After being convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder for the November 2012 shooting death of Jordan Davis for blasting his music in a Florida convenience store’s parking lot, Michael Dunn was sentenced to life without parole last Friday.
“Our justice system works. This case demonstrates that our justice system does work,” stated Judge Russell Healey at the sentencing.
Jurors began deliberating on the new charges just before 10 a.m. last Wednesday, after Healey dismissed two of the three alternates and provided instructions for the charges jurors were to consider.
Dunn, 47, was convicted back in February on three counts of second-degree attempted-murder, one for each of Davis’ friends, Leland Brunson, Tommie Stornes and Tevin Thompson, who were in the Dodge Durango with Davis that day. He was also hit with an additional charge for firing shots into the SUV while the four Black male teens sat inside it, but they could not reach a verdict on the first-degree murder charge then. Earlier this month, another jury found the 47-year-old Caucasian male guilty of murdering the 17-years-young Black man in the first-degree.
At the sentencing hearing, Jordan’s parents held back tears while reflecting on their son. Lucia McBath gave her statement first.
“For years to come, I will be forced to celebrate his birthday without his presence,” said McBath. “As I quietly watch my friends’ boys grow into young men, I will forever be reminded of what might’ve been for my Jordan.
“I choose to forgive you, Mr. Dunn, for taking my son’s life. I choose to release the seeds of bitterness and anger and honor my son’s love. I choose to walk in the freedom of knowing God’s justice has been served. I pray that God has mercy on your soul.”
Ron Davis followed. “My life as I’d known it was shattered on Nov. 23, 2012, Black Friday, as it was commonly called, for the day after Thanksgiving,” he said. “I now call it Black Friday for completely different reasons for me and my family. I will never forget that phone call from Tanya Brunson to me at work. That my baby boy Jordan had been shot.”
“There was no way he had been shot, so I asked her again and again. I left work in tears. I wish no parent has to cry these type of tears. As I headed for the hospital, a small section of my mind allowed in the most terrible thought. I wondered, will death rest his weary bones on my doorstep tonight?”
The Satellite Beach, Fla., resident was sentenced to an additional 90 years in prison for the three attempted murder convictions and another 15 years for firing into an occupied vehicle. Prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty. The altercation became infamously known as the “loud music murder” case.