Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge denies motion for mistrial in Trevor Dooley case

TAMPA — A TV microphone on the defense table compromised the trial of 71-year-old Trevor Dooley when he was convicted of manslaughter eight weeks ago, his attorney argued Thursday, asking a judge to declare a mistrial.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody rejected the defense motion, telling Dooley to report for sentencing on Jan. 17. The former school bus driver, who said nothing during the hearing, faces up to 30 years in prison for the 2010 fatal shooting of his 41-year-old Valrico neighbor, David James.

They had argued over a skateboarder using the community basketball court. Prosecutors called it a killing over nothing. James died in front of his 8-year-old daughter, who testified during the trial.

The unusual hearing Thursday focused on a microphone on the defense table during the first day of the trial in November. It was put there by In Session, formerly called Court TV, which plans to show the trial on cable television later this year.

Dooley's contention that the shooting was justified under Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law had attracted national media attention.

In getting permission to place microphones all over the courtroom, In Session promised the one on the defense table would be switched on only to record objections. It was removed at the end of the first day when Dooley's attorney, Ronald Tulin, objected to it.

On Thursday, Tulin admitted he heard no clear privileged conversations on the recordings when he reviewed them Wednesday.

But Tulin argued that the microphone's presence for one day was enough to justify a mistrial. He said it violated the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration and it could have inhibited Dooley from fully participating in his defense.

"Simply the presence of the audio device created a prejudicial effect," he said.

Assistant State Attorney Stephen Udagawa said Tulin "hasn't proven anything except paranoia."

Judge Moody denied the motion for mistrial without comment, saying she would issue a written order later.

John Barry can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or jbarry@tampabay.com.

Trevor Dooley listens in court on Thursday. The former school bus driver is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17 for the killing of his neighbor, David James, 41, in 2010.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Trevor Dooley listens in court on Thursday. The former school bus driver is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17 for the killing of his neighbor, David James, 41, in 2010.

Judge denies motion for mistrial in Trevor Dooley case 01/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 3, 2013 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Plant City police searching for drive-by shooter

    News

    PLANT CITY — Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in an early morning drive-by shooting outside a home.

    John J. Keeper, 49, was shot in the thigh in a drive-by shooting early Tuesday outside this home at 516 E Laura St. in Plant City. [Hillsborough County Property Appraiser]
  2. FSU-Tulane coming to Amalie Arena in December

    Blogs

    Florida State basketball is coming to Tampa.

  3. Taylor Swift congratulates Russell Westbrook on MVP Award

    Blogs

  4. Strategic Property Partners launches website for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    Strategic Property Partners has launched its official website for Water Street Tampa, its 53-acre redevelopment project in downtown Tampa Tuesday.

    Strategic Property Partners on Tuesday announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  5. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]