- <!– –>
Tampa, Florida — For much of the morning, Trevor Dooley sat with his head bowed in the Tampa courtroom; his future, perhaps even the rest of his life was in the balance.
Last November, a jury found Dooley guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of David James. On Thursday, the family of James painted a portrait of profound loss.
“We did not get to hug him or look into his beautiful eyes, because you shot him dead,” James’ widow Kanina James said through tears, but looking directly at Dooley.
The shooting happened in a neighborhood park after the two men argued over a skateboarder there. James’ daughter Danielle, then just eight, watched her father die.
Danielle was not in court, but her grandmother Toni James read a statement from her. It concluded simply: “I hate your guts Trevor Dooley.”
But while James’ family and the prosecutor urged the judge to hand down harsh punishment, Dooley’s family pleaded for leniency.
“I beg the court for mercy,” said his daughter Theresa Dooley-Bollman.
And Dooley’s family described him as a loving father and husband; a man slow to anger and one who always wanted to avoid confrontation.
“Inside that shell you will find the most gentle human being you would ever want to meet,” said Patricia, his wife of 40 years.
And Judge Ashley Moody paid attention to their pleas. She sentenced Dooley to eight years. That’s less than the state recommended guidelines of 10 to 30 years. Moody cited Dooley’s age of 72, his frail health, and his spotless record. He’s never been in trouble with the law before.
As officers cuffed Dooley and led him away, the family of David James also left the courthouse with a mix of emotions.
“It’s a relief that it’s something, but we cannot say we are happy that it is not more time,” said Kanina James.
And this legal ordeal is not over for either family, because Dooley’s attorney said he intends to appeal.
Previous Trevor Dooley and “skateboarder trial” stories…