TAMPA – For Trevor Dooley, his aggravated manslaughter conviction was all about race.
“Imagine,” he told reporters, “a 240-pound, 6-foot-1 black man on the court with his daughter playing basketball. A little white man, 160 pounds, came out for any reason whatsoever. The black man attacked the white man. And the white man shot him …
David James, Dooley continued, “brought it on himself. I tried to go home. I walked away. Do you really think if it was the other way around and the skin color was different, we would be here today? We wouldn’t.”
Jurors deliberated less than two hours before convicting Dooley, 71, of manslaughter with a weapon — the charge carries up to 30 years behind bars — as well as two weapons offenses in the Sept. 25, 2010, shooting death of David James, 41, at the Twin Lakes recreational park in Valrico.
Dooley’s wife, Patricia, collapsed in emotion after the verdict was announced late Monday, but Dooley had no reaction. He will remain free until sentencing on Jan. 10.