Jacksonville, FL - A special Saturday session in the trial of Michael Dunn featured a meticulous look through gunshot related evidence.
State Attorney Angela Corey questioned evidence technician Det. Andrew Kipple for more than an hour, walking through each of the shell casings, fragments and bullet holes he documented in and around the Durango where the four teens were sitting. He located nine holes on the SUV.
Based on trajectory, Kipple told the jury one bullet traveled from the rear passenger side quarter panel through the SUV, damaging the visor near the driver’s head. He found three bullet holes in the front side passenger door as well, although those bullets did not penetrate the interior of the door. He also tracked three bullet holes that traveled through the rear passenger side door, where Jordan Davis was seated. When asked if there’s any reason the bullets to the rear may have gone through the door and not the front, Kipple said it’s possible there is more metal in the front seat door.
As soon as Defense Attorney Cory Strolla was allowed to cross-examine Kipple, he dove right back in to training, eventually getting Kipple to agree that he is not a ballistics expert. He also questioned Kipple how he managed to miss a piece of evidence- what the defense called a bullet fragment and what the state classified as a projectile- while examining the Durango. Kipple told Strolla he overlooked it.
The technician who processed that evidence was brought up after Kipple. Detective William Whittlesey told Strolla he also did not immediately see the fragment, it was actually pointed out to him by a Homicide Detective.
A photo of the child lock on the car was also brought in to question. Both sides have a focus on the child lock because, if it was engaged, Jordan Davis would not have been able to get out of the Durango while arguing with Dunn. The photo taken and entered in to evidence is blurry, and Kipple told Strolla the photo was taken by Whittlesey. When asked if he took it, however, Whittlesey told Strolla he would have to review the photo himself to determine that.
JSO Detective Marc Musser told attorneys the child lock was off when he examined the Durango.
He was also walked step-by-step through his investigation, this time by Assistant State Attorney John Guy. That included answering some of the questions Strolla has been raising through the trial so far. On why there were no sworn statement performed on any of the teens, Musser said it’s not policy to do that on anyone but suspects. He also pointed out that from where the teens drove to in the plaza, they had almost no access to dumpsters and only a slim chance of getting any kind of weapon on the roof of one of the buildings.
A deputy and technician from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, where Michael Dunn was located, also took the stand. The deputy said the warrant on Dunn was considered “high risk”, so they came to arrest him with AR-15s and a lot of caution, but he did not resist. The evidence technician faced some questions regarding a gun magazine and shell casings that were not located until after the car was transported back to Jacksonville. He said he was not told to process the areas where that potential evidence was eventually located.
Judge Russell Healey allowed the sequestered jury to decide whether he should hold trial today and, if so, how long the day should be. The 12 jurors and 4 alternates actually requested trial both Saturday and Sunday, but Healey only granted a full day Saturday. On Sunday, the jury will be allowed limited visitation with family who sign a confidentiality agreement.
As of Saturday morning, the state had presented 16 witnesses in a day and a half of questioning. Those include employees at the Gate where the shooting occurred, those who were in the adjacent plaza where the teens drove when Michael Dunn started shooting, and the teens themselves who were in the SUV with Jordan Davis when he died from the gunfire. Davis’ father, Ron, is still expected to be a witness.
I am at the courthouse for all of today’s testimony. Stay up to date with the latest testimony by following on Twitter (@NewsAndNom and @WOKVNews). This story will also be updated through today.