Role Reversal: Judge Rejects 71-Year-Old Black Man Trevor Dooley’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense


A Florida man, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in November for fatally shooting his neighbor, is out of jail on appeal. Unsurprisingly, Trevor Dooley’s neighbors are planning to move.

Dooley, 71, was convicted of fatally shooting David James, 41, in front of his 8-year-old daughter after the two men got into an argument about a skateboarder. During the trial, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody concluded, "All this could have been avoided if somebody had stopped and said, 'Let me introduce myself.'"

During the incident, James was shooting baskets with his daughter, Danielle, when Dooley stormed over to complain about a skateboarder who had gotten James' permission to use the other side of the court. While they were arguing, Dooley flipped up his T-shirt, revealing a gun in his waistband. As he turned to head for home, according to him, James grabbed him and tried to get the gun. The two then began wrestling on the ground.

Dooley insists he was forced to pull out the gun after James grabbed him by the throat.

"I had no other choice," he said. Dooley sought immunity under Florida's "Stand your Ground" law, but the judge rejected that defense, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

After he was convicted, Dooley cited racism for his prosecution.

"Do you really think that if it was the other way around and the skin color would be different we would be here today?" he asked at the time. "We wouldn't."

James' family sought a 30-year sentence.

"You're a bitter old man who is trying convince everybody you're a kind, frail old man," said James' widow, Kanina during the trial. "I hope you spend the rest of your miserable life in jail."

Danielle wrote a letter read in court that said, "I never wanted my dad's last words to be 'Call an ambulance. I've been shot.'" She ended the letter by saying, "I hate your guts, Trevor Dooley."

Sources: Tampa Bay Times, Bloomingdale-Riverdale Patch


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