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Trevor Dooley's lawyers seek dismissal in Tampa 'stand your ground' case
Tampabay.com ^ | 4-13-12 | Shelley Rossetter

Posted on 04/19/2012 6:38:35 PM PDT by SJackson

TAMPA — Trevor Dooley's lawyers say it was an act of self-defense — pulling the trigger kept him alive.

David James was on top of him, hands around Dooley's neck. Dooley couldn't breathe. He tried to warn James by poking him in the leg twice with a handgun.

When it didn't work, Dooley fired.

Lawyers for Dooley, the man accused of killing his Valrico neighbor, submitted their argument Thursday in a motion asking a judge to dismiss the manslaughter charge against him.

Their main defense? Florida's "stand your ground" law.

The law allows a person to use deadly force to save his own life, even if retreat is possible.

The filing comes at a time when national attention is focused on another Florida case in which the "stand your ground" law has been invoked.

More than six weeks after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, authorities arrested George Zimmerman Wednesday amid public outcry for justice. Charged with second-degree murder, Zimmerman told Sanford police he shot Martin in self-defense after Martin attacked him.

Dooley's lawyers also say the then 69-year-old was protecting himself when he shot James, 41, after a 2010 argument over skateboarding.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the altercation began when Dooley approached the basketball courts in his Twin Lakes subdivision telling a skateboarder he wasn't allowed. James protested.

Dooley, who had a concealed weapons permit, started to walk away with a gun partially visible in his waistband, deputies said. James called after him and Dooley turned back. James lunged, and they both tumbled to the ground.

James, a 20-year Air Force veteran, was kneeling on top of Dooley when the gun went off.

Now, it will be up to Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody to make the call. She can decide to move forward with a jury trial or dismiss the charge based on the law.

In order to use the law, several factors must be met.

"Under "stand your ground" in this state, you have a right to have a firearm with you. You have a right to basically have a heated discussion with somebody," said Tampa defense attorney John Fitzgibbons. "And if you are in reasonable fear of your life because of actions taken by another person, then you are allowed to use deadly force."

In the motion filed Thursday, Dooley's lawyers outline four important details in their case.

First, Dooley was not engaged in any illegal activities, they stated. Though Dooley was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm and openly carrying a firearm, the motion denies this. It states that Dooley always kept his handgun in his right pants pocket.

Second, Dooley was attacked. James "lunged" and "charged" at Dooley, the motion states.

"(James) gave Mr. Dooley no choice but to defend himself when he pinned him to the ground and began choking him."

Third, the motion states Dooley had a right to be at the park because he was a resident of the community.

And fourth, Dooley believed firing the gun was necessary to prevent his own death.

"Here, the evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Dooley had a choice that day," the motion states, "either wait to be killed by (James) or defend himself by using his handgun he was legally carrying."

The motion also points out the size and appearance of James as a contributing factor to Dooley's fear for his life. James was younger, heavier and stronger than Dooley, the motion states. Dooley was weaker and more fragile due to existing medical conditions.

The state is expected to present its side to Judge Moody in a motion later this month.

In the end, it will come down to what the evidence shows.

No matter how you view the statute," Fitzgibbons said, "it would appear to apply if, and only if, you believe Trevor Dooley's version of the events."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; fl; florida

1 posted on 04/19/2012 6:38:41 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: Joe Brower
For your list?

I'm probably the only one who missed this incident. And yes, there's a racial component here, but the reverse of a certain more popular case.

2 posted on 04/19/2012 6:41:05 PM PDT by SJackson (As a black man, you know, Barack could get shot going to the gas station, M Obama)
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To: All

Stand your ground? How about - self defense?

Based on this account: Why are there charges here?


3 posted on 04/19/2012 6:43:02 PM PDT by ciaocotc
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To: SJackson

What garbage. This sounds like pure self defense. The Stand Your Ground law “allows a person to use deadly force to save his own life, even if retreat is possible.” If the facts are as ststae, How was retreat possible here?!

But the LSM has their template. Just like evrything is an AK-47, now all self-defense is a case of eeevvviiilllll “stand your ground” thuggery.

God I loath these people...


4 posted on 04/19/2012 6:48:46 PM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: SJackson

What garbage. This sounds like pure self defense. The Stand Your Ground law “allows a person to use deadly force to save his own life, even if retreat is possible.” If the facts are as stated, how was retreat possible here?!

But the LSM has their template. Just like evrything is an AK-47, now all self-defense is a case of eeevvviiilllll “stand your ground” thuggery.

God I loath these people...


5 posted on 04/19/2012 6:49:48 PM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: SJackson

You do not need a law to defend yourself. Jeesh.


6 posted on 04/19/2012 6:54:58 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: SJackson

I think the real issue here is why did James attack? A 20 year AF veteran going bonkers?

The court should consider asking the AF for James’ medical and 201 file, to determine if he had a preexisting mental condition, had been in a surety program or had psychological examinations. I suspect something along those lines would be very enlightening.


7 posted on 04/19/2012 6:59:33 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("It is already like a government job," he said, "but with goats." -- Iranian goat smuggler)
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To: piytar

He wasn’t standing his ground, he was being a jerk. Dooley left his house unprovoked to yell at a child on a playground who was skateboarding in a park where there were no “don’t skateboard” signs. James was playing basketball with his daughter and after an argument with Dooley about his being a cranky old man, lunged at him when he saw the guy had a gun.


8 posted on 04/19/2012 7:19:05 PM PDT by jz638
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To: ciaocotc

The only part of it that sounds like it might be a colorable charge is that you could see his gun. But that really seems weak, and it’s only a misdemeanor I think. Not only that, but since the other guy is dead and Dooley denies it, I wonder what their evidence is for that.


9 posted on 04/19/2012 7:56:42 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: ciaocotc
Based on this account: Why are there charges here?

I'm not able to find a clear description of the events from other people who were there, but it is hinted that Dooley drew his gun and aimed it at two 16 year old skateboarders, and that James then engaged Dooley to protect the kids. Seeing that manslaughter charges were fired, as well as brandishing a firearm charges, that seems to be the basis the DA's operating on.

I wasn't there, can't say what happened. I know how arguments over trivial matters can grow heated instantly. But I find it hard to believe that an retired military man would jump a 61 year old and start choking him over an argument about kids skateboarding in a park. But I can easily see how the confrontation could turn physical if a firearm was drawn.

10 posted on 04/19/2012 8:28:05 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: jz638
"James called after him and Dooley turned back. James lunged"

Well I recommend not lunging at cranky old men with guns.

Second I really do not recommend sitting on cranky old men and hitting them without securing said weapon first - especially when the cranky old man is tapping you with it.

Sorry - still sounds like (from this article) self defense.

11 posted on 04/19/2012 8:29:56 PM PDT by ciaocotc
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To: kingu; ciaocotc; piytar; GeronL; yefragetuwrabrumuy; jz638; Brilliant
I've no familiarity with the case beyond this article, which provides no indication it's anything other than self defence, and provides no basis for the charge, though I presume there is one.

What struck me was the media coverage, essentially none other than local. At least that I've seen. No warnings about blacks preying on whites or whites being tracked down and murdered. President not claiming the victime looked like gramps on his Mom's side. Just a case with no racial component. Which is what the Zimmerman case seems to be without the media filter.

Zimmerman and Dooley: Left's Florida Hypocrisy

12 posted on 04/20/2012 5:29:57 AM PDT by SJackson (As a black man, you know, Barack could get shot going to the gas station, M Obama)
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To: SJackson

And today a feature on Drudge shows a photograph of the bloody back of Zimmerman’s head.


13 posted on 04/20/2012 6:39:06 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("It is already like a government job," he said, "but with goats." -- Iranian goat smuggler)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!
14 posted on 04/20/2012 6:51:51 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: JulieRNR21; kinganamort; katherineisgreat; floriduh voter; summer; Goldwater Girl; windchime; ...

Florida Freeper


15 posted on 04/20/2012 6:55:50 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Drudge apparently pulled it down. No longer there.


16 posted on 04/20/2012 7:00:55 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
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To: SJackson

Just a reminder:

http://www.wftv.com/photo/news/local/graphic-photo-george-zimmerman/pSGsK/


17 posted on 04/20/2012 7:04:47 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
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To: Bushbacker1

http://abcnews.go.com/images/US/ht_george_zimmerman_head_dm_120419_wmain.jpg


18 posted on 04/20/2012 11:46:03 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("It is already like a government job," he said, "but with goats." -- Iranian goat smuggler)
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To: jz638


He wasn’t standing his ground, he was being a jerk. Dooley left his house unprovoked to yell at a child on a playground who was skateboarding in a park where there were no “don’t skateboard” signs. James was playing basketball with his daughter and after an argument with Dooley about his being a cranky old man, lunged at him when he saw the guy had meda gun.”

Man, that makes no sense whatsoever!! Usually he who attacks someone whom he already knows is armed is very likely to get shot for his stupidity... Personally, it sounds like to me that the dead dude was itching to put a whipping on the older guy who stood his ground. Almost every neighborhood has some big blowhard that likes to throw his weight around. Samuel Colt levelled the field for the elderly, the weak and the females!

JC


19 posted on 04/20/2012 8:52:15 PM PDT by cracker45
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