Tampa, Florida - Danielle James, the daughter of an Air Force veteran who was killed on a Valrico basketball court two years ago, was supposed to take the stand in the Trevor Dooley trial on Thursday. The child watched as her 41-year-old father was murdered.
However, 8-year-old Danielle will most likely testify on Friday morning, along with the defendant himself, Trevor Dooley, a 71-year-old part-time bus driver on trial for aggravated manslaughter with a firearm.
Dooley got into a fight with David James over a skateboarder who was practicing on the same basketball court where James was playing with his daughter. Dooley told the teenager skateboarder, Spencer Arthur, to get off the court.
James defended the teen, and the two men began fighting, then wrestling on the ground. Seconds later, David James was dead, shot by the 71-year-old.
Dooley says he was simply defending himself and that James, twice his size, was choking him. Dooley said he had no choice but to fire the gun that he had taken out of his right pocket.
10 News obtained exclusive video from Danielle James' testimony during a hearing back in February. The little girl will be a star witness for the defense since she claims her father went after Dooley, even after the bus driver said he did not want to get into a fight.
Attorneys asked Danielle James, "So, [Trevor Dooley] said no skateboarding? What did the boy do who was skateboarding?
Danielle answered, "He still went on skateboarding."
The attorney asked, "Did your dad say anything?"
Danielle said, "He said, 'Where's the sign that said no skateboarding?'"
Attorney: "Who did he say that to?"
Danielle: [Trevor Dooley]
Attorney: "What did the man say when your dad said, 'Where's the sign?'"
Danielle: "He was like, 'I don't want to get into a fight.'"
Attorney: "Did your dad let him walk back to the house?"
Attorney: "Did he have a gun in his hands? Never saw him take it out? Never saw him point the gun at your dad?"
CSI analysts, investigators, deputies and medical examiners took the stand all day Thursday. Trevor Dooley is expected to take the stand in his own defense Friday.
He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.