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Florida shooter defended himself in jail tapes

Man says he was victim

‘‘I was the one that was being preyed upon and I fought back,’’ Michael Dunn was recorded telling his fiancee at the jail.

Reuters file

‘‘I was the one that was being preyed upon and I fought back,’’ Michael Dunn was recorded telling his fiancee at the jail.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Florida software designer accused of killing a black teenager during an argument over loud music compared himself to a rape victim, telling his fiancee in a recorded jailhouse phone call that the police were trying to blame him for the shooting when he was only defending himself.

In a series of taped phone calls and jailhouse visits released Tuesday by prosecutors, Michael Dunn also expressed surprise at the media attention his November 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside a Jacksonville convenience store had drawn and expressed confidence that he would be exonerated once a jury heard all the facts.

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Dunn, 47, was convicted Saturday of three counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at three of Davis’s friends who were inside an SUV, but the jury hung on a first-degree murder charge for Davis’s death.

Dunn, who is white, has argued that he fired at Davis after the teen threatened him and raised a shotgun or something that looked like one after he asked the teens to turn down their rap music.

No shotgun was found in the SUV.

Dunn is facing 60 years in prison when sentenced and State Attorney Angela Corey said she will retry him on the murder charge, which carries a potential life sentence. A phone message left for Dunn’s attorney, Cory Strolla, was not immediately returned.

In a December 2012 phone call with his fiancee, Rhonda Rouer, Dunn compared himself to a rape victim, saying the detectives wanted to blame him for the shooting, not Davis and his friends.

Inmates at the Duval County Jail are warned that all phone conversations and visits will be recorded and can be shared with prosecutors except for those with their attorneys.

‘‘I was thinking a lot about this today and I was like, I’m, I’m the victim here,’’ Dunn told Rouer. ‘‘I was the one that was being preyed upon and I fought back.

‘‘And then, you know, it’s not quite the same, but it made me think of like the old TV shows and movies where, like, how police used to think when a chick got raped, ‘Oh, it’s her fault because of the way she was dressed.’ Yeah, and I’m like, so it’s my fault because I asked them to turn their music down,’’ he said in a laughing voice. ‘‘I got attacked and I fought back because I don’t want to be a victim and now I’m in trouble.’’

Dunn told Rouer he had no motive to shoot Davis other than self-defense. Apparently referencing his engagement to Rouer and his son’s wedding, which he had attended right before the shooting, he said his life had been ‘‘perfect.’’

In another conversation with Rouer, Dunn expressed his frustration, saying, ‘‘I’m the victor, but I was the victim, too.’’

 

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