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Man accused of killing Jacksonville teen pleads 'not guilty'

7:12 PM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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COCOA, Fla -- The man accused of shooting and killing a 17-year-old high school student at a Southside gas station made his first court appearance in Brevard County on Monday, claiming he opened fire on the carload of teens because he felt threatened.  

Michael Dunn pleaded not guilty in the murder and attempted murder charges filed against him. It's the first time anyone has seen him since he was arrested Saturday morning for reportedly shooting and killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis of Jacksonville.

In court, his attorney Robin Lemonidis described Dunn's actions as self-defense.

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"What we know is that once all the facts come out, that what really happened is known, it will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted responsibly and as any other firearms owner would have acted under these same circumstances," says Dunn's attorney, Robin Lemonidis.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said witnesses reported that an altercation between Michael Dunn and three teenagers, including Davis, at the Gate gas station on Southside Boulevard began over loud music. JSO said Dunn told police he felt threatened and shot eight or nine rounds at the car, striking the victim twice and killing him. Dunn's attorney said Dunn and his girlfriend, who she confirmed to be Rhonda Rouer, were in Jackonville for his son's wedding and stopped at the gas station on their way to their hotel.

"He gave her 20 dollars to go in and buy a bottle of wine, that they were just going to sit and you know (in a hotel room in Jacksonville) yes ma'am ... and when she was in there and bought the bottle of wine as she was coming to the counter she heard this commotion this 'pop pop pop' outside," says Lemonidis.

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That's when JSO said Dunn's girlfriend got in the car and the two sped away, with no explanation as to why they left the scene.

Dunn was arrested Saturday morning at his residence in Satellite Beach for a warrant out of Jacksonville. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says he did not resist arrest. In court, Dunn waived extradition and his attorney said he wants be transported to Jacksonville to appear in court as soon as possible.

"Well the judge allows 72 hours and set a control date for 72 hours for the 29th. If they do not come and pick him up by the 29th then we are going to be moving them along a little bit you might say," says Lemonidis.

JSO said Dunn's girlfriend will not be facing any charges. Dunn's attorney says at this time no bond is set until Dunn appears before a judge in Jacksonville.

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