Girl testifies in trial of man accused of shooting her father - FOX 13 News

Girl testifies in trial of man accused of shooting her father

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A 10-year-old girl just faced an impossible task in a Hillsborough County trial: she had to testify on behalf of the man who killed her father.

The man on trial is Trevor Dooley. Two years ago, he got into an argument with David James at a basketball court in Valrico.

Things quickly got out of hand, and Dooley shot and killed James as his then 8-year-old daughter Danielle watched in horror.

Dooley claims it was self-defense, and today, his attorneys called Danielle to testify to back up their case.

She was in a separate room, and her testimony was shown on a TV monitor.

Clutching a stuffed bunny and wearing pigtails, she described what she saw and heard that day as Dooley and her father argued over signs at the park that banned skateboarding.

Her testimony did indeed make her father sound like the aggressor.

Here is an excerpt of what she told investigators:

Defense attorney: Was your dad talking in a loud or soft voice?

Danielle: He was kind of being louder

DA: What was he saying?

Danielle: He was walking up to him.

DA: What was Trevor doing?

Danielle: Just standing there…acting like he was just going to walk home.

DA: Did he ever say anything as your dad was walking toward him?

Danielle: I don't think so.

DA: You didn't hear him say anything?

Danielle: No

DA: You said Trevor tried to walk home?

Danielle: Yeah

DA: So he wasn't facing your dad anymore?

Danielle: No

DA: Did he turn his back to your father?

Danielle: Yeah.

Dooley is charged with aggravated manslaughter, and if convicted, faces 30 years behind bars.

Defense attorney Jeff Brown, who is not connected to the case, called the testimony powerful, saying the defense was taking a risk by calling Danielle to the stand.

"You run the risk that if the jury hears this, and they feel like you put this girl through this and your version of the case isn't truthful, they're gonna come back at you," he said.

But he said it was a necessary, strategic decision.

"They will be saying, we didn't want to call this witness, but listen to how powerful and truthful this witness sounds," Brown said.

Dooley is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

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