Jurors in the trial against Michael Dunn in Jacksonville have asked the judge if they can return a verdict on some counts but not others against the Brevard County man charged with first-degree murder for shooting and killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis during an argument over loud music in 2012.
The jury of seven women and five men had deliberated for a total of 19 hours before asking the judge at 5 p.m. Friday. That's already longer than it took the jury in George Zimmerman's murder trial last year to come to a verdict. The jury is now asking to be excused for the night.
Live updates from Friday
Jury says it has "reached a wall" for tonight. Asks to be excused for the evening. Judge says they can go. Jury deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday. Could begin sooner if they arrive before 9 a.m.
The jury has asked for a 30-minute break. Judge Russell Healey has ordered dinner for the jurors.
Jurors also asked if they can find the defendant guilty on some charges and remain deadlocked on others.
Judge Healey said yes, but a deadlock with no verdict on specific charges would result in a mistrial on those charges, and Dunn could face another trial on any deadlocked charges if no verdict is rendered.
The judge said he'll go as long as the jury wants to, and Saturday and Sunday are still options if no verdict comes Friday night.
Dunn jury has deliberated longer than Zimmerman's
It took the jury in George Zimmerman's trial 16 hours and 20 minutes to acquit him of murder in July 2013. The jury in Dunn's trial passed that mark shortly after 2 p.m. Friday.
Comparing that to another recent Florida murder trial, it took just under 11 hours for a jury from Pinellas County to acquit Casey Anthony in 2011.
In contrast to Thursday, when jurors came back with several questions for the judge and attorneys, we haven't heard much from the jurors in Dunn's trial since they resumed deliberating shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.
The wait may be tough for the parties directly involved in the case, but Dunn's attorney said earlier in the week that his client was "in good spirits."
The attorney for Davis' family said Thursday that his clients were prepared for any verdict.
Outside the courthouse, a handful of demonstrators have stood holding signs every day since the trial began, demanding "Justice for Jordan." One sign in particular read "Win this trial this time," referencing Zimmerman's acquittal in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a case many have compared to Dunn's trial, both of which involved 17-year-old unarmed black teenagers shot and killed.
On Friday, the demonstrators were not nearly as vocal, but some said just because the jury seemed to be taking its time doesn't mean they were questioning the legal process.
"I know they're trying to make sure they get the right verdict," said Willie Laster, of Jacksonville.
"I'm surprised, but I'm glad that it's taking this long, because that means they're really taking their time to come up with a good verdict, and I think that's a good thing," said Jacksonville resident Mary Dennis.
Also outside the courthouse were members of the New Black Panther Party, who have been a little more vocal than other groups, calling for the death penalty if Dunn is convicted of first-degree murder.
State Attorney Angela Corey did not pursue the death penalty against Dunn. Instead, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty of first-degree murder.
The jury also has the option to consider lesser charges of second-degree murder or manslaughter.
Dunn claims he shot the Georgia teen in self-defense, but prosecutors told jurors Dunn shot the teen because he felt disrespected by Davis during an argument over loud music.
Judge Russell Healey said spectators and lawyers will no longer be able to wait in the courtroom for a verdict, since there was concern that jurors could hear muffled sounds coming from the courtroom.