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Possible Mistrial in "Loud Music" Murder Trial

Aired February 14, 2014 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight. We are in a verdict watch here at HLN. Tonight, all eyes remaining on that Florida courtroom in the case of murder in Jacksonville. A 45-year-old man guns down a youth when they argue over the kid`s loud music at a gas station.

After shooting the youth three times, he speeds off, never bothering to call 911. We obtain the stunning 911 call and secret surveillance video. In a stunning trial strategy move, Dunn takes the stand in his own defense. But did it work?

Bombshell tonight. At this hour, the case is in the hands of a Florida jury.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... a verdict that holds this defendant accountable for his actions that night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a guy that was armed to the teeth.

GRACE: Nunchucks, a loaded gun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I said, You`re not going to kill me, you son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got angry at the fact that the 17-year-old kid decided not to listen to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He also had a silencer in his trunk.

GRACE: A silencer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) I`m not looking for trouble at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This defendant went crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man got a reputation for people (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For Tevin Thompson (ph), Leland Brunson (ph), Jordan Davis and Tommie Stornes were ducking and trying to save their lives.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

We are in a verdict watch here at HLN. We are live and taking your calls from the courthouse. Michael Dunn, guilty, not guilty? Big question from me tonight, what is wrong with that Florida jury? What is the holdup?

Straight out to Martin Savidge, CNN correspondent standing by at the courthouse. Martin, they`ve asked for everything from Bendy (ph) the mannequin to readback to video to a dry erase board. They`ve had breakfast, lunch and dinner. What`s the problem?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Nancy. Nice to see you. Well, the problem is, apparently, they cannot come to an agreement. What they`ve asked for now is to call it a night. They have told the judge that they have hit a wall and that they are apparently unable to continue deliberations this evening. So the judge said, Sure, you can go to bed. Get plenty of rest, and come back tomorrow and continue this.

But it was a question that came earlier that really raised eyebrows, and that is the question coming from the jurors, asking is it possible that they could not reach an agreement on one count but perhaps reach agreement on other counts. And that`s got everybody in confusion wondering, Well, what does that really mean?

GRACE: Well, you know, if you take a look...

SAVIDGE: It doesn`t sound good.

GRACE: ... at the counts, Martin, you can see where they`re coming from because there`s only one count that`s different from all the rest, and that count is the murder charge. All the others are similar. So if they`re hung up on one count, it would have to be that one because the other ones are all just alike, the aggravated assault on the boys in the back of that car.

Martin, here`s the thing. I understand that one of the jurors, when they came out during one of their forays into the courtroom today, looked like they`d been crying and looked very, very distraught. Is that true?

SAVIDGE: I can`t say, Nancy, because I was not able to be in the courtroom at that particular time. We do know that they are, of course, under a lot of pressure, and they`ve been going at it all day.

GRACE: With me right now, Stephanie Brown, WOKV. Stephanie, Marty`s there at the courthouse. People have been in and out of the courtroom. The jurors have been coming in and out for all these questions. Our sources say that one of the jurors looked like they were about to start crying, exhausted. Is that true?

STEPHANIE BROWN, WOKV (via telephone): well, what I`m hearing right now is the main theme is exhaustion, is just being so tired. I mean, they had hours and hours of deliberations today, and it was the third day overall. (INAUDIBLE) I can`t specifically say, but exhaustion definitely key.

GRACE: Back to Martin Savidge, CNN correspondent joining me at the courthouse. Everybody, Martin is also taking your calls along with me. Martin, exactly the wording -- I want you to listen exactly to the question the way the jury phrased it. Because you know what? A lot can get lost in a translation. Take a listen to the exact words the jury said.

Roll it, Liz.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is, "We have reached a wall for this evening. Are we able to be dismissed for the night?"

I guess that`s the same thing as saying they`re ready to go back to the hotel. OK, so obviously, my answer to them is yes. They have been at it, and this is one admirable group, I`m telling you what. They`re clearly taking this thing as seriously as they should. And I am -- I couldn`t be more proud of them for how hard they`re working and the number of hours that they`ve been deliberating to try and resolve this case. So -- and I`ll tell them that when we get to a conclusion.


GRACE: OK, that`s the judge working up to the question. Liz, let me know when you find the question the jury asked.

Martin, the charges in the indictment -- there`s first degree murder, then there are three counts of attempted murder, which is firing at the other three boys in the car. Then there`s a charge of firing at a vehicle. Now, firing at a vehicle -- I mean, we know he did that. That`s a gimme. The other ones have to be what they`re hung up on.

Now, if they have reached an agreement on other counts -- their question specifically refers to counts that they have agreed on -- there`s only one count outstanding that`s different from the other counts, and that`s the murder count, Marty.

SAVIDGE: Right, and I think that`s the point that everybody agrees that they think we`re hung up on here, at least the jury is, is the fact that you`ve got this one charge, the charge that pertains to Jordan Davis, that the jury may be hung up on. And you just did the math there, that`s the reasoning. And that, of course, would also be the most detrimental if they don`t reach an agreement, especially for his family, especially for the prosecutors here.

They might say, OK, we could be satisfied because we know he`s going to get a lot of time for the other charges, but they`re not going to really be satisfied because he`s not convicted of murder. And of course, it would be declared a mistrial on the murder charge, if that is the case.

For the family, it`s really been a very confusing day. I talked to their attorney. It`s been hard on them. You know, they were ready for any verdict. I don`t know if they were ready for this kind of mixed verdict, if that`s what it comes to.

GRACE: Agony! It`s agony. I have sat in the courtroom for 10 years waiting on juries to come back, and the victim`s family would be like a washrag, wrung like that, Martin Savidge.

Everybody, taking your calls at the courthouse, Martin Savidge. Out to the lines. Nancy in Florida. Hi, Nancy. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you mean Nancy from Pennsylvania?

GRACE: Ah! Hi, Nancy, from Pennsylvania. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, don`t you think the smoking gun in this case is his girlfriend, who on the stand stated categorically that he never told her about any gun? And to me, this is like a perfect storm. He was an accident waiting to happen, and he took this opportunity to just explode. And I definitely think he is guilty, and like the song, "She`s Come Undone," I believe he`s come undone.

GRACE: Well, it`s about time, according to his neighbors who say for the longest time, he`s talked about wanting to shoot somebody. But what I find very, very interesting, Martin Savidge, is what they find in his car. Let`s take a look at the evidence found in his car -- nunchucks, a silencer. Why is a silencer in his car? A magazine with bullets, nunchucks, a .9-millimeter pistol. I mean, Martin, what is he doing with nunchucks? What, is he a Bruce Lee aficionado? I mean, why is he carrying around weapons like this?

SAVIDGE: Yes, I mean, I haven`t got an answer for you, Nancy, other than the fact that they were there, that`s what was found, and this is why the prosecution is going so heavily after him in this case because they do not believe the story he told on the stand.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Joining me tonight, Jason Lamm from Phoenix, Parag Shah, defense attorney and author from Atlanta. Also with me, Mo Ivory attorney and radio personality Mo Ivory, and joining us, defending Michael Dunn and "stand your ground" in Florida is Frank Taaffe.

All right, Taaffe, they`ve apparently agreed on multiple counts. That doesn`t look good for Dunn.

FRANK TAAFFE, FRIEND OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Well, you want my prediction?

GRACE: I think you`re going to give it to me, anyway.

TAAFFE: Well, yes. You know, I called it right on Zimmerman, so here it goes. I believe that self-defense was proved. So the first four charges, murder one is off the table, attempted murder, the three counts, off the table. The fifth charge, shooting a missile into a vehicle, that`s the one that they`re iffy about.

And you know how I know? I`m going to tell you. Because the state still never disproved the angle and the trajectory of those bullets going into the door, which makes Mr. Dunn`s story consistent for that moment in time. There you have it.

GRACE: OK, out to you, Mo. The way the jury worded the question, If we can reach a verdict on one -- if we cannot reach a verdict on one count, can we reach -- are we allowed to render verdicts on the other counts? That was their question.

What does that say to you? Read the tea leaves.

MO IVORY, ATTORNEY AND RADIO PERSONALITY: Yes, I mean, I completely disagree with Taaffe, as always. What it says to me is that they are in that jury room fighting about that first degree murder charge. Some believe that they should convict him, some believe that they should not. But I think that they are in full agreement on the other four, to convict him on all those other four charges, but they just can`t get past that murder one.

And I do think what will happen tomorrow is that they will come back and they will be hung on the murder one, and they will convict him on the other four.

GRACE: OK, Parag Shah, what`s the longest time you`ve ever had a jury out?

PARAG SHAH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I would have to say three days. And I think for the defense attorneys...

GRACE: You`ve had a jury deliberate for three days?

SHAH: I`m good, Nancy.

GRACE: Well, I mean, I don`t know that that`s necessarily a good thing, Parag. What kind of case was it? What was the charge?

SHAH: It was a burglary case, and this was one of my first cases.

GRACE: All right, what happened in the end?

SHAH: In the end, it was a hung jury.

GRACE: Three days for a hung jury. All right, Jason Lamm, how long have you had a jury out? What`s the longest period of time you`ve had a jury out?

JASON LAMM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, three, four days is about the longest I`ve had, but Nancy...

GRACE: Well, was it three?

LAMM: ... it depends on the number of counts.

GRACE: Or was it four?

LAMM: Somewhere in between.

GRACE: Because this has been three days.

LAMM: Who cares? The bottom line is...

GRACE: Me. That`s why I asked you.

LAMM: ... when a jury has a number of counts ask and they have affirmative defenses, there`s a lot for them to consider. That`s the bottom line. No case is alike. You know, maybe they`re hung on the murder, maybe they`re hung on firing the weapon into the car. But...


GRACE: ... but all I asked you was how long your jury had been out. Mo, we have to put it out there. The reality is, in my experience, the longer a jury is out, the better it is for the defense. That is my experience. Now, it`s totally anecdotal, Mo. I mean, I haven`t conducted a survey across the country. But I tried cases for over 10 years in inner city Atlanta, all felonies, and the longer a jury was out, the better it was for the defense because, obviously, you`ve got a holdout.

IVORY: Sure. And I understand that, and I think that that is normally the case. But this time, the questions that they`re asking make me believe that that is not the case with this jury. I think that they are struggling on that murder one and that there are some strong personalities in there that will not give in either way.


GRACE: Out to Stephanie Brown, WOKV, Florida. Stephanie, is it possible that they`re going to deliberate on Sunday, as well? Last Sunday, they did not deliberate. They had court, excuse me, on Saturday. They did not have court on Sunday. Do you think they`re going to have court on Sunday, as well? I mean, what are we hearing amongst the sheriffs at the courthouse? They know before everybody else because they`ve got to line up the staff and everyone else to handle the courtroom.

BROWN: Well, we didn`t actually need to hear it from the sheriffs. We heard it straight from the judge himself on the bench today. We`re back at 9:00 AM tomorrow. We`ve got another full day of deliberations. And (INAUDIBLE) he said he spent the afternoon looking at case law just to make sure that he could have trial again on Sunday, and he said that we can. So if we do need to go into yet another day, we`ll be back here on Sunday for deliberations.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A verdict that speaks for the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says, yes, I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any type of ear damage?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do. I heard him say that, and I wasn`t sure if that`s what I heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the defendant ever tell you he saw a gun in that red SUV?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I look and I`m looking at a barrel. He`s showing me a gun and he`s threatening me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you were not shot at.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the dead, we owe the truth.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. We are on a verdict watch here at HLN. All eyes remain on a Florida courthouse as we hand it up to a jury to do the right thing in the case of then 45-year-old Michael Dunn, a software creator, charged with unleashing a hail of bullets on four unarmed black youths.

The defense, self-defense, Dunn insisting at certain points that he had seen a shotgun, later saying maybe it was a stick, later saying maybe he imagined the whole thing. Well, whatever was in his imagination, the reality is Jordan Davis is dead. In his stead in the courtroom, his family awaits a jury verdict.

And in the last hours, the jury, who`s now been out for about three days, says they`ve got another question. Can they return a verdict on some counts and not one count? Obviously, hung up on the murder charge with Jordan Davis as the victim.

We are taking your calls. Out to Stephanie Brown joining us from WOKV. Stephanie, thank you for being with us. Stephanie, the implications of this means that most certainly, there`s going to be a mistrial, a hung jury on certain counts, specifically one count. Since all the other counts are similar -- you`ve got a murder and three attempted murders or aggravated assault on the other three boys in the car -- there`s only one count that they`re hung up on. It`s got to be the murder charge, Stephanie.

BROWN: Well, the only way to really know exactly what they`re considering is to be a juror itself. If we do accept that it`s the murder charge, it makes sense because there are a few things to consider. First of all, if they can get past self-defense, even if they say he was not acting in self-defense, they have to decide if he was acting with premeditation to get that first degree count. But the jurors in this case can also consider second degree or even manslaughter.

So it could be that those options of the different verdicts are holding up the deliberations, as well.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers, Mo Ivory, Jason Lamm, Parag Shah. Also joining us, Frank Taaffe. Here`s how it goes down Parag Shah. If they agree that it`s not murder one, and then they mistry, if they say not guilty murder one, not guilty murder two and they mistry on voluntary, all right, then they come back guilty on shooting at the other three boys, the state can never come back and retry him for murder one or murder two. They`re stuck with only retrying him on voluntary manslaughter. Otherwise, that would be double jeopardy.

If they come back not guilty on murder one and murder two and they hang on the lesser charge of voluntary, if there is another trial, the state can only try him on voluntary. Isn`t that correct?

SHAH: I agree with you, Nancy. And that`s why I think if that happens, we`re looking at possibly a plea working out because they`re going -- he`s going to get sentenced on the attempted murders...

GRACE: Quit shaking your head, Taaffe!

SHAH: He`s going to get sentenced on the attempted murders, so there`s no point to have another trial, just take a deal that runs concurrent with attempted murders, and that`s probably what`s going to happen.

GRACE: Well, I mean, on the attempted murders, even if they came down, Mo, on a less, which is ag assault, that`d be 20 on each. That`d be consecutive, 20, 20, 20, that`s 60 years.

IVORY: Sure, he`s going to jail no matter what.

GRACE: Why are you two shaking your heads? You`re not the in the courtroom!

TAAFFE: OK, you know why?


IVORY: No, he`s going to jail, Taaffe!

TAAFFE: Allow -- allow me...

IVORY: He`s going to jail and he`s going for a long time, Nancy. And that`s what...

TAAFFE: Just like Zimmerman!

IVORY: ... that question was about.

TAAFFE: OK, number one...

IVORY: Not just like Zimmerman. Zimmerman will eventually end up in jail, I`m positive of that. But right now...

GRACE: Me, too, sadly.

IVORY: ... we`re talking about Dunn.

TAAFFE: OK. Now, first of all...

GRACE: Here`s your chance, Taaffe!

TAAFFE: ... you got to remember the state -- OK. The state stipulated that the death penalty was taken off the table before this ever happened. Keep this in mind. Why are they hung up on a murder charge? If he`s guilty of attempted murder, like you said, 20, 20, 20, and the other one carries 10, that`s 70. Even if they agreed on 20 years, he`s gone for a long time. You`re wrong.


GRACE: We are on a verdict watch here on HLN as we wait for a Florida jury to bring home a verdict in the case against now 47-year-old Michael Dunn. He is charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black youth over the kid`s loud music that was playing at a gas station.

Back to Stephanie Brown, WOKV. Stephanie, the charges that were read to the jury -- now, we know what`s in the indictment, first degree murder, three counts of attempted murder on the other three boys in the car and shooting at a vehicle. But the jury has given other options, what we call lesser included offenses, by the judge. What are the lessers that they could pick from, Stephanie?

BROWN: What`s on the table right now -- if you are looking at the murder charge, it`s first degree murder. That`s what the jury has to rule out first. If they decide that`s what he`s not guilty of, then they can look at second degree murder. If they again rule that out, then they move down to what`s called manslaughter by act (ph). It`s the same idea with those attempted charges. You`ve got attempted second degree and then attempted manslaughter by act (ph) on the table, as well.

GRACE: Joining me right now, Martin Savidge, CNN correspondent at the courthouse. Martin, when the jury heard those charges, they were also given the jury instructions, the charges, in writing. Now, in a lot of jurisdictions, they don`t get to have that, but they got the charges in writing, which I think always messes with their heads because it`s, you know, 200 pages of legalese is what it is. But they`re hung up.

SAVIDGE: Yes, now, it`s very...

GRACE: Yes. When you listen to their question, it`s obviously the murder charge that they`re hung up on.

SAVIDGE: Right. Yes, I think that is a given, that you`re absolutely right, that it`s the murder charge they are hung up on. The instructions are incredibly complicated. And it was interesting, when the jury was out of the room as they were discussing all of this between the prosecutors, the defense and the judge, the judge kept saying, you know, These are incredibly complicated instructions, and we are really asking a lot from people who are laymen to understand it. But they`re trying, and they`re still at it.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Rod in North Carolina. Hi. What`s your question? Ragile? Hi, Ragile. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, my question was the silencer that was found in his car. Why wasn`t that entered into evidence? Doesn`t that reflect on his character?

GRACE: You know, Matt Zarrell, what do we know -- that`s a good question. Oh, hold on. I`m hearing in my ear I`ve got Sunny Hostin at the courthouse, too, CNN legal analyst. Sunny, what about the silencer.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That was certainly not entered into evidence. There`s no evidence that it was used during the commission of this crime, so it didn`t reflect on character, and it wasn`t entered into evidence.

GRACE: Well, are you telling me it didn`t come into evidence because it wasn`t used in the crime?

HOSTIN: I`m telling you, Nancy, that it was not entered into evidence. The jury does not have that before them. They`re not considering that.

GRACE: OK, because -- right, OK, which is really interesting, Matt Zarrell, because whatever is found on the crime scene can be introduced into evidence. The nunchucks -- all right, let`s see the Bruce Lee video again for all of you out there, that nunchucks isn`t part of your everyday routine. If I hadn`t been a prosecutor, I wouldn`t know about it, either. There you go! That`s what he`s swinging around, trying to kill people. That`s what`s in the back of Michael Dunn`s car.

Hold on, Matt Zarrell. Hey, Frank Taaffe, why does your man have a .9, a magazine with bullets, a silencer and nunchucks?

TAAFFE: Well, I`m going to tell you. I`m going to answer that question. And maybe Sunny can answer this because she was a federal prosecutor. It`s against the law for any public citizen to own one. It`s a federal charge, and it`s a state charge. So if that was found in his vehicle, why wasn`t that part of the counts? Please answer that question. Answer that question!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you feel that (ph) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and now he`s screaming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bullet popped out that plastic that`s now lying on the seat of the Durango.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are familiar with 911, are you not?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three digits, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t wait for somebody to try something with me when I have my gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe that justice will be served.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re working hard, trying to make a just decision.


GRACE: No, actually, they had dinner and they went home. What is going on with the jury? The jury now, in their last question, wants to know can they basically mistry on one question, one count, and return on the others?

But just right before we went to break, Frank Taaffe was suggesting that police somehow lied. Let`s see the nunchucks and the .9-millimeter, the full magazine and the silencer that was found in Michael Dunn`s car, his arsenal.

Where`s Taaffe? Let me see him. You were just suggesting that it must have been a big lie that there was a silencer back there because he hadn`t been charged federally. The only time I ever encountered silencers in all my years of prosecuting was when I prosecuted...

TAAFFE: Who is he, James Bond?

GRACE: ... drug lords. No, but I think he wants to be because it was a fake silencer, Taaffe!

TAAFFE: Look, there`s no law...

GRACE: Your man wanted to be Mr. Big, so he would come out...

TAAFFE: Right. There`s no...

GRACE: He`d get his .9, he`d show off, and he`s put on the silencer and show it off to everybody that he had a silencer.

All right, Mo Ivory, that`s the deal, all right? Michael Dunn carried a fake silencer. That`s why he couldn`t be charged federally because having a silencer is against the law.

IVORY: Right. I mean, listen, there`s so many things we know about Michael Dunn that we wonder, why weren`t these things brought into evidence.

GRACE: (INAUDIBLE) fake silencer!

IVORY: Fight. Exactly, I mean, because he was running around like a fake Rambo, like we`ve said all the time, up until the point that he reached that car, and then he put it into action. We already know what...


IVORY: Right.

GRACE: Unleash all the lawyers. All right, you know, Taaffe, I mean, really, after he`s already shot one kid and he`s still shooting, they drive off trying to get away from him, he runs out in the parking lot and gets down like Rambo in a police pose and he`s shooting?

TAAFFE: Hey, quit knocking on Rambo.

GRACE: No, I`m serious.

TAAFFE: Hey, I liked Rambo. I love Rambo.

GRACE: All right, let`s take...

TAAFFE: You know what?


GRACE: I can`t hear you right now.


TAAFFE: ... come out of your ivory tower and read the discovery.

IVORY: You sound like an idiot.

TAAFFE: If you would allow me to explain...

GRACE: I think that may have been...

TAAFFE: ... the threat was still...


TAAFFE: ... was still present. The threat was still present.

IVORY: Frank, you sound like an idiot.

TAAFFE: Thank you, Mo. I love you, too.


IVORY: Yes, I can`t even address what you`re saying because you just sound so foolish. Your arguments make no sense...

TAAFFE: Yes, I was so stupid...

IVORY: ... and you are just defending a man who shot a teenager in cold blood, point blank.

TAAFFE: Right. Those are your words.

GRACE: Whoa -- whoa. Whoa-whoa. Stop, stop, stop!

TAAFFE: Come out of your ivory tower...

GRACE: Hey, Liz...

TAAFFE: ... and why don`t you read the discovery, OK?

IVORY: OK. Thank you.

GRACE: I want to go to Martin Savidge. Martin, here are the words of the jury. Everybody cross your fingers. Let`s make sure this is a jury question. All right, roll it, Liz.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, the first question is, "Are we able to take a 30-minute break?" Obviously, the answer to that is yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then there`s a second question. And it is -- well, I`m wondering if it might be advantageous to give them the break, answer the first question and give them the break. I guess they`d still have the second question pending. The second question is this. "Is it possible to not reach a verdict on one count and reach a verdict on the other counts?" The answer to that is yes.


GRACE: So that`s exactly the language that you and I were talking about, Martin Savidge.

SAVIDGE: Right. And it was, you know, a tough time because I think most people realized by that time in the afternoon, 4:45, almost 5:00 o`clock -- this jury hadn`t really said anything all day long, hadn`t asked any further questions. We all pretty much felt what that question brought out, which was they`ve got a problem, they`re deadlocked, they`ve got an issue of which they cannot resolve.

And so I suppose it really wasn`t that surprising. However, to actually hear the question coming from the jurors just brought it all out, what everybody had been thinking. And as you point out, that during the deliberation today, we exceeded the amount of time that the jury took with the George Zimmerman case, and of course, that was a huge, huge case. And one last milestone to point out, Sunday, because this trial`s obviously going into Saturday -- Sunday is Jordan Davis`s -- would have been his 19th birthday.

GRACE: You know, it`s so hard to stand by when you`ve devoted, as I have, my whole legal career to the justice system, to see what you believe is a miscarriage of justice unfolding.

Matt Zarrell, this question that Sunny and Martin and I have been kicking around, explain how that connects in with the self-defense theory.

MATT ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Yes, Nancy, self-defense is an affirmative defense, meaning that if the jury had accepted Dunn`s self- defense claim, all of the charges would be not guilty because they would buy the theory that Dunn was acting in self-defense. The fact that they are undecided on one count suggests, at least to me, Nancy, that they are not believing the self-defense story, and they`re debating murder 1, murder 2 or manslaughter.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers, Parag Shah, Jason Lamm, Mo Ivory, Frank Taaffe. Parag Shah, did you get his reasoning -- and I agree with him -- if they bought Michael Dunn`s theory of self-defense, OK, everything would be thrown out because if it`s truly self-defense, you are innocent. He would be innocent of -- not not guilty, but innocent of shooting at the other youths, shooting at Jordan Davis and firing on the car.

They wouldn`t be split. If they accepted he really thought he was acting in self-defense, there would already have been an acquittal, Parag.

SHAH: That`s -- that`s -- that`s correct. But in this situation, even a manslaughter conviction is a win for the defense. So I think the fact that they`ve been out...

GRACE: Well, OK, I agree with you, although that`s not at all what I asked you. Jason Lamm, give it a shot.

LAMM: First thing, Nancy, maybe it`s Valentine`s Day and love is in the air. But I got to agree with you. Taaffe`s an idiot and just needs to shut up. He`s not a lawyer and doesn`t know what he`s talking about.

GRACE: Hey, this is not about bringing down Taaffe yet. Just give me the theory on the self-defense argument that you heard Matt just make.

LAMM: OK, so here`s the bottom line. They could...

TAAFFE: Never said I was, Jason.

LAMM: Quiet. Quiet, Frank. Hush, hush. They may think that he acted in self-defense on the murder charge, but that he had no right to self-defense with the other people who were in the car. So they could, in theory, be hung on the murder, but say he had no self-defense on the attempted murder charges and convict him there. It is a possibility.

GRACE: Very quickly...

LAMM: We don`t know what`s going on.

GRACE: ... to Patricia Saunders, clinical psychologist. Patricia, you know, I can make a lot of puns right now. But what do you think it says about Dunn that he screws on a silencer to make his gun look bigger?

PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think that kind of speaks for itself. Look, this really goes to state of mind. Rambo is a fantasy character. Dunn was living in the fantasy of being the big man. But the reality is, he was saying, I can`t wait to shoot somebody. I want to shoot somebody. That is behavioral evidence state of mind. This guy was primed to kill, and it wouldn`t have taken much to trigger him.


GRACE: We are in a verdict watch here at HLN as we wait for a Florida jury to hand down a verdict in the case against Michael Dunn. He`s charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black teen over the teen`s loud music.

Straight back out to Sunny Hostin, joining us at the courthouse. Sunny, there`s a headstone on Jordan Davis`s grave, and that should put a chill down every mother`s spine to think that could happen, God forbid, to your child.

Sunny, who has been hanging out at the courthouse or in the courtroom during all this? We got reports that the judge was concerned people could hear the jury deliberations through the wall?

HOSTIN: That`s right. We heard about that. You know, every single day that I`ve been in the courtroom, you`ve been allowed to go into the courtroom and just sort of sit around waiting to determine whether or not the jury has a question.

Just today, the courtroom was locked and we were told that we could not hang out in the courtroom until we learned that there would be a question, and then we could go in five minutes before. And that is because they believe that either someone could hear the jury or the jury could hear us.

And I`ve got to tell you, the jury -- rather, the courtroom, Nancy, has been absolutely packed. I mean, we are shoulder to shoulder in there on the side of Jordan Davis.

GRACE: Well, did you ever hear anything?

HOSTIN: I never heard anything. But I`ll tell you, there are about 20 to 40 supporters, family and friends of Jordan Davis, and there are only about...

GRACE: So you never could hear anything.

HOSTIN: ... two people or three for the Dunns. No, I never heard anything.

GRACE: You know what`s interesting, Martin Savidge, when I first started prosecuting, I remember I was sitting in the courtroom, just like she, Sunny, described, waiting for a verdict. And I was picking up. People had left stuff all over the courtroom. I was in there by myself, and I was just cleaning up the courtroom. And I could hear the jurors. I`m, like -- and they were fighting it out. I`m, like, Oh, dear Lord in heaven! That`s not good!

I mean, they were -- it sounded to me like they were yelling. Well, 20 minutes later, it was -- they were getting their drink order together for the sheriff. You know, I want a Sprite. No, I want a Diet Coke. After that, I never got close to the jury door again because, you know, I nearly had a heart attack because when you think you can hear something through the jury deliberations door, that`s not necessarily true.

So Marty, how long have they been out?

SAVIDGE: Well, golly, now, we`re -- you know, we`re at the end of a third day. The first full day was really yesterday. One of the things I`ll point out just that you mentioned in that story, which I do find fascinating about what you could hear and what they really were talking about -- this is a brand-new courthouse. I mean, it`s been open for about a year-and-a-half. But that courtroom, brand-new. they`re still figuring out the quirks, and that might be part of it, the jury room and the sounds.

GRACE: Well, in my case, it was the heat vent.

Right now, "CNN Heroes."


GRACE: We are live and taking your calls. To Dr. Bill Manion, medical examiner joining me out of Philly tonight, Dr. Manion, what did Jordan Davis go through with that bullet ricocheting through the inside of his body?

DR. BILL MANION, MEDICAL EXAMINER (via telephone): Well, the main wound would be the upper bullet that went through his chest and lacerated the aorta. So he would be conscious for 30 to 60 seconds with that type of wound. He would feel intense pain from the three bullet wounds themselves. And so until he lost at least half of his blood into his -- with internal bleeding, he would have definitely experienced severe conscious pain, suffering, severe conscious suffering and pain, absolutely.

GRACE: You know, Frank Taaffe, you have adamantly defended George Zimmerman and you have steadfastly defended Michael Dunn. And I kept wondering why you were so -- you were hanging in there so staunchly. And it has recently, very recently come to my attention about some very disturbing comments on your Twitter feed.

Out to the control room. What was the comment we wanted to ask Frank about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "The only time a black life is validated is when a white person kills them," end quote.

GRACE: And I find -- I just got to know. That was from "Mother Jones," the magazine and the Web site, that claimed you said that.


GRACE: And I want you to have a chance to defend yourself because if that`s true, it is horrible. If it`s not true, you ought to file a lawsuit.

TAAFFE: It`s not true.

GRACE: All right.

TAAFFE: No, it`s not true. And I have a pending lawsuit against "Mother Jones," by the way. I`m glad you brought that up.

GRACE: I did not know that.


GRACE: There`s also your alleged response to them. What`s the response, from the control room, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quote, "That minority group, they don`t do anything productive for this country except for the NBA. And if it wasn`t for the NBA, Joe (ph), like I always say, our country would have the world`s tallest garbage men. Thank God for the NBA," end quote.

TAAFFE: That`s not my Twitter account. I`ve already defended myself on that.

GRACE: Because Taaffe, that is so...

TAAFFE: That`s horrible. That`s horrible. That`s not my Twitter account. That`s some time from years back. Someone hacked into my account. So thank you for letting me get it out there.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four teenage boys who had their whole lives ahead of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is innocent. Not even not guilty, he is innocent.


GRACE: Joining me at the courthouse, Sunny Hostin and Martin Savidge. We`re also taking your calls. Out to Tim in Wisconsin. What`s your question, Tim?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. I was calling because I`m wondering at what point does our justice system simply say that if you make a decision that especially comes out as a fatality, that you are responsible? Now, my thing, I go back before anything else happened. If he went into this -- and maybe I should ask you, when he went into the gas station, weren`t those young men already there?

GRACE: Yes. As a matter of fact, they were. Right, Martin?

SAVIDGE: Oh, yes, they were there. They had gotten there just shortly before. It was only by a matter of minutes, but they were there.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Louis in New York. Hi, Louis. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I just wanted to make a comment. You know, this guy pulls into this parking spot with his fiancee in the car. These guys are playing loud music. He says, I don`t like this thug music. So he`s got an attitude already that he doesn`t like these guys.

He`s clearly the aggressor here because if he`s in such fear for his life and his fiancee`s life, why didn`t he just pull away from the parking spot instead of telling these kids to turn their music down? Who is he to say, Turn the music down? Why not just go away from them?

GRACE: You know, Louis in New York, you just capsulized the entire state`s argument. Why not?

Let`s stop and remember American hero, Army Staff Sergeant Michael Cardenaz, 29, Corona, California, Bronze Star, four Army commendation medals, eight Army Achievement Medals, loved fishing, the Dodgers, parents Miguel (ph) and Roslyn (ph), three sisters, one brother, widow Macarena (ph), five children. Michael Cardenaz, American hero.

Everyone, thank you for being with us. Good night, friend.