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Jury Debates Verdict in `Thug Music` Murder Trial

Aired February 12, 2014 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: We`re in verdict watch right now in the so-called thug music murder trial. Now it`s all in the hands of 12 jurors who have been deliberating for just over an hour.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Today, fiery closing arguments in the trial of 47-year-old software developer Michael Dunn. Dunn is accused of murdering 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a confrontation over loud music while the victim was sitting with his friends in a red SUV.

Defendant Dunn, whose girlfriend had gone into the gas station to get wine, insists he feared for his life and fired ten rounds, three of them hitting and killing young Davis. The defense claims the young victim threatened to kill Dunn and that the teens had a shotgun inside the car. Will the jury believe this shooting was in self-defense or not?


MICHAEL DUNN, DEFENDANT: I had no choice but to defend myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like pop, pop, pop, pop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was yelling. He was yelling.





DUNN: "This (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is going down now" was the last thing he said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God, somebody is shooting. Somebody is shooting out of their car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He decided to shoot. He chose to shoot.

RON DAVIS, FATHER OF VICTIM: "I`m sorry, Mr. Davis. I tried to revive."

DUNN: Absolutely, I`m in a panic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That verdict is not guilty.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was shooting to kill.

DUNN: I was in fear for my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the worst of all reasons.

DUNN: It was life or death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to get you right back into court for closing arguments in just a moment. But first, our fantastic Lion`s Den debate panel. They`ve been watching all the drama inside court. Both sides ready to face off. Our first quick face-off tonight: Adam Swickle, he is for the defense, versus Rolonda Watts for the prosecution.

All right. Start with you, Rolonda. Thirty seconds.

ROLONDA WATTS, RADIO HOST: I think the prosecution did a great, solid job of asking the questions, of why there were so many inconsistencies. And pointing to the behavior that makes it -- us wonder if he was really that afraid. Never calling 911. Not even mentioning a gun to his girlfriend. Presenting behavior that, quite honestly is not natural human behavior. So it makes...



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thirty seconds. Now we go to Adam Swickle, a criminal defense attorney, for Dunn.


First of all, you know, I respect Rolonda`s decision. But in all honesty, today was a lambasting by the defense. And the reason why I say that is, they picked them apart and not only their style but also with respect to the facts of the case. And the most important thing they did today besides explaining reasonable doubt? They called out the state attorney`s case. They said, "You`re going to promise -- You promised us stuff on opening statement, and you didn`t deliver. And that alone is reasonable doubt, when you don`t know what your case is about."


SWICKLE: I thought that was very powerful.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re just getting started. But now we want to go back into court where Cory Strolla, the attorney for Michael Dunn, continues. Lambasting or, who knows? You decide. Let`s watch.


CORY STROLLA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL DUNN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) They`re going to tell you. "Mr. Strolla wants you to imagine it, speculate. He wants to force you to believe in it. And that`s not a reasonable doubt. Watch. I guarantee those words are coming."

But that`s their burden for justifiable use of deadly force. And it`s in black and white, and it`s the law. It`s not because I wrote it. It`s not because I like it. We`re not here to change it, and we`re not here to fight it. We`re here to apply it.

And Judge Healy will tell you -- here it is -- if in your consideration on the issue of self-defense, you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether Michael Dunn was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find Michael Dunn not guilty.

And I`m going to read to you again, because there`s a double negative in there. If, in your consideration of the issue of self-defense, you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether Michael Dunn was justified, meaning, is it possible he used self-defense? Is it speculative self- defense? Maybe yes. Maybe no. What does your verdict have to be? Your verdict has to be you should find Michael Dunn not guilty. Because the state has not proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

And as Mr. Guy said, beyond any doubt in his opening, you still have to find Michael Dunn not guilty.

Just a few more minutes, your honor.


STROLLA: Thank you, your honor.

I apologize for being longwinded, but again, I don`t get a second chance to talk to you. When I sit down, I`m done. And I can assure you that, when someone from the state gets up, I`m going to be screaming inside my head that I want to rebut what they`re saying. That I want to get back up and say, "No, listen to this. Look at that." But I can`t. Again, I have to follow the same laws. And they get to talk last. So let me leave you with this.

A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant may arise from the evidence, conflict in the evidence or lack of the evidence. Whether the state has met its burden of proof does not depend upon the number of witnesses it`s called or upon the number of exhibits it has offered, but instead upon the nature and quality of the evidence presented. And the evidence is on that stand.

Judge Healy will further instruct you that law enforcement does not mean that his or her testimony deserves more or less consideration than any other witness. And an expert`s opinion is reliable only when given on a subject about which we believe him or her to be an expert. Like other witnesses, you may believe or disbelief all or any part of an expert`s testimony.

Why would you have a medical examiner testify about forensic ballistic evidence? They called a forensic ballistic expert, Ms. Pagan and never asked her a single question about a dummy, about travel because, why? She would have told you that their bullets don`t defy gravity or change the law of physics.

His honor will instruct you, did the witness have an opportunity to see and know the things about which they testified? Not one witness told you anything that happened before the first shot was fired except Tevin Thompson, Leland Brunson, Tommie Stornes, and all of their stories don`t match. Look at your notes on that evidence.

Look, one said they got out. One says they didn`t get out. One says both got out. One says, "I`m not sure they got out. I don`t know where he went. I wasn`t looking for him."

Did the witness seem to have an accurate memory? You saw the state`s own witnesses change their testimony before I even got up on cross- examination.

Was the witness honest and straightforward in answering the attorney`s questions? If I ever gave up law, I`d be a dentist, because I had to pull teeth of almost every witness from the state. I had to ask three or four times to get a simple yes or a simple no or a "yes, that`s true." Why? Why would they evade my questions and not the state`s?

Did the witness`s testimony agree with the other testimony of other witnesses? No. Mr. Bate (ph) has told you that even days later, before they gave their second interview, they still had little differences and were off. And the state`s going to tell you that`s OK. They`re human. They`re not professional or experts, but they won`t hold that standard to Michael Dunn.

It`s OK for their witnesses to be in shock. It`s OK for their witnesses to be in fear. It`s OK for their witnesses to be scared for their life but not Michael Dunn because he -- his blood was boiling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As we take a pause, I want to tell you, we have just learned of the breakdown of the jury. The four alternates have been set aside. We now know that the 12 jurors consist of four white men, four white females, two African-American females, one Asian female. As far as ancestry, one Hispanic male.

And let`s take a look at the gender breakdown. Seven women, five men. So we have a mostly female jury. Wonder how that is going to affect this case. They are deliberating approximately an hour and six minutes.

Let`s go to a quick face-off in our Lion`s Den debate panel. We`ve got Boyce Watkins for the prosecution. He`s a social commentator. Versus Anna Young, criminal defense attorney for the defense. We begin with Anna. How is this Cory Strolla, this swaggering, some might say cocky defense attorney for Michael Dunn, doing thus far?

ANNA YOUNG, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think he`s doing -- I think he`s doing a great job, Jane.

And I compare with what he`s doing compare to what A.S.A. Wolfson was doing. She was yelling at the jury. She wasn`t talking to them. I don`t think that she was doing a good job of really conveying the story, whereas Cory Strolla is masterful in the way that he`s talking to the jury. He`s explaining beyond a reasonable doubt. And he`s explaining the reasoning as to why it`s so important that the cops that he argues didn`t do their job in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Boyce Watkins, social commentator, founder of Your Black World, for the prosecution.

BOYCE WATKINS, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, I would say that this case is something that is really good for people who are experts in common sense. Even if you look at the reasonable -- reasonable doubt standard here, I don`t think that anything that`s been stated by the defense attorney really constitutes reasonable doubt.

I think, if you really look -- look at this and you say, "Well, what if Jordan Davis got out of the car?" Well, he didn`t have a gun when he got out of the car. So what excuse does Dunn have for shooting him? And then you add in Dunn`s actions after the fact, I think that that creates a pretty clear case in the minds of most people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, the defense claims, well, he did have a gun, and even the prosecution says that`s nonsense. The defense will say, well, you know, they never searched the area for a gun. So hypothetically, it could exist. Is that enough for reasonable doubt? And guess what? Florida`s stand-your-ground law has now entered the picture again.

Stay right there. More -- more closing arguments on the other side. And more debate, as well.


DUNN: I was in fear for my life, absolutely. I`m in a panic and put the pistol up into the window and cocked it.

"This (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is going down now" was the last thing he said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you shooting only to defend yourself?

DUNN: Yes, I was.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only person who left was this defendant, because he knew what he had done was wrong. He eats. They go back and order a pizza. And of course, they went back to walk his dog. Those are the actions of somebody who had intended to kill someone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are on verdict watch as a jury of seven women and five men, a racially and ethnically diverse jury, deliberates. They`ve been amongst themselves now, talking for about an hour and 10 minutes. Are they going to work through dinner? Could they have a verdict tonight? We don`t know.

But right now we want to get back into the courtroom. We are playing for you the closing arguments. The defense attorney, Cory Strolla, giving a very passionate defense of Michael Dunn, 47-year-old software...

STROLLA: Did the witness at some other time make a statement that was inconsistent with the testimony they gave in court? How many times did I have to talk to witnesses about their deposition? And isn`t it true you told me this? Isn`t it true on that day you said that? You get to use that in deciding, were they telling you the truth or were they trying to evade my questions?

Judge Healy is going to tell you that you may rely upon your own conclusion about the credibility of any witness. You may believe or disbelief any portion of it.

Now, his honor is going to instruct you, and he`s going to tell you that a reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt. Such a doubt must not influence you to return a verdict of "not guilty" if you have an abiding conviction of guilt. And that`s only if you believe the state met their burden beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Dunn did not use self-defense. Then you look at their case.

And let`s just assume, because Ms. Corey got to say it again. Let`s just assume they`re going to come up and tell you how they overcame their burden beyond all reasonable doubt of self-defense. What does an abiding conviction of guilt mean? Abiding means forever. Permanent. Stands the test of time.

So before you can find Mr. Dunn guilty of anything, in the words of John Guy, you need to go home, lay your head on a pillow and never consider your verdict again. It has got to stay with you for the rest of your life.

Because in a month from now, a year from now, or ten years from now, you can`t call me up and say, "Had I known that, had I have thought of that, I would have never found Mr. Dunn guilty." You can`t call Judge Healy up and say, "You know what? Looking back, I`m just not comfortable with what I found him guilty for."

Mr. Dunn`s day is today. Mr. Dunn`s time is right now with you. And unless you have an abiding conviction of guilt, you cannot find Mr. Dunn guilty of anything. And there is only one lawful, just and righteous verdict. And that verdict is "not guilty."

Thank you.

Thank you, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Strolla.

Ladies and gentlemen, we`ll take a break. Let`s break for...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re taking a very short pause. Now what`s going to happen next, the rebuttal closing by the prosecutor, John Guy. You may remember him from the George Zimmerman trial.

But first, we want to do a quick round-robin with our Lion`s Den debate panel. How did this defense attorney do, starting with HLN contributor Jon Leiberman -- Jon?

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Jane, I think the facts are clearly on the side of the state. So in that context, I actually think the defense did a pretty good job today trying to raise reasonable doubt. They attacked the police. They attacked the investigation. They attacked the state`s attorney, and they attacked the credibility of the state`s witnesses, which is all that can be expected from the defense when the facts, I believe, are so squarely on the side of the state.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m going to jump to a behavior expert, Simone Bienne. You also look at body language. This guy was very swaggering and casual, much less uptight than the prosecution. How do you think this defense attorney did in speaking for Michael Dunn, the defendant?

SIMONE BIENNE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: I think absolutely terrible. I don`t think that Michael Dunn will have a hope in hell. And that last bit, I`m sorry, trying to guilt trip and patronize the jury? With seven women on there, I think that that was his worst mistake because, quite frankly -- well, quite frankly, I think, that women will be using their gut, and they will see exactly what kind of a guy Michael Dunn is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Adam Swickle -- OK. Now, wait. Let`s go to Anna Young. What do you say?

YOUNG: I have to disagree with Simone. I think that Strolla did an excellent job today. And the reason I say that is twofold. One, I think he did an excellent job in clarifying to the jury that the defense has no burden here. It`s the state that has the burden to disprove that his client was not acting in self-defense.

And also, I think he did a masterful job in explaining, "Look, don`t find the D.A.`s argument that `It`s not my job. I don`t have to do this. It`s not my job.` Sure, it`s your job. If you`re going to convict my client, do your job." The cops didn`t do a lot of the things that they were supposed to do. And I think that he really brought it home in his argument.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rolonda Watts, I`m starting to think we could have a hung jury here. We have mostly female jurors. Very racially, ethnically diverse panel. Very similar to the panel we`re talking to here. You could see clashing heads behind closed doors amongst these jurors.

WATTS: Oh, there`s no question. No question. And that is what made the -- made Strolla so -- so effective today. Is that he was able to bring in that emotion. He told those stories. He had so much passion.

And then when he had the nerve to say that Dunn came in walking in, blanketed with the American flag and all of this drama, what he was able to do was connect with people. He had a passion. And I think that...


WATTS: ... a hung jury could possibly happen.


LEIBERMAN: I want to point out -- and I`d like the group to discuss this -- there are no African-American men on this jury. I think that could potentially be, you know, something to talk about. Something to look at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know. You know...

WATKINS: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t -- Sometimes I think people don`t break down in the reaction that you always sort of predict that they will that, oh, if you`re an African-American male that you will automatically identify one way or the other. I mean, maybe I`m wrong, but I have -- I have hope that people will set aside all their differences, look at the facts, and make a reasoned decision based on the evidence.

Boyce Watkins, what do you think?

WATKINS: Well, you know, we can hope that that`s going to be the case. But the fact is that there`s a reason why black men were excluded from this jury, because we know what the majority of black men are probably going to think in this particular situation.

Because most black men have gone through an experience where they`ve been perceived as being intimidating when they weren`t planning on hurting anybody.

You have to give the defense credit, because they rely on two primary emotions: fear and guilt. Think about this. Would Jordan Davis be as scary as he is to the public if he were not a young black male? If he were a white female, that wouldn`t have happened.

And then the guilt thing. I think they did a good job of that. That doesn`t mean the way they`re pursuing this is ethical at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to have these debates for the next two hours. So you`ll have plenty of time, panel. I know that you are ready to go.

But on the other side, perhaps the most crucial moment, the final, final word, the rebuttal closings by prosecutor John Guy. He`s the guy who, of course, was very crucial in trying George Zimmerman. Lost that case. Let`s see how he does this time around.

Stay right there. Right back.


DUNN: A waking nightmare.

"I should kill that (EXPLETIVE DELETED)."


DUNN: It wasn`t just my life that I was worried about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You knew you had shot into a car of four unarmed teenagers.

DUNN: These four shooters in a car that just threatened to kill me.


He screamed, "This (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is going down now."




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Round after round after round. He wasn`t shooting to scare them off. He was shooting to kill. He was shooting for his targets and aiming at Jordan Davis.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are on verdict watch. The jury in the so-called thug music murder trial has been deliberating for about an hour and 25 minutes. A really -- a very exciting, nerve-racking time for me and many others who have been watching this case from the very beginning. What will they decide?

Will they decide that this 47-year-old software developer murdered unarmed teen Jordan Davis? That`s what the prosecution says. Or will they believe the defense that it was self-defense?

Now we get the final, final word. The prosecution`s rebuttal closing argument from prosecutor John Guy. Let`s listen. It`s a make or break moment in this case.


That defendant didn`t shoot into a car full of kids to save his life. He shot into it to preserve his pride -- period. That`s why we`re here because of his actions, his inactions, his decisions, his choices.

Jordan Davis didn`t have a weapon. He had a big mouth. And that defendant wasn`t going to stand for it. And it cost Jordan Davis his life.

This case is not about self-defense. It`s about self-denial from that defendant -- self-denial that`s been refuted in every conceivable way by physical evidence -- physical impossibility by eyewitness testimony, including his own fiancee in every way.

And when the defense attorney stood up here and told you that we have the law and he has the law, he left some people out. Jordan Davis is entitled to the law. Leland Brunson is entitled to the law. Tevin Thompson is entitled to the law. Tommy Stornes is entitled to the law. And all four of those men are entitled to the truth. And that`s what we`re asking you for now.

We don`t want your sympathy. We don`t want a lesser included offense. We`re not asking for that. We`re asking for the truth as you know it now -- now in your heart, in your head, in your gut.

You know, there`s an old saying in the legal community if the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If they are both against you, put somebody else on trial. Isn`t that exactly what the defense has done in this case?

Remember where it started? Andrew Williams good for people like Andrew Williams who have only a teenager`s swimming, CPR training but who when gun shots rang out turned into the parking lot towards the gunfire to see what he could do to put his hands on a stranger`s chest to try to save him. Good for people like Andrew Williams.

And he`s going to attack the medical examiner, an expert? An expert. She doesn`t know what she`s talking about. That`s what he just said. She doesn`t know what she`s talking about. How many hundreds of autopsies has she performed? And she doesn`t know what she`s talking about?

The police officers. The police officers who worked through the night, they didn`t sleep through the night like the defendant did. He picked on them. He put them on trial. Detective Musse, Andrew Kippel, Officer Holmes, Officer Forester -- were those incredible people? Were they?


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: We`re going to hit the pause button there. The jury deliberating about an hour and a half so far, they could go all through the night. We don`t know.

But as I watch this prosecutor deliver the rebuttal closing, the final, final word, got to ask my lion`s den debate panel. Adam Swickle -- I can`t get it out of my head this is the same guy that lost the George Zimmerman trial. It sort of casts a pall at least psychology over me. How do you think he`s doing?

ADAM SWICKLE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He`s doing the exact same thing they did in the Zimmerman trial and it`s going to hurt him. Not that he won`t be found guilty but he`ll be found guilty in spite of these performances.

All he`s talking about is emotions, pointing fingers, doing all these things. Where is the evidence? Where is the rebuttal where you hold up the jury instructions and you say this is why? This is why. This is why. It`s just pointing fingers and emotion. At some point in time it gets nauseous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Boyce Watkins, do you agree?

BOYCE WATKINS, FOUNDER, YOUR BLACK WORLD: Well, you know, I cannot say that this is necessarily the best prosecution that we can hope for. But at the same time, I think he`s doing a very good job of humanizing the young men who were involved in this tragedy because I think that when you talk about race in this particular issue, which is the elephant in the room, one of the reasons that people get away with killing so many young black men who are the greatest victims of this kind of homicide with gun violence is because we dehumanize them. And I think he did a very good job of that.

SWICKLE: But that`s the problem --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rolonda Watts, you know what I`d say is --

SWICKLE: -- that`s the problem, Jane. That`s the problem. They are focusing on humanizing the victims, which is good. But the whole case isn`t about that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, let`s demonize the defendant a little bit, Rolonda Watts. Let`s dive into him.

ANNA YUM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Stylistically, look Jane -- this is the thing. I`m generally not a fan of John Guy because I think I think he oversells his case and I think he can be overdramatic.

But I have a different opinion on him. I actually think he`s been pretty effective in his rebuttal because the reason I say that is he`s really explaining to the jury that the defense hasn`t provided any answers as to why Mr. Dunn didn`t do the common sensible things most people would have done --


YUM: -- which is call 911, which is get the police involved right away. I think that he`s actually pretty effective.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rolonda Watts, I think he suffers sometimes from an excessive earnestness.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean the defense attorney is fast and loose making points and John Guy is like the goody two-shoes who sits in front of the class when you are a kid. I`m rooting for him in the sense that I think that he`s got some points he`s got to make but stylistically, does he have a problem being, perhaps, wooden or square?

ROLONDA WATTS, RADIO HOST: I tell you what I did like. What he did was he went from things like self-defense to self-denial and he talked about that entitlement. And I like how he says that these kids are entitled to the truth, and they are entitled to the law to protect them as well.

SWICKLE: But that`s all mush.

WATTS: But I also love how he brought up the choices -- that this was a choice. Even Dunn has admitted that he went from zero to ten as opposed to stopping at five, you know, pointing out the overreaction. This overreaction is what he`s bringing up. And that was his choice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This entire case hangs on the words of the man you are looking at right now. He is in his rebuttal closing. He`s got to bring it. He`s got to sell it to the jury. Is he doing that?

We`re going to take a short break and dive right back into the courtroom. We`re playing what happened earlier as the deliberation clock ticks away. Twelve men and women behind closed doors right now, maybe having the same conversations that we`re having. Stay right there.


MICHAEL DUNN, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER OF JORDAN DAVIS: More elevated voice. I should (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And now he`s screaming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason you`re at a gas station is because you knew you shot into the car of four unarmed teenagers.

DUNN: That`s incorrect. It was Jordan Davis who kept escalating this to the point where I had no choice but to defend myself. It was life or death.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God, somebody is shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody`s shooting at a car.

DUNN: Like a waking nightmare.

I should kill that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). It wasn`t just my life I was worried about now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You knew you had shot into a car of four unarmed teenagers.

DUNN: These four shooters in a car that just threatened to kill me. I should (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And now he`s screaming. This (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is going down now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like pop, pop, pop, pop.

DUNN: I said "You`re not going to kill me you son of a bitch."

GUY: You were being disrespected by a mouthy teenager, weren`t you?

DUNN: No, I was being threatened. I had no choice but to defend myself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, the teenager he killed is not here to speak for himself and tell his side of the story. So prosecutors are trying to do it for him.

We are on verdict watch. The jury and it`s a jury of seven women and five men have been deliberating an hour and 39 minutes. You might say, well, they couldn`t come up with a verdict tonight. Oh, yes they can. Yes, they have to pick a foreperson. Yes they have to look at the jury instructions.

But quite often they take a straw poll and they see where they stand. It can happen at any second. I don`t know about you but it`s a very nerve- racking time for me. I`ve followed this from the very start. What will they decide?

Meanwhile, we are playing the closing arguments for you. Here is the final, final word -- the rebuttal closing from prosecutor John Guy. You may remember him from the George Zimmerman case. And he is trying to bring it home to that jury. Let`s listen.


GUY: That`s the great thing about real life because on TV you can`t see that. You can`t sense that. But in a courtroom, you can.

Do you really think those people got it wrong? That they didn`t do their job? That they didn`t take their oath as a law enforcement officer seriously? Do you think that after meeting them, after hearing from them, after they looked you in the eye? Do you feel that way? Do you? Think about it.

It is the most powerful and oldest tool known to mankind. It`s something that we use every day to make little decisions, and it`s something that we`ve used to make great life-changing decisions. And it`s the one thing that I submit to you, beyond anything else that lets you know that this defendant before you is guilty. Common sense.

The common sense that tells you if Jordan Davis had a gun, that defendant would have never left the scene. If Jordan Davis had a gun, he would have called the police. If he was truly acting in self-defense, he wouldn`t have been running from everybody. He wouldn`t have lied to the police. He wouldn`t have changed his story.

So indulge me for just a few moments while I go through with you some common sense reasons why this defendant is guilty as charged, not of a lesser.

Wow. In every trial, for those of you who haven`t been jurors before, there`s one moment in every trial when the clouds gathered by the lawyers kind of break up and the light and the form of the truth comes through and takes over the room.

Was it not yesterday when his fiancee came back -- Rhonda Rouer. The one who they made fun of because she had to be helped on and off the stand because the last place in the world she wanted to be was right here sitting across from him.

Miss Rouer, did he ever, ever tell you about a weapon or a gun? No. No. And only a whisper she said it over and over again -- no. That fact alone -- what does that fact alone tell you? The person closest to him on this earth, with him at the time he shot and killed Jordan Davis to the hotel, at the hotel, back home, two and a half hours.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to pause. The jury deliberating an hour and 45 minutes now. You heard the prosecutor. John Guy is talking about the fiancee of the defendant who contradicted what the defendant said. He said, oh, I told her that they had a gun. She says, sobbing, because she`s his fiancee, no, he didn`t. He never told me that Jordan Davis had a gun -- that any of the teens had a gun.

Our lion`s den debate panel is ready to face off. Is John Guy, the prosecutor, effective or is he overdramatic? How is he doing? On the other side. And more of the closing arguments.


GUY: The police officers who work through the night, they didn`t sleep through the night like the defendant did. He put it on them. He put them on trial.

If he was truly acting in self-defense, he wouldn`t have been running from everybody. He wouldn`t have lied to the police. He wouldn`t have changed his story.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted responsibly, and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these same circumstances.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said, baby, let me give you a hug. Let me give you a hug. He said, mom, I`ve got to go. I said, please, let me just give you a hug. And that was the last time I saw him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The mother of the victim talking there.

We`re on verdict watch. The jury in the so-called thug music murder trial deliberating an hour and 54 minutes, they could work through dinner. They could have a verdict tonight.

You say that`s doubtful? Well, O.J. Simpson, the jury came back in less than four hours.

All right we`re talking about John Guy, the handsome prosecutor who is now in the rebuttal closing that we`re playing back for you, as the jury deliberates.

Simone Bienne, this guy looks like the kind of actor that plays lawyers in the movies. Do you think that his looks is a factor in why they keep choosing him for these high-profile cases?

SIMONE BIENNE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Well, look, looks are important and we judge somebody in ten seconds. If they`re appealing, yes, that matters. But women judge people less on their looks -- and again I`m talking about the seven jury -- women judge people less on their looks rather than what they said.

And what`s very interesting is I really like his tone of voice, and the emotional language he uses, because we can connect to that as women. And I`ve got to say, Jane, one word, you just mentioned pizza? You said they`re going for dinner? Pizza -- who has pizza after they have done a heinous crime like this? That is beyond madness. And that I think will really --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You see I kind of like -- just to play devil`s advocate, I kind of like the real way you said that, who has pizza after killing somebody and firing ten bullets. What I`m hearing is almost like a sermon. I think it`s maybe a tad overdramatic. And I just say that to play devil`s advocate.

YUM: I completely agree. I stand by my position that I think he was effective but he`s so overdramatic. And you know what -- it just takes one.

LEIBERMAN: But that`s his style.

SWICKLE: Jane, Jane -- let me ask you a question --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.

YUM: It just takes one --


YUM: -- for the prosecution to lose and for the defense to win in this case. And it just takes one juror to be offset by him being overdramatic. And possibly like Adam was saying, selling the emotions and the rage as opposed to the facts, and whether there was a reasonable claim of self-defense here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you can`t --

LEIBERMAN: Yes, but Jane, Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The prosecutor who was facts, facts, facts, facts, facts -- and everybody said, oh, she`s boring. That`s where all the twitter -- she`s boring with all these facts.


YUM: But she was also yelling at people. She was also yelling at people and she was talking at the jurors as opposed to talking to them. Don`t you think? I think that`s a huge difference between her and how this --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. I want to give everybody a chance -- Rolonda.

SWICKLE: Can I say one thing, Jane?

WATTS: I was going to say that I believe that I kind of like Guy`s style even though Jane, you know, if we were in that position we would handle it totally differently. But, you know, he`s making the point and he`s connecting on a human level. And he`s asking very, you know, pointed questions like what would --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Adam, Adam go ahead -- quickly. Ten seconds.

SWICKLE: Let`s talk about substance. Did I hear this prosecutor right when he told them that he`s not guilty of anything lesser? Did he throw all of his eggs in one basket and roll the dice in Vegas?

LEIBERMAN: He did. That`s a good point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fantastic panel. We`ve got to end it right now. But we`re going to continue on the other side. A very short break. We`ve got more of the closing arguments, and more debate.

Stay right there. They could have a verdict tonight.