A Florida man was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday in the killing of an African-American teenager outside a Jacksonville convenience store.
Michael Dunn, 47, of Satellite Beach, was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting Jordan Davis, 17, over the loud rap music coming out of his SUV in November 2012.
Circuit Judge Russell Healey handed down the sentence after the prosecution declined to seek the death penalty.
“Mr. Dunn, your life is effectively over,” Healey said, according to The Associated Press. “What is sad is that this case exemplifies that our society seems to have lost its way.”
Prosecutors say Dunn, an European-American software engineer, fired 10 shots into the Dodge Durango carrying Davis, of Marietta, Ga., and three other teens. Three bullets struck Davis.
Jordan Davis, 17, was murdered outside a convenience store in Jacksonville, Fla..
Jordan Davis, 17, was murdered outside a convenience store in Jacksonville, Fla.. (R.I.P Jordan Davis/Facebook)
Evidence reveals that Dunn continued to fire at the vehicle as the driver attempted to escape with his life.
In the courtroom, Dunn said he drove to the convenience store that day to purchase a bottle of wine with his fiancée when he was offended by the loud hip hop.
“He looked at his girlfriend and said, ‘I hate that thug music,'” prosecutor John Guy said.
Dunn claims he acted in self-defense and thought he saw Davis holding a gun while they argued over the volume of the stereo.
Protesters march on the state attorney’s office in a February 2014 photo, outraged over the murder of Jordan Davis.
Protesters march on the state attorney’s office in a February 2014 photo, outraged over the murder of Jordan Davis. (POOL/REUTERS)
He said he continued to shoot to make sure no one in the SUV could return fire.
The jury of 10 whites and two blacks apparently did not buy his self-defense story and reached a verdict within five hours on Oct. 1.
The decision was met with cheers from outside the courtroom.
At the sentencing, Dunn wound up apologizing to Davis’ parents and said he is “mortified” to have taken a life.
Prosecutors say Dunn was unperturbed after killing Davis. Afterward, he returned to his hotel room, made a drink, ordered pizza and walked his dog, they said.
Back in February, Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at Davis’ friends and sentenced to 60 years. The 60-year sentence and the life sentence are to run consecutively.
The trial caught national attention and drew comparisons to the high-profile case of George Zimmerman, another Floridian who claimed to have shot an unarmed African-American teen in ‘self-defense.’