71-Year-Old Black Florida Man Tries To Use Stand Your Ground After Being Choked, Gets Found Guilty Of Manslaughter
In yet another questionable and troubling Stand-Your-Ground style case, a 71-year-old Florida man has been found guilty of manslaughter after claiming he had to use deadly force to fight off a 41-year-old who tried to choke him to death.
The backstory here started when Trevor Dooley, a 71-year-old black man, shot his white neighbor, 41-year-old Davis James. The shooting took place in front of James’ 8-year-old daughter.
The jury in this case was not sympathetic toward Dooley. One juror said it was not a Stand Your Ground law case, while the foreman of the jury went as far as saying, “The whole silly thing was over a skateboard … and it just escalated,” showing a dismissive attitude toward Dooley’s claims of self-defense.
Dooley believes race to be the reason why he was found guilty. According to Dooley, he got into an argument with James over where a skateboarder should skate on a basketball court. James and his daughter were playing on one side and apparently told the skateboarder it was okay to skate on the other side.
From that one event, Dooley and James got into a confrontation. James, who was 6’1″ and weighed 240 pounds, allegedly started to choke Dooley, who is 71, 5’7″ and weighs 160 pounds.
During the altercation, Dooley flipped up his shirt and revealed he had a gun in his waistband and started cussing at James. At this point, the situation was clearly out of control.
James had his hands around Dooley’s neck, according to reports, and then tried to reach for his gun. In a panic and thinking his life was in danger, Dooley used deadly force on James, right in front of his daughter.
The entire case is tragic and there needs to be a review of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. Dooley may have been the victim of a racially charged jury, who knows. The bigger story to me is that we have all these Stand Your Ground cases in Florida, where people are not hesitant to whip out a gun and start shooting Wild West Style.
One would hope a community as large as a state would have a police system in place, so that in things that start off as altercations over a skateboard do not end with a father being killed in front of his innocent daughter, or a 71-year-old man being choked, shooting someone in what he thinks is ‘defending himself’ under state law, then being found guilty by a juror in the same state where George Zimmerman failed to be convicted on manslaughter charges, despite using a defense that he was forced to shoot his victim because he was being attacked (just like Dooley).
All in all, these public Stand Your Ground cases are quite scary and wild.