TAMPA - A judge has sentenced 71-year-old Trevor Dooley to 8 years in prison. He could have been sentenced to 30 years.
A jury found Dooley guilty of manslaughter on November 19. He was charged in the 2010 death of his neighbor, David James.
The judge took into account the fact that Dooley is a family man with no criminal record.
The killing occurred after an argument erupted at a basketball court in a Valrico neighborhood over a teen skateboarding on the court. It would end with a shot being fired and the death of James.
Early on, Dooley invoked Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law. But that request was denied.
During trial, Dooley recounted the moments and fight that led up to James' death…
“He said, ‘He shot me.’ And then he was up there for maybe five, ten seconds and then he collapsed on top of me,” Dooley testified.
The defense tried to paint Dooley as somewhat physically meek, bringing up health issues, multiple surgeries and injuries.
"He had no right to it," said James' wife, Kanina James, who testified that Dooley's 'stand your ground' defense made no sense when it was Dooley who was armed. "If anybody did, my husband was the one who should have been able to stand his ground."
While Dooley claimed the much younger James "brought it on himself" by attacking him, Kanina James didn't buy his testimony.
"Nobody really knew my husband, but he was a really good person," James said. She believed that her spouse took up for the young stateboarder after watching Dooley bully the boy off the basketball court.
"That was him. He loved kids," she said. At sentencing, she said she hoped Dooley would get a harsh punishment. "And I hope he's miserable," she said following guilty verdict.
Dooley blamed the verdict on race.
"Do you really think if was the other way around, and the skin color was different, we would be here today?" Dooley said after the trial
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