JACKSONVILLE - A middle-aged software engineer opened fire on a black teenager because he felt disrespected when the 17-year-old refused to turn down the rap music blaring from his car, a prosecutor told a Florida jury in closing arguments on Wednesday.
"This defendant fired round after round after round into that car," Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson told jurors.
Evidence clearly showed the four teens in the red Dodge Durango were unarmed, she said.
Michael Dunn, 47, who is white, is charged with first-degree murder in the November 2012 shooting of Jordan Davis. Dunn faces three charges of attempted murder for firing 10 shots at the SUV while parked at a Jacksonville gas station.
Wolfson said Dunn felt "disrespected" when the teen refused to lower the volume. She quoted a witness who overheard Dunn say: "You are not going to talk to me that way" as the altercation escalated.
Then Dunn "took it upon himself to silence Jordan Davis forever," Wolfson said.
If found guilty, he faces up to life in prison. Prosecutors say they will not seek the death penalty.
The case has drawn national and international media attention because of racial overtones and the claims of self-defence, drawing comparisons to the trial of George Zimmerman, the former central Florida neighbourhood watchman who was acquitted last year of murder after he shot a 17-year-old unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, during a struggle.
The verdict in the Dunn case remains in doubt, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin, a former assistant U.S. Attorney, tweeted on Tuesday night. "Especially in Florida, given the breadth of the stand your ground law and self defence culture," she said.
A jury of 10 whites, three blacks, one Asian, one Hispanic and a person of Indian descent is hearing hear the case. Only 12 jurors will ultimately take part in the deliberations.
Dunn was parked next to four teens, when they got into an argument over the volume of the music on the SUV stereo that had Chicago rapper Lil Reese's "Beef" cranked up loud, according to police reports.
Dunn's attorney, Cory Strolla, is expected to argue that his client used legitimate self-defence after Davis issued an expletive-laced threat.
The software engineer took the stand in his own defence on Tuesday and told the jury he started shooting in a state of panic after the exchange of words grew more heated and he thought he saw the barrel of a gun in the back window as Davis started to get out of the car.
Police said they found no weapon in the teens' SUV after the shooting.
"Michael Dunn doesn't get to just assume Jordan Davis had a gun and ... was going to shoot him," said Wolfson. "Self defence does not let you assume."
The prosecution used its closing argument to expose inconsistencies in Dunn's version of the incident.
In one of the more dramatic moments in the trial Dunn's fiancée, Rhonda Rouer, told the court that after the shooting Dunn never mentioned seeing a gun in the teens' car.
Medical evidence presented in court showed Davis died inside the car in a defensive posture.
Dunn's description of some of the verbal expletives used in the arguments varied in court from a previous recorded account he gave to police.