Michael Dunn adds prominent defense attorney
Updated On: Nov 30 2012 06:32:34 PM EST
As family members of 17-year-old Jordan Davis mourn his death, the man accused of killing him is building his case. That includes the addition of one prominent local attorney, Mitch Stone, who has had success using the "stand your ground" defense.
Still, defense attorney Gene Nichols says it will be an uphill battle for Michael Dunn, who's charged with murder after police said he shot into an SUV during a dispute over loud music at a gas station, killing Davis (pictured below).
"It's going to be incredibly hard to establish a 'stand your ground' defense if they cannot establish that a gun was involved," Nichols said.
Stone issued this statement: "We are currently investigating the case. We feel it will reveal facts that will support our client's justifications for his actions."
Stone said it's possible a "stand your ground" defense could come into play.
"He knows 'stand your ground' well, and he will do a fine job of presenting it to the court with the facts that he had," Nichols said. "Unfortunately for Mr. Stone, the facts today will not lend themselves very easily to the 'stand your ground' defense."
In Stone's previous "stand your ground" case, Erica Felder was arrested and charged with aggravated battery for cutting her boyfriend's face with an umbrella after he repeatedly beat her and tried to steal her purse. The judge agreed Felder was acting in self-defense, and dismissed the charge.
One successful case will certainly help defending Dunn, Nichols says, but there is still a long way to go before "stand your ground" can be proven.
"He's going to have to show that the young men in that vehicle were either about to harm him, were on the way to harming him, or he was going to be potentially killed by them," Nichols said.
Davis will be laid to rest Saturday in Marietta, Ga. His family's attorney, John Phillips, held a "turn up the music" tribute at his law firm Friday evening to honor Davis.
"The funeral of a child is unfortunate, but the funeral of a child that has to have a lawyer there is even more unfortunate," Phillips said. "There's more to it because of where we've come as a society where this kind of thing can happen. I mean, we've gone from just respecting each other to just reacting without there being an action."
Ron Davis, Jordan's father, spoke Friday night in a news conference in Marietta about his son and this case.
"We're going to miss him. He was like any other kid," Davis said. "Anyone out there who has children, they'll understand why I want the guns of the street."
Davis said he will be an advocate for that cause, saying the way to make children safe on the streets is to not have handguns on the streets.
"People say laws can't be changed. I believe they can be changed. Maybe it'll be 'Jordan's Law,'" Davis said. "I shouldn't be able to end your life, end the life of your children, end the life of your family members just because I misinterpret your actions."
Davis said he believes the reason for his son's death was anger, not race. He said he doesn't believe a "stand your grand" defense applies because the suspect never contacted police, despite saying he felt threatened and fired eight or nine shots, according to police.
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