JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Michael Dunn, the man convicted over the weekend of firing 10 shots into a vehicle full of teenagers after becoming angry over their “booming” music, was sentenced in a Jacksonville court today. Dunn will serve at least 60 years in prison, and will be “slowly and painfully” tortured with rap music blaring his cell—a punishment that observers are calling “unorthodox but oddly appropriate.”
The sentence came quickly after Dunn’s conviction. The jury failed to reach a verdict on the most serious charge—the murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was killed when Dunn fired into the vehicle after they argued in a gas station parking lot—but did convict Dunn of attempted murder and “shooting or throwing a missile,” both of which carry hefty minimum sentences. Throughout the trial, Dunn maintained that he had acted in self-defense, claiming that he saw Davis brandishing what appeared to be a shotgun and feared for his life. No gun was found in the SUV, however, and the jury seemed to conclude that Dunn simply hates rap music, as well as its fan base.
Circuit Judge Russell Healey said that, because this case has attracted significant attention—mostly because, like the Trayvon Martin murder, Dunn is white and his victim was a black, teenaged boy—he needed to make an example out of Dunn. “Between Zimmerman and Dunn, Florida is developing a horrible reputation, and its time for the madness to stop.” Healey said.
“Clearly, Mr. Dunn finds rap music so grating and offensive that hearing it is, for him, akin to being strapped to a breaking wheel,” the judge noted. “I can’t think of a more fitting punishment than to let him listen to it 24/7 for the entirety of his incarceration.”
Assistant State Attorney Angela Corey, whose office handled Dunn’s prosecution, said that she was surprised by the judge’s decision. “But we believe that, in the end, it will serve the interests of justice to have Mr. Dunn waste away for the next few decades, listening to Eminem records at arena volumes.”
Dunn’s legal team could not be reached for comment, but members of his family worried that Dunn “won’t last very long once they start playing DMX—it’s more than he can take.”
Even so, John Palmer, the warden of Florida State Prison, said his team was ready to carry out the judge’s orders once Dunn is delivered to their custody. “We’re going to hit this guy hard,” Palmer said. “Everything from Run DMC to Gangsta NIP, with a serious amount of late R. Kelly along the way.”