The man convicted of shooting dead a Florida teenager in a dispute over loud rap music has been given the maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole plus 90 years.
Michael Dunn’s sentence was handed down after Lucia McBath, mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, broke down in the courtroom on Friday, telling her son’s killer through tears that she forgave him.
Dunn, who was convicted of murder earlier this month, sat impassively as McBath spoke of the devastation she felt at losing her only child in the November 2012 shooting at a Jacksonville gas station.
“For years to come I will be forced to celebrate my son’s birthday without his presence. As I quietly watch my friends’ boys grow into young men, I will forever be reminded of what might’ve been for my Jordan,” she said.
“I choose to forgive you Mr Dunn for taking my son’s life. I choose to release the seeds of bitterness and anger and honour my son’s love. I choose to walk in the freedom of knowing God’s justice has been served. I pray that God has mercy on your soul.”
Judge Russell Healey sentenced software engineer Dunn, 47, to maximum prison terms on all counts: life without parole for the first-degree murder of Davis, three consecutive 30-year sentences for the attempted second-degree murder of the teenager’s friends, who were in the car with him, and an additional 15 years for shooting into a moving vehicle.
“Mr Dunn, your life is effectively over,” Healey said. “This tragedy should and could have been prevented.”