The first juror in the Michael Dunn case to go public, a woman identified only as “Valerie,” explained to Nightline on Tuesday how the jury could deadlock on the murder charge for the killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, but find Dunn guilty of attempting to murder the three teens who survived the shooting. Valerie, who believes Dunn is guilty of first-degree murder, said that at the urging of Dunn’s attorney, they started deliberations by looking at page 25 in the jury instructions. “It said if he believed that he had an eminent threat to himself or his fiancee, so that was a thing that those two folks believed – he was frightened and there was no other option for him in regards to Mr. Davis,” Valerie said. “The rest of us were 100 percent sure, you didn’t have to react [with gunfire], you could have had another option.”
Valerie said the jury knew in the first hour that they wouldn’t reach a unanimous decision on the murder charge. In their first poll the vote was 10-2 in favor of a murder conviction, and after 30 hours of deliberations the final vote was 9-3.
Valerie said it was a “big deal” for her that Dunn testified that he wouldn’t use the word “thug,” since he was heard saying it in an interview and said, “I hate that thug music” before the incident, according to his fiancée’s testimony. But like the first juror to come forward in the Trayvon Martin case, Valerie said she and the other jurors didn’t think race was a factor. “Sitting in that room, it was never presented that way. We looked at it as a bad situation where teenagers were together and words were spoken and lines were crossed.”