguing. Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, pulled a 9 mm handgun from the glove compartment of his car, according to an affidavit, and fired shots into the SUV. Nine bullet holes were found in the car.
Prosecutors rested their case Monday, a week after jury selection began.
Before Dunn took the stand, Circuit Judge Russell Healey rejected a defense request to have a family counselor testify about how the stress Dunn suffered during the encounter explains his actions.
Dunn's defense attorney wanted John Abuso to testify that the stress of a threatening situation could explain why Dunn left the scene of the shooting and returned with his fiancee to their hotel room where they ordered pizza. They drove from Jacksonville back to where Dunn lives on Florida's Space Coast the next morning.
"All I'm testifying to is that what Mike did is very consistent with acute stress syndrome," said Abuso out of the presence of jurors.
The judge said Abuso couldn't testify because the defense hadn't presented any prior evidence that Dunn was under stress.