On Monday, jury selection began in the case of a Florida man who fatally shot a Jacksonville teenager in the parking lot of a gas station. Michael David Dunn told police during a pretrial interview that he was parked outside the gas station when an SUV occupied by an unknown number of teenagers began playing loud music. Dunn asked them to turn the music down and a verbal altercation ensued. According to Dunn, the situation escalated when he saw one of the back seat passengers of the Dodge Durango reach down and pick up an object that appeared to be a shotgun. Dunn said he was in fear for his life and in self-defense used a handgun he kept in his glove box to fire two volleys of bullets at the SUV, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. He now faces charges of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, and one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile. Read more here.
Florida's self-defense law, commonly referred to as "stand your ground," has received a great deal of national attention after the highly publicized murder trial of George Zimmerman. The law states that if you are attacked in any place where you have the right to be, you have no duty to retreat from the attack. Instead you have the right to stand your ground, meeting force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe that it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or someone else. Regardless of the recent political debates concerning the application of this law, it remains an important tool that criminal defense attorneys can use to protect someone who takes physical action to protect themselves or others. If you have been accused of committing a crime related to steps you took in self defense or defense of another, contact the law firm of Ohle & Ohle to discuss your rights today.