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Attorney Dale Carson: Dunn Didn't Seem Credible On The Stand


The fate of the alleged killer of 17-year-old Jordan Davis will soon be in the hands of a Duval County jury.Michael Dunn took the stand on Tuesday and claimed that he was exercising self-defense and only wanted “to stop the attack.” Melissa Ross spoke with attorney and former FBI agent Dale Carson for his analysis of Dunn's testimony.

Carson believes that Dunn did not come off as very credible.

Dunn claimed he alerted his fiancé, Rhonda Rouer, several times that he saw a shotgun in the red Durango.

However, when Rouer was called back to the stand for the prosecution's rebuttal, she said that he had never told her that information.

“She did, in a sense, contradict his testimony entirely, and I think that gives the jury the ability to just say, ‘you know, his entire testimony is just not believable,’” Carson said.

Carson said that it is difficult to judge how long the jury will deliberate and believes that it all depends on whether the jury believes Dunn’s testimony.

“He was tasked with convincing the jury panel that he acted reasonably because he was in imminent fear of death or great bodily harm,” he said. “Did he do that? Well, the jury is still out on that.”

While on the stand, Dunn got choked up over his dog Charlie, which some said made him less credible—that he cared more about his dog than killing a juvenile.

“The defense counsel was trying to humanize Michael Dunn,” Carson said. “But I would have to agree. It seems a little not genuine when you actually have the death of a human being.”

At the time of the shooing, the boys in the red Durango fled the scene, and were gone for three minutes and could have potentially discarded the weapon that Dunn claimed he saw, according to the defense.

This, Carson thinks, could allow the jury to have reasonable doubt.

However, he noted that since Dunn never called the police that night it could discount the notion that a gun was ever seen. As a defense attorney, Carson would rather his client not give any details to the police.

“I don’t think you should have to talk to anyone, but certainly call the police, tell them there was a shooting, someone’s been injured and you need them to come immediately,” Carson said. “Beyond that, I prefer that my clients say nothing,” alluding that Dunn was not wrong in that aspect.

Evidence for the defense was never clear about whether the door was opened or closed while Dunn was shooting at Davis.

“The defense never had any of its own experts,” Carson said. “They tried to elicit testimonies from the state’s witnesses, and that is difficult, to say the least.”

This case has followed the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin as another media flash point on gun rights, Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law and race.

“I think there’s a constant abrasive character between, not only the two cultures, but between young and older folks,” Carson said. “We need to have respect for both sides of that equation, race included.”

Ultimately, it is in the providence of the jury to the make the decision of what to believe.

“The jurors are triers of fact and are going to look at each testimony by each witness to determine whether it is credible or valid and determine how much weight to put on that testimony,” Carson said.

Jurors heard closing arguments from each side from about 10 a.m. to 3:3o p.m. and deliberation is expected to begin this evening.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax and Emily Long @EMchanted_.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.
WJCT News Intern Emily Long is a Communications Major, Marketing Minor at Jacksonville University. She is also News Editor of Jacksonville University's campus newspaper, The Navigator.