Remember Trevor Dooley? His stand your ground case returns to court for appeal on Tuesday

Published August 15 2018
Updated August 15 2018

TAMPA — Remember the case of Trevor Dooley?

He’s the Valrico man who fatally shot one of his neighbors back in 2010 during a fight over a skateboarder on a basketball court. He later unsuccessfully invoked Florida’s stand your ground self-defense law.

Dooley’s case will be back in court Tuesday in Tampa as three appellate judges hear arguments about whether he might be entitled to a new trial.

He has been free on bond, awaiting the outcome, since late 2016.

His latest effort to have his conviction overturned has to do with what his defense says were flawed jury instructions about the justifiable use of deadly force.

Dooley, now 77, was found guilty in 2013 of manslaughter in the death of David James.

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James, then 41, was playing basketball with his 8-year-old daughter on a neighborhood court one day in September 2010. He gave a skateboarder permission to also use the court, which caught the attention of Dooley, a neighbor.

Dooley and James exchanged words. Dooley flipped up his shirt to reveal a gun, according to testimony. The pair scuffled and James tried to grab the gun. Dooley shot James, killing him.

Dooley later testified that he thought he had no other choice.

He began serving an eight-year prison sentence in 2014.

But when he was granted an appeal in 2016, he was allowed to go free on an appellate bond while the case continued. He has remained restricted from traveling outside Hernando County, where he now lives.

Oral arguments before the 2nd District Court of Appeal panel take place at Stetson Tampa Law Center, 1700 N Tampa St., beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.