Transcript for Michael Dunn Murder Victim's Parents Continue to Fight for Son
It was known as the loud music murder. An argument sparked by loud hip-hop music that cut 17-year-old Jordan Davis's life too short. And now three years later Jordan's father is vowing to honor his son's memory. A family torn apart now on a mission for gun reform. This is Jordan's bedroom. I still come in here from time to time. Reporter: It's been three long years since Ron Davis lost his son Jordan. Presented that to me during Jordan Davis day. And this is when Jordan was smaller and we had Christmas pictures. Reporter: A wound time will never heal. I would imagine as a father it's all hard. Yeah, it is. Reporter: What's hardest? Even now three years later sometimes I'm sitting in my easy chair and I just feel myself listening out for the door, listening out for the keys to be in the door. Even though your brain knows that he's gone, you still want to hear that key in the door. Reporter: It started with a trip to the mall with his friends in Jacksonville, Florida on black Friday, 2012. The 17-year-old was killed outside a convenience store, shot dead by 45-year-old businessman Michael Dunn. Basically, the boys are parked here. They pull in, tommy stores gets out to go inside the store, leaves the other three boys in the car. They leave the music playing loud. Reporter: The music is rapper little Reese's song "Beef." ? At some point Michael Dunn pulls into the spot next to them on the passenger side. Rhonda rower gets out of the vehicle. Reporter: That's when an ordinary evening turns deadly. The music was too loud. Michael Dunn asked them to turn the music down. Tevin Thompson, who was sitting in the front passenger seat complied, turned it down. Jordan didn't want to turn the music down. Said let's turn that back up, I'm tired of people telling me what to do. They turn the music back up. And then there was an exchange of words. At that point is when Michael Dunn and Jordan Davis started exchanging words. And I believe what tevin Thompson remembers is Jordan saying To Michael Dunn. According to witnesses there were statements of are you talking to me coming from Mr. Dunn and I believe a couple witnesses said they heard "You're not going to talk to me that way." Reporter: Suddenly the argument escalates. And before anybody knows it Dunn is leaning over to his right reaching into his glove box pulling out a taurus 9-millimeter. Right about this time tommy comes out of the store. Gets into the car, straps himself in, looks over, and sees a gun pointed three feet away. Reporter: It was over in moments. A life gone, lives ruined. Jordan's mom tried to cope with her heartache by clinging to the last conversation she had with her beloved son, less than 24 hours before he died. Mom, happy Thanksgiving, mom. I just want to tell you thank you thank you for loving me. Tell me about your boy. He was not a perfect child by any means, but he was a good young man. Always the life of the party. People would say when Jordan walks in the room the room lights up. He was humorous. Very sensitive. Very intuitive. Mama's boy? Daddy's boy? He started out mama's boy but ended up daddy's boy. Reporter: When Michael Dunn is questioned by police, he claims it was all an act of self-defense. You know, I'm still not reacting to them. This guy like goes down on the ground and comes up with something. I thought it was a shotgun. Do you remember how many times you shot? I shot four times. And the SUV pulled out. And like I said, in my mind they've got a gun. I was still scared. And so I shot four more times. When they were fleeing? Yeah. If he doesn't have any interaction with african-americans and so when you don't have any you just go by what you read or you go by what you see on television people of color in handcuffs, people doing the wrong thing, you have this fear built up, then immediately when you heard the loud music, they're going to become thugs and gangsters. Reporter: After two years of waiting Michael Dunn's trial finally begins in February 2014. Soft-spoken and polite, his friends in the car Leland and tevin admit to the court that Jordan did yell at Michael Dunn. Do you recall anything that Jordan Davis said to the defendant? Yes, sir. What was that? . Reporter: Dunn insists Davis had a gun. But when none was found, Dunn's self-defense claim falls flat. According to detective Musser, investigators found no weapons in the SUV the night of the shooting nor anywhere near the gas station parking lot. After six days of hearing testimony the jury goes out to deliberate their verdict while Jacksonville waits for justice. No one person has all the rights. Waiting on that verdict, there was a lot of tension in the city. My Twitter page, my phone, everything was blowing up. Reporter: It takes the jury four days to come to a unanimous decision on three attempted murder charges. The state of Florida versus Michael David Dunn. Verdict as to count 2, we the jury find the defendant guilty. Verdict as to count 3, we the jury find the defendant guilty. Verdict as to count 4, we the jury find the defendant guilty of attempted second-degree murder. Reporter: But on the charge of first-degree murder for shooting Jordan Davis the jury fails to commit. Jordan's parents refuse to surrender. Where does the fight go now? We will go back to court. You want a retrial? Yes. We're definitely going back to fight for Jordan. Reporter: In September 2014 Dunn returns to the witness stand, this time for a leaner trial. You can't say what it is. I just saw the top. But today are you sure it was a shotgun? Yes, I am. Reporter: After four days of testimony and five hours of deliberation, this time the jury comes back unanimous. We the jury find the defendant guilty of first-degree murder as charged in the indictment. There was just this widespread relief. A small but loud group of demonstrators outside of the Duval county courthouse became emotional when they saw Jordan Davis's parents walk down the courthouse steps. We were able to finally give him rest and closure. Reporter: On October 17th, 2014 -- Mr. Dunn, your life is effectively over. Reporter: The life sentence is in addition to a 90-year sentence for the three counts of attempted murder of Jordan's friends and 15 years for firing at a vehicle. The tragic end to Jordan Davis's young life has marked the beginning of a new one for his parents, Ron Davis and Lucia Mcbath, as outspoken activists for gun reform. We know that god has a greater purpose for Jordan's death and for what we're now doing. Why aren't you tired? Why haven't you decided, you know what, I lost my boy, we got justice in court, I'm just going to move on? Jordan is driving me. When you say don't you get tired, all I have is my words to change people's minds to stop people from killing, especially killing these kids when murdering our youth, we're murdering society, and we're murdering our tomorrow. You're an optimistic man still, though, despite all that you've endured, all that you've seen. Yeah. Because god has shown me the journey. Some of us we go through life. We never know why we're here. Why are we here? I'm here to spread the word of my son, who was martyred, basically. And spread the word that this country cannot continue the way it's continuing. That we have to put lives in front of guns, lives in front of finances, lives in front of everything that we have to educate ourselves and enlighten ourselves to let us know that we'll never be at peace as long as we keep killing each other and going around the world and killing people, we'll never be free.
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