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Split verdict in race-tinged US murder trial

Published on Feb 16, 2014 11:25 AM
Michael Dunn (left) reacts disbelief as he looks at his parents after the verdicts were announced in his trial in Jacksonville, Florida on Feb 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A Florida jury convicted a man accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager during a dispute over loud music, of attempted murder, but failed to find him guilty of a more serious murder charge.

Michael Dunn, who is white, said he feared for his life when he opened fire on a red sport utility vehicle in a gas station parking lot, killing Mr Jordan Davis, 17 in November 2012.

Jurors convicted Dunn, 47, on four charges, including three counts of attempted second-degree murder against three other teenagers in the vehicle who survived, and of discharging a firearm after asking them to turn their music down.

Prominent civil rights activist Al Sharpton joined other critics in decrying the "disappointing verdict." Even though the 12-member jury failed to agree on the primary first-degree, or premeditated, murder charge, Dunn still faces a hefty jail term of at least 60 years for firing 10 rounds into the vehicle.

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