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Michael Dunn has been found guilty of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of a teenager in 2012.
Jordan Davis, 17, was shot and killed by Dunn, 47, over claims that Dunn feared for his life, with the teen's loud music and threats allegedly prompting him to pull the trigger. According to Jacksonville's First Coast News, a Florida jury on Wednesday found Dunn guilty of first-degree murder, taking only a fraction of the time to deliberate as Dunn's first trial jury had done.
Now that Dunn is a convicted murderer, what punishment lies ahead?
This is now the second time that Michael Dunn has stood trial for Davis' death, but the first time that a jury has reached a verdict on his first-degree murder charge. As you may recall, the first trial ended in a mistrial because jurors could not come to a decision on whether Davis' killing was first-degree murder; they were, however, able to convict Dunn on three counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at Davis' friends.
Dunn has not yet been sentenced for those charges, but the mandatory sentence for each attempted murder conviction is 20 years in prison. CNN reports that Dunn is scheduled for a tentative sentencing hearing on October 17, but Judge Russell Healy is going to wait until Tuesday to set a firm date.
When a defendant is convicted of first-degree murder, minds always race to whether he or she could face the death penalty. Florida is one of several states which does allow the use of capital punishment for certain crimes, but it doesn't appear that the prosecution will be pushing for it.
The Florida Times-Union confirmed that Dunn's was "not a death-penalty case" and the sentence awaiting him is mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole. With little discretion about how to sentence the convicted murderer, it seems likely that Dunn will be spending the rest of his natural life behind bars.
Dunn will, of course, have the chance to appeal his case like any other criminal convict.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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