Zimmerman Preview? Florida Man Denied Use “Stand Your Ground” Law

In a case with some similarities to the George Zimmerman case, Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody has denied the use of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in a shooting in September 2010 where an older man wrestled with a younger man on a basketball court. As with Zimmerman, Trevor Dooley, 69, had a gun permit and insisted that the younger man, David James, started the fight. In this case it was a black man shooting a white man, though the case has not generated the attention or controversy of the Zimmerman. Dooley is charged with manslaughter in James’ death.

James and his 8-year-old daughter Danielle were playing basketball on the court when a teenager entered the court on a skateboarder. Dooley told the teen that he was not allowed to skateboard on the court and was confronted by James who demanded that Dooley show him the sign that says no skateboarding. The teen was Dooley’s neighbor.

What followed as a shouting match and, what Dooley described, as a shoving match with James as the aggressor. Dooley says that he showed James his gun and shot James only after he was in fear of serious bodily injury. Notably, James’ daughter, aged 10, became a defense witness. She said that her father was “on top” of Dooley “to keep him down so he could actually get the answer” about where the sign was.

However, Moody still ruled that “…the evidence showed that Mr. James had not been threatening or aggressive in any way toward Defendant, although he did appear to be shocked, defensive, loud, upset and agitated. It was not until Defendant reached for and pulled out his weapon – indicating an intent to escalate from an argument to violence – that Mr. James exerted and used physical force against Defendant.”

That is precisely the type of ruling that prosecutors hope for in the trial of Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin. However, the Dooley case again shows how Special Prosecutor seriously over-charged the case against Zimmerman who is facing not a manslaughter charge but a second-degree murder charge. While Angela Corey insisted that the campaign for a criminal charge had no impact on her decision-making, the actual charge is disconnected with the criminal code and practices.

Source: ABC

54 thoughts on “Zimmerman Preview? Florida Man Denied Use “Stand Your Ground” Law”

  1. ARB,
    I don’t believe it was a concrete wound. It was the knife wieldeed by a “friendly” person at the station.
    Even a concrete step edge would not leave such a smooth wound. If it was sewn, the doctor’s notations might be interesting.

  2. regarding the charges – in Zimmerman’s case – he was the one who went looking for the fight where the fight came to James. Wouldn’t that make the difference between manslaughter and 2nd degree?

  3. want to actually help some of us in florida with this?
    google orlando tourism, florida tourism,or any state, local, disney world, universal studio’s, or any cruise ship line that boards in florida and tell them you won’t be vacationing here in florida this year because you don’t feel safe in the state.

    that will get their attention

    1. Save the soul being like Jesus is, and have no worries. You want to stir up conflict. Do you think Jesus in us would stir up conflict or try to resolve conflict?

  4. God knows it was a stupid fight. You know it was a stupid fight. What we need is God in more humans like he is in you knowing it was a stupid fight. All have to face the light for God the father of lights. Have God in a human knowing what a stupid fight is, and no one will be engaging in a stupid fight killing anyone.

  5. New documents show that Koch Industries had a seat on the controversial “Public Safety and Elections Task Force” of the American Legislative Exchange Council as of at least 2011.

    ALEC announced it was dropping that task force in the wake of the controversy over the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin and so-called “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws. However, the co-leader of that task force, Rep. Jerry Madden (R-TX), revealed ALEC’s announcement to be a PR maneuver when he reassured The Christian Post that his task force’s work would continue through other ALEC task forces.

    Koch Industries has vigorously defended ALEC, and has assailed reporting that noted that the company, led by billionaire brothers Charles and David, is a long-time funder and leader of ALEC and that ALEC has long advanced the NRA agenda through “model” gun bills, including Florida’s controversial SYG law that was ratified by ALEC in 2005.

    It turns out that Koch was a member of that ALEC task force in recent years, and that it was on the task force when the NRA was the private sector co-chair. Moreover, Koch Industries had not one but two employees who were listed as “members” present for ALEC’s “Public Safety and Elections” Task Force at the last annual task force summit.

    Koch has said it had no involvement in the SYG law passed in Florida and then ratified by the ALEC criminal justice task force in 2005. The company, however, was a leader of ALEC in 2005, just as today, and its funding helps underwrite ALEC’s operations and agenda. The various task forces Koch has served on over the past nearly two decades is not known, but now it has come to light that in at least 2010 and 2011 Koch was a member of ALEC’s crime task force.


  6. So with this law, it seems to be a matter of luck whether or not you qualify to use it in court.

  7. Deborah, “The case of the AA woman was flawed stand your ground because she had retreated to the garage already where she obtained her weapon and returned to where the man and his children were then shot at them”

    You might want to read the account given by Alexander’s husband. He makes it very clear that it was his intent to hurt her, as he had in the past badly enough to send her to the hospital. He admits he was violent to all five of his “baby mommas”. One of them has gone public.

    He first trapped her in the bathroom and admits yelling at her and shoving her around. She managed to escape to the garage. He knew he had her trapped in the garage. Instead of telling his kids to get in their bedroom and close the door (they were standing in the doorway) he told them to come into the room where the gun was. He was the one moving them from relative safety to harm’s way. He is the one who had been displaying anger, physical violence, and saying “if I can’t have you, no one can”. Fear is the common sense reaction to his behavior. She survived because she also felt anger and a need to fight back. He said she fired the gun into the air.

    I guess from your pov she should have just stayed trapped in the garage and let him beat her to a pulp. From his account, that was his intent.

  8. On just these facts it is hard to decide the equities of this case, but in the macrocosm it is another example of the capriciousness of the SYG laws. At what point does a verbal confrontation, with physical aspects, become life threatening? Each situation becomes unique unto itself. SYG clouds, more than clarifies the issues and I think makes a deadly outcome somewhat more probable.

  9. I have a real problem with the jjudge stating that Dooley pulled his gun and escalated the confrontation. That defies logic and reason. Had Dooley done that, I doubt that James would have attacked an armed man with a gun drawn and pointed at him. I find Dooley’s testimony FAR more believeable than the judges judgement as to what he thinks happened. I have no question that Dooley did show James the gun in an attempt to keep him from continuing to shove and hit him. A reasonable explanation is that Dooley only pulled and shot his gun as he was on the ground being beaten by a much younger and more fit man who showed that he could and would do major harm to him. It is especially more troubling since James was not even a party to the initial conflict and chose to become aggressive at Dooley when he had not addressed James at all. Given what has been revealed, I think it is a legitimate self defense case especially given that James had not even been a party to the initial incident, but for whatever reason decided to assualt Dooley.

    Transposing this case to the Zimmerman case, it wouid be like it if a neighbor saw Zimmerman harrassing Martin, came to Martin’s defense and started shoving and hitting Zimmerman. Z then shows his gun without pulling it out, and the neighbor assaults Z. He then pulls his gun and while being beaten by the person, shoots him. In such a situation, I would not even charge Zimmerman especially if there was as big a discrepensy in physical capabilities as existed in this case.

    As for the photo of Zimmerman’s head showing that Zimmerman was in fear of his life, that is hardly the case. Hell, I have bled more from shaving than that. From my personal experience on both ends of such wounds, Zimmerman got those wounds from falling backwards onto the concrete, NOT from being beaten or having his head slammed to it.

  10. Rick Roberts you are correct sir it is illegal to flash a weapon. In this case he flashed the weapon when he was talking to the 14 year old boy.
    @ Frankly The case of the AA woman was flawed stand your ground because she had retreated to the garage already where she obtained her weapon and returned to where the man and his children were then shot at them( missed thank the Lord). They were not self defense and not stand your ground. SYG is basically only 2 changes from the self defense castle doctrine. !. It allows you the right of self defense outside of the home and keeps away the civil suits that criminals and their families have been known to file against persons rightfully using self defense.

  11. The phrase, “arbitrary and capricious” comes to mind in these cases. This needs to be fixed so the public knows exactly what the law says. I think I can read reasonably well, but I don’t see any rhyme or reason in it, or in how it is enforced.

  12. The defendant will still be able to present the stand-your-ground defense case to the jury, and will still bear the burden of proof.

  13. I still say the ‘overcharge’ on Zimmerman is intentional, so that he is NOT convicted.

    WHY does “stand your ground” and “stand & argue” get mixed up??

  14. This guy is sort of . . . dusky hued is he not? Should be interesting to see if he and Z get the same treatment. The story (and I believe you covered it here a couple weeks back) of the AA woman denied SYG protection in what sounded like a reasonable defense makes me wonder about the laws application in the benighted swamps where it has been passed.

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