TAMPA - A two-year emotional roller coaster ride came to a tearful but satisfying halt for Kanina James. She broke down, crying in a Hillsborough County courtroom as a clerk read the verdict for the man who killed her husband. Guilty, as charged.
"I was sick to my stomach the whole time," James said. "I could hardly breathe. It was very upsetting," she said.
David James, 41, died after an altercation with Trevor Dooley at a park in Valrico in 2010. Dooley was upset about a teenage skateboarder riding on a basketball court. James and Dooley exchanged words, eventually leading to Dooley shooting his neighbor to death. James' eight-year old daughter Danielle watched it happen.
"He had no right to it," she said, claiming 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 himself took the witness stand and claimed the much younger James "brought it on himself" by attacking him, 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 boy after watching Dooley bully the kid off the basketball court.
"That was him. He loved kids," she said. At sentencing, she wants Dooley to get a harsh punishment.
"I hope he spends the rest of his life in jail," James said. "And I hope he's miserable."
Dooley himself was already miserable leaving the courthouse after watching the jury take less than two hours to convict him on charges of manslaughter with a weapon, and illegally carrying a firearm in the open. He blamed the case on race.
"Imagine a 240-pound, six-foot-one black man on the court with his daughter playing basketball," Dooley said. "A little white man, 160 pounds came out for any reason whatsoever. The black man attacked the white man. And the white man shot him," he continued.
"Do you really think if was the other way around, and the skin color was different, we would be here today?" Dooley said.
Dooley's fictional account won't have any bearing on his future. After being sentenced, the 71-year old may very well end up dying in prison. The maximum punishment is 30 years behind bars.
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