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Jury Hears From Witnesses On First Day Of Michael Dunn Retrial


Jordan Davis leaned back and cowered in the moments before his death.

That’s the picture Assistant State Attorney John Guy painted before jurors on the first day of testimony.

Guy gave his opening statements to the 12-member panel just after 12 p.m. Thursday, recounting the last moments of Davis's life. The teen died after being shot by Dunn following a dispute over loud music playing from his friend's car at a Southside Gate gas station.

"Michael Dunn had had enough of the mouthy, audacious teen in front of him," Guy said.

Following the shooting, Guy told jurors, Davis leaned over into the lap of his friend Leland Brunson.

"He wasn't moving. He wasn't talking. He wasn't responding. He was gasping for air," he said. 

Dunn was tried for murder of Davis in February, but a jury deadlocked on whether to convict him.

Dunn has maintained he acted in self-defense after being threatened by the teen.

Dunn’s attorney Waffa Hanania took the stand Thursday  with a more subtle approach than Dunn's former lawyer Cory Strolla. While recounting the exchange of words between Dunn and Davis in the minutes leading up to the shooting, she shied away from the expletives Strolla quoted during his opening stating.

She told jurors not to be swayed by emotional testimony and focus on the facts.

"Keep in mind, 'Is this something that's going toward proving these charges or is this something that is going towards trying to touch my heart?'" she said. "Because that's not what this is about."

At issue , Hanania told jurors is whether or not  Dunn acted to defend his life "in a moment of real fear."

During the day, Jurors have heard testimony from nine state witnesses, including the responding officers, two Gate gas station employees and the bystander who attempted to save Davis with CPR following the shooting.

The day went quickly with nine witnesses called by the state, including the responding officers, two Gate gas station employees and a bystander who attempted CPR on Davis following the shooting.

The state’s 10th and last witness of the day, Jordan’s girlfriend Aliyah Harris, did not show up. Instead her sworn testimony from the last trial was read to jurors by a representative from the state and will be considered in deliberations, Circuit Judge Healey said.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.

Rhema Thompson began her post at WJCT on a very cold day in January 2014 and left WJCT to join the team at The Florida Times Union in December 2014.