PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – After two hours of deliberation, David Donaldson was found guilty of second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm in the death of Gordon McKinney.

David Donaldson
David Donaldson

“You can’t invite someone to fight you, invite harm against yourself and then use that as a justifiable reason or an excuse to pull out a gun and kill another human being,” prosecutor Peter Overstreet said.

In October of 2020, a fight broke out between the workers in the back alley of the Panama City Square shopping plaza.

The two men were working on the Bath and Body Works store on 23rd Street in Panama City.

McKinney, a construction superintendent, and Donaldson, who worked for a subcontractor on the same job, were arguing about the quality of the work product.

Things then got physical and Donaldson pulled out a gun and shot McKinney twice. He later died from his injuries.

The defense argued that Donaldson had a right to stand his ground.

“Florida law allows someone to stand their ground and meet force with force without any duty to retreat or try to avoid the situation at all,” defense attorney Nathan Prince said. “If they are in a place they have a right to be and not otherwise engaged in unlawful conduct. And that’s the situation we have here.”

In an interview with the Panama City Police Department, Donaldson told detective Robert Johnson he was in fear of being severely hurt.

“I was dazed enough that I felt I was fixing to go down and get stomped,” Donaldson said.

“Ok. When you pulled your gun out what was your intent?” Johnson said.

“To stop him from beating on me,” Donaldson said.

“Was your intent to intimidate him with the gun?” Johnson said.

“No sir,” Donaldson said.

“Your intent was to pull the trigger,” Johnson said.

“My intent was to stop him from beating on me however I needed to,” Donaldson said.

But investigators said that evidence on the scene as well as on Donaldson himself shows that his life was not in imminent danger when he shot McKinney.

Donaldson will be sentenced on May 10th at 9 am.