Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Victim's daughter testifies in Dooley trial

TAMPA — Danielle James is just on that cusp between child and adolescent. She'll turn 11 next month. She can speak maturely and calmly about the day two years ago when her father died in front of her, but only while clutching her stuffed bunny, Monica.

Inadvertently Friday, Danielle helped the man who shot and killed her father defend himself against manslaughter. Contrary to other witnesses in a trial this week, Danielle didn't say she heard a curse or saw a gun. She said she only saw the man — 71-year-old Trevor Dooley — try to walk away.

She called him "Trevor."

She may not have known which was his last name.

Danielle testified on closed-circuit television in a room adjacent to the courtroom where Dooley has stood trial all week for the death of 41-year-old David James. Lawyers agreed it could be emotionally harmful for Danielle to sit in the same room as Dooley.

Dooley's attorney asked her to recall a September Sunday in 2010. "I was playing basketball with my dad," she said. They were at a park in the East Lake neighborhood in Valrico.

She remembered Dooley puttering around in his driveway across the street. She thought he was washing his car, but he actually was fixing a mower.

She remembered how Dooley started yelling at a teenage skateboarder who was practicing tricks on the other end of the court. Her dad told Dooley to let the kid be, or show him a sign that said no skateboarding. She then saw Dooley walk across the street.

All this Danielle narrated calmly. She has her mother's eyes, but looks like she'll have her father's height. She looked straight ahead, never down. She wore pigtails with a red headband.

Dooley's attorney, Ron Tulin, guided her gently to the critical moment.

She said Dooley and her father confronted each other in the grass beside the court. She watched them from under a tree.

"My dad was walking up to him. (Dooley) turned, acting like he was going to walk home. I don't remember if (Dooley) said anything. My dad was kind of getting louder.

"He tried to get the man to come back. He kind of like walked fast, he asked 'Where's the sign?'

"The man turned around and came back."

That was the last question Tulin asked her.

Other witnesses have testified that Dooley flashed a gun before he walked away, then pulled it out when he came back. James grabbed his hand, they said, and both fell to the ground. Dooley fired, and James died from a shot through his heart.

Danielle wasn't asked to remember that. The trial was halted shortly after her testimony and will resume Monday, when Dooley is expected to testify.

Danielle left Friday for Minnesota, where she lives with a paternal aunt. It's where her father grew up. She's in the fifth grade, and a good student, according to her mother.

But Danielle has been in counseling for two years. On the day her father died, she couldn't speak.

Her mother, Kanina, has also struggled. Danielle was placed under the supervision of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Kanina James declined to talk about why, or whether they will be reunified, but she said she gets to visit. Danielle sat with her aunt during Friday's testimony while her mother watched from the courtroom.

Danielle will see her mother again a week after her birthday — at Christmas.

John Barry can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or [email protected]

Comments
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

BALTIMORE — Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette needed only 19 seconds to put the Lightning on the scoreboard Saturday night, coming up with the second-fastest playoff goal in franchise history.The only goal faster? Tampa Bay's Adam Hall needed only 13 seconds to scor...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Rowdies tie in debut of new coach Neill Collins

St. PETERSBURG — Neill Collins, the former Rowdies defender who this week abruptly replaced Stuart Campbell as coach of the team, was a bit ambivalent about his debut, but he sure liked the way his club played in the second half of Saturda...
Updated: 10 hours ago
USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

The USF softball team's season ended late Saturday in the Gainesville Regional with a 3-2 loss to Ohio State, its second NCAA Tournament loss to the Buckeyes in as many days.OSU (36-15) must defeat No. 2 overall national seed Florida (52-8) twice Sun...
Updated: 10 hours ago