Trevor Dooley appeals conviction, asks for bond - WFLA News Channel 8

Trevor Dooley appeals conviction, asks for bond

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Photo by: Cliff McBride, Tampa Tribune Photo by: Cliff McBride, Tampa Tribune
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A jury convicted 71-year-old Trevor Dooley of manslaughter back in November. Now, less than three months later, he was back in a Hillsborough County courtroom asking to be released on bond.

"Mr. Dooley is asking the court to use its discretion to grant him an appeal bond in this case," said Dooley's attorney, Ronald Tulin, in court.

Dooley is appealing his conviction in his manslaughter case. He was sentenced to 8 years for killing his neighbor, David James. The two had argued over a skateboarder in a Valrico park near their home.

Tulin told Circuit Judge Ashley Moody that Dooley is not a flight risk, and is in poor health. He touted his lack of a felony record, and attendance in court as reasons he should be granted a bond.

"He appeared for each and every court date," said Tulin. "He appeared for his sentencing hearing when he was found guilty by a jury."

But prosecutor Stephen Udagawa disagreed. He told Moody he thought Dooley might present a flight risk because he is a native of Jamaica, and his wife no longer lives in Hillsborough County. After his arrest, she purchased a home in Spring Hill, in Hernando County.

"He has no financial ties to the community," said Udagawa. "He has not property ties to this community."

Defense attorney Timothy Fitzgerald is not affiliated with this case, but he says, generally, appellate bonds are unusual. In this case, he said Dooley does appear to be a good candidate.

"There doesn't seem to be any reason an appeal bond wouldn't be appropriate in this case because at his age, he may well die in prison," Fitzgerald said. "And if we find out he was wrongfully convicted, it would be a shame for him to die in prison."

Judge Moody listened to both sides' arguments. She said she would issue a written decision, but she did not indicate when that would be.

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