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Michael Dunn jury deadlocks on murder, convicts him of lesser attempted murder charges

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A Florida jury deliberating for a fourth day announced Saturday they were deadlocked on a murder charge, unable to make a decision on a case of a man who shot and killed a teenager during an argument over blaring rap music.

Michael Dunn, 47, a white software engineer, fired 10 rounds at an SUV carrying four teens in a Jacksonville gas station parking lot in November 2012, killing 17-year-old black teen Jordan Davis.

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Jurors convicted Dunn on four other charges, of attempted second-degree murder against the three other occupants of the car, and of discharging a firearm into the car. Jurors convicted on lesser included charges of second-degree attempted murder and not the more serious attempted premeditated murder charges.

Jurors told Judge Russell Healey that they had been unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the murder charge, Healey instructed them to make one last effort to find a consensus, to no avail.

Earlier on Saturday, Healey said questions posed by the 12-member jury indicated they believed Dunn was not guilty of first-degree murder, and was justified in using deadly force to defend himself from Davis.

But the judge speculated that jurors might feel Dunn went too far by shooting the final volley of three bullets after he got out of his car as the teens were driving away.

“They may say justifiable use of deadly force was in play to (a) certain point and then it went away – there was no justification for those last set of shots,” the judge said.

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The trial has drawn international attention because of racial overtones and Dunn’s claims of self-defense.

The sequestered jury began deliberating on Wednesday afternoon after a week of testimony and has so far spent more than 25 hours trying to reach a verdict.

Dunn testified earlier this week that he began shooting in a state of panic after he thought he saw the barrel of a gun in the back window as Davis started to get out of the car.

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Prosecutors said Davis, who had no arrest record, used foul language when confronting Dunn after the argument broke out, but was unarmed and never posed a physical threat.

Legal analysts said questions asked by jurors in recent days suggested they may be deadlocked on at least one of the five charges.

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If the jury acquits Dunn on the charge of first-degree murder, or they are hung, it would be a blow for the prosecution and the Davis family.

But if found guilty on the remaining three charges of attempted murder against the other teens in the SUV, Dunn would still be facing a lengthy sentence of at least 60 years in prison, legal analysts said.

He could also be retried for first-degree murder if the jury is unable to reach a verdict on that charge.

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“It does sound like that the defense has raised enough reasonable doubt to keep the jury out deliberating for a while, and maybe even come back with a lesser charge on the main count, perhaps second-degree murder or manslaughter,” said David Weinstein, a former prosecutor in Miami now in private practice.

(Additional reporting by Reuters’ David Adams, writing by Colleen Jenkins; editing by Marguerita Choy and Bernard Orr)


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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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