Victim: David James (killed)
Accused: Trevor Dooley

Case type:
Citizen enforcing the law

Location:
public

Initiator:
victim

Witnesses:
yes

Case year:
2010

Location details: on the basketball court of a public park in Valrico, Hillsborough County, on Sept. 26, 2010

What happened: Trevor Dooley, 69, had his handgun tucked into his waistband when he walked to a basketball court across from his home to shoo away a skateboarder. David James, 41, was playing basketball nearby with his daughter. James began arguing with Dooley, telling him to leave the skateboarder alone. Dooley turned to walk away but James yelled after him, asking him about the gun sticking out of his pants. Dooley turned back and pulled out his gun. James then lunged at Dooley in an apparent effort to disarm him. They struggled, falling to the ground, and the gun fired, striking James in the chest. When the police arrived, Dooley was waiting in the park for them.

The outcome: A judge denied Dooley immunity at a "stand your ground" hearing. Dooley was convicted of manslaughter in November of 2012. The jury decided the case in just 90 minutes and said that Dooley had shot and killed a young neighbor for "nothing."

Investigating agency: Hillsborough County Sheriff

Case decision made by: Jury

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

Source: Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 28, 2010

Link to original story

Source: Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 29, 2010

Link to original story

Source: Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Hillsborough County, April 1, 2012

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013