By Susan Cooper Eastman
JACKSONVILLE Fla. (Reuters) – A Florida judge has set a retrial date of Sept. 22 for a man facing charges that he murdered a teenager during an argument at a Jacksonville gas station over blaring rap music.
Judge Russell Healey decided the trial of Michael Dunn, 47, will go ahead after the original jury deadlocked on a charge of first-degree murder in the November 2012 death of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old killed when shots were fired into an SUV.
That jury convicted Dunn, a white software engineer, on three lesser counts of attempted murder. Dunn fired 10 rounds at a car with four black teenagers inside during a dispute at a gas station parking lot.
The judge postponed Dunn’s sentencing on the attempted murder charges until after the retrial, Jackelyn Barnard, a spokeswoman for the state attorney’s office in northwest Florida, said on Monday.
Dunn’s first trial drew international attention because of the racial overtones. Dunn claimed he acted in self-defense during the incident.
Mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines in Florida for crimes committed with a gun mean that Dunn, who has no prior convictions, faces at least 60 years in jail for his convictions for firing on the other three teenagers in the car.
The case has been compared to the trial of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted last year of murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black 17-year-old.
(Additional reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by David Adams and Will Dunham)
[Image: Defendant Michael Dunn gestures on the stand during testimony in his own defense during his murder trial in Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Bob Mack/Pool]