JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Acknowledging that he had deliberately ignored the media over the past several months, defense Attorney Cory Strolla took questions amid juror deliberations in the Michael Dunn trial just before noon Thursday.
Questions ranged from inquiries about whether his client was overcharged by State Attorney Angela Corey to questions about his racial bias and state of mind.
"There's a lot vested in this case politically" he said of Corey. Had the George Zimmerman case never happened, he said, it was unlikely "we'd be standing in this room today."
Strolla said his client was "in good spirits" despite waiting to hear his fate in a jail holding cell behind the courtroom. Strolla described Dunn's parents as emotional. When he offered Dunn's father a chance to read a statement, Strolla says, he replied, "If I do that I'm going to hysterically cry."
Strolla took several questions about his client's apparent racial bias, particularly letters Dunn wrote from jail, but argued his client's views aren't rooted in race. "This isn't a black & white issue, it's a subculture thug issue," Strolla said. He later added that some of his client's more vitriolic letters were written after a fellow inmate threatened to rape him.
Strolla himself appeared confident in his own performance. When asked about the four-against-one ratio of prosecution to his lone defense, he joked that "it wasn't' fair" -- the state should have been allowed more.
Jurors began deliberating last night, and have been at it more than five hours. You can watch live coverage of the verdict on First Coast News, at firstcoastnews.com and on twitter @FCN2go.