Prosecutors offer probation to Valrico man in deadly ‘Stand Your Ground’ shooting on basketball court

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – An 80-year-old man who claimed self-defense in the shooting death of a neighbor 11 years ago could avoid any more time in jail.

Prosecutors in court Thursday revealed they are offering Trevor Dooley a deal that comes with three years of probation.

In 2010, Dooley and David James got into an argument on a neighborhood basketball court in Valrico. 8-year-old Danielle James was with her dad when prosecutors say Dooley fatally shot him in the chest.

“We are agreeing to this, but we are very angry. However, we feel this is the only way to get any type of justice,” James’ widow Kanina Eurez told 8 On Your Side about the proposal from prosecutors.

Eurez no longer lives in Florida, but she said she will be in the Tampa courtroom next week when Dooley has his change of plea hearing.

Dooley had been convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 years in prison for the 2010 shooting death of James.

At trial, Dooley invoked Florida’s Stand Your Ground defense law. Years later, Dooley won a lengthy appeal based on what his defense called erroneous jury instructions.

According to the appeals court opinion, the original trial judge, now Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, gave incorrect instructions to the jury that “improperly conflated, and thereby confused” jurors about the distinction in law that allowed Dooley to claim a Stand Your Ground defense. 

“If you try to intimidate someone with your firearm, I don’t think that you should be able to then say you’re standing your ground,” Eurez told 8 On Your Side in 2019.

Eurez said she would provide more details after next Tuesday’s hearing as to why her family is accepting the deal from the State Attorney’s office.

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