Mistrial declared after Florida jury split on black teenager’s murder | News | DW | 16.02.2014
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Mistrial declared after Florida jury split on black teenager’s murder

A Florida jury has convicted a man on charges relating to an unarmed black teenager's death in a dispute over loud music. A mistrial was declared after jurors were unable to reach a verdict on the main charge of murder.

The jury in Jacksonville, Florida, convicted the 47-year-old defendant of attempted murder for shooting into a car filled with teenagers on Saturday. However, they were unable to agree on the most serious charge of first-degree murder.

After more than 30 hours of deliberation, a mistrial was declared on the murder charge. The case has reignited controversy about self-defense and race, coming six months after the acquittal of George Zimmerman over the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The 12 jurors in the latest trial found defendant, Michael Dunn - who is white - guilty on three charged of attempted second degree murder, as well as a charge of firing into an occupied car. An argument had arisen over the volume of what Dunn had termed the teenagers' "thug music."

Michael Dunn Prozess in Florida

Michael Dunn

Dunn, who was also charged with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, said he fired in self-defense after the teenager reached for what he believed to be a gun. Dunn fired a further nine shots into the car, continuing to do so as it drove away. A subsequent investigation found that the teenagers had been unarmed.

Prosecutors have said they plan to retry Dunn on a charge of first-degree murder. He already faces a sentence of up to 105 years for the charges on which he has already been convicted.

Davis' mother, Lucia Kay McBath, said she was "happy to have just a little bit of closure" and felt "sad for Mr Dunn."

rc/jr (dpa, Reuters)

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