Basketball court shooter trial begins in Tampa, defendant claims he feared for his life

TAMPA - A substantially larger than normal pool of potential jurors filed into the largest courtroom in the Hillsborough County Justice center this morning waiting for instructions from the judge on what will be a very high-profile case.

"This part of the trial process is called voir dire, or just selection," said Judge Ashley Moody.  "And simply the parties are going to be asking you questions of you I will also ask a few questions."

And today, those questions are going to center on how much they remember of the case of Trevor Dooley, the now 71 year-old defendant -- who in September of 2010 shot and killed 41-year-old David James while the two wrestled over a handgun after Dooley tried to shoo away a skateboarder from a basketball court near his home.  James and his at-the-time eight-year-old daughter were shooting hoops just before the gunshots rang out.

"I represent my client Trevor Dooley seated to my left," said Attorney Ronald Tulin.

Dooley's attorney failed to convince Judge Moody and the 2nd District Court of Appeal that Dooley deserved immunity under Florida's "stand your ground" law. But Ronald Tulin still can try to convince a jury that Dooley fired out of fear for his life,  once they're selected…

"And I'll ask again," continued the judge, "is there anyone on the first row do you have any knowledge of this case?"

Row by row the jurors were questioned… a process that will likely last into the afternoon.

We are told that the victim's daughter -- who was initially deposed in this case as a prosecution witness -- may be called by the defense.  She will testify from a nearby venue elsewhere in the court complex  so she will not have to be in the same room as the man who shot her father.  The trial is expected to take most of this week.

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