A 47-year-old software developer was convicted yesterday of attempted murder for shooting into a carful of teenagers after an argument over what he called their "thug music".
But jurors could not agree on the most serious charge of first-degree murder.
After more than 30 hours of jury deliberations over four days, a mistrial was declared on the murder charge that Michael Dunn, who is white, faced in the fatal shooting of one of the black teenagers.
The 12 jurors found him guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and a count of firing into an occupied car.
The trial was the latest Florida case to raise questions about self-defence and race, coming six months after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The Dunn trial was prosecuted by the same State Attorney's Office that handled the Zimmerman case.
Dunn was charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis, of Georgia, in 2012 after the argument over loud music coming from the four-wheel-drive vehicle occupied by Davis and three friends outside a Jacksonville convenience store. Dunn had described the music to his fiancee as "thug music".
Dunn showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. Each attempted second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, while the fourth charge he was convicted on carries a maximum of 15. A sentencing date will be set at a hearing next month.
Davis' parents each left the courtroom in tears, and afterwards his mother, Lucia McBath, expressed gratitude for the verdict. Today would have been the teenager's 19th birthday.
"We are so grateful for the charges that have been brought against him," McBath said of Dunn. "We are so grateful for the truth. We are so grateful that the jurors were able to understand the common sense of it all."
On Dunn's potentially lengthy sentence, Davis' father, Ron Davis,said: "He's going to learn that hemust be remorseful for the killingof my son, that it was not justanother day at the office."
State Attorney Angela Corey said her office planned to retry Dunn on a first-degree murder charge, and she hoped jurors would come forward and tell prosecutors where they questioned their case. Jurors declined to talk to reporters.
During the day, the panel said in a note to Judge Russell Healey that they could not agree on the murder charge. They had the option of convicting Dunn of second-degree murder or manslaughter. The judge asked them to continue, and they went back to the deliberation room for two more hours before returning with a verdict.
Dunn claimed he acted in self-defence, testifying he thought he saw a firearm pointed at him from the 4WD as the argument escalated. No weapon was found in the vehicle. Dunn told jurors he feared for his life, perceiving "this was a clear and present danger".
Dunn, who has a concealed weapons permit, fired 10 shots, hitting the vehicle nine times. Davis was the only person hit.
Dunn plans to appeal.
Prosecutors contended that Dunn opened fire because he felt disrespected by Davis. The teen made his friend turn the music back up after they initially turned it down at Dunn's request. Dunn was parked in the spot next to the 4WD outside the store.
One person walking out of the store said he heard Dunn say, "You are not going to talk to me like that."
Dunn testified he heard someone in the 4WD shouting expletives and the word "cracker", a derogatory term for white people. "That defendant didn't shoot into a carful of kids to save his life. He shot into it to save his pride," Assistant State Attorney John Guy told the jury last week.