Michelle Mockbee murder: Defense not shown surveillance video evidence; murder conviction vacated
10/27/2017 4:53 pm PDT
UPDATE April 11, 2019:
David Dooley was sentenced to 43 years in prison Thursday after he was convicted, for the second time, of killing Michelle Mockbee at a Boone County warehouse where they both worked, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
In March, a jury recommended Dooley, 45, spend 38 years in prison for the murder of Mockbee and an additional five years for tampering with evidence. Boone County Circuit Court Judge J.R. Schrand followed the recommendation of the jury.
This is the second time a jury has convicted Dooley of the murder of Michelle Mockbee. In 2014, Dooley was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
New details in the murder of Michelle Mockbee: The mother of two was murdered at her workplace, and there's just been some rather big developments against the man who is accused of carrying out the crime.
Michelle Mockbee loved her job at Thermo Fisher Scientific. After all, she met her husband Dan there.
A good mom with two adorable little girls and a loving big sister to Jennifer and Cindy.
"My sister was not only my big sister, but she was my best friend and she was a great role model to all of us," said Michelle's sister Jennifer Schneider.
"She loved her children. She was a great mom," said Michelle's sister Cindy Parker. "Her passions in life were her kids. She loved her kids. She would have done anything for them."
And it was for her children that Michelle found herself going to work very early one morning. Michelle worked in the human resources department and oversaw payroll.
"She arrived super-early that day. It was the first day of the girls' summer vacation from school, so she was planning on getting payroll done early so she could go home and spend time with her family," Jennifer tells Crime Watch Daily.
When she arrived at 5:53 a.m. on May 29, 2012 she grabbed the time cards so everyone would be paid. But she wasn't the only one in the office early that day. The janitor was there too.
"She more than likely surprised him by coming up those steps that morning," said Jennifer.
David Dooley and his wife Janet had the contract to clean the building. What was David's connection to Michelle?
"I don't think they had ever really corresponded very much, the two of them," said Jennifer. "She talked more with his wife Janet. They were very friendly at work. Janet even attended Michelle's baby shower that her co-workers had held for her."
About an hour after Michelle arrived at work, she was dead. David Dooley and another employee found her body. Michelle was on the floor outside her office. Plastic was covering her head. Her hands were zip-tied. There was blood spatter everywhere.
Did Michelle have any enemies, any tension between other people?
"No, Michelle never had any enemies," said sister Cindy.
Cops soon put Michelle's husband Dan under the microscope. He reportedly would receive $700,000 in life insurance from her untimely death.
"They had to look at him, they had to question him just to rule him out, and they immediately ruled him out. He took a polygraph test the next day, he passed. I think by judging on his reaction alone they kind of knew there was no way this man could be responsible for this," said Jennifer.
And cops also ruled out a little more than a dozen employees who were at the factory that morning.
Except for one.
"We knew that they were kind of narrowing in on one person, they would never reveal who that person was, but this person had stuck out to them early on in the investigation, I think maybe within the first 48 hours," said Jennifer.
David Dooley, the janitor. He was reportedly seen on surveillance video leaving the facility at 6:31 a.m., right around the time investigators say the murder occurred.
"He was the only person to leave that building. He told somebody that he ripped his pants," said Cindy. "He came back with clean clothes on, when he's a janitor. He told the detectives that he was checking on his wife, so his story changed several times."
Prosecutors say David Dooley failed to tell investigators he returned to work later that morning.
"Prosecutors say his behavior was odd," said Crime Watch Daily Legal Analyst Amy Dash. "And his story about where he was the morning of the murder was inconsistent, and it was those inconsistent statements that ultimately led police to zero in on him and charge him."
Dooley was charged with murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
"Either my client is innocent or he is some pathological liar," David Dooley's attorney Eric Deters told local reporters.
What could he possibly have to lie about?
"I'm not sure that she caught him doing anything at that moment, but I think she was on to him," said Cindy. "Stealing money basically from the company. He was clocking himself in and his wife who was not even there, so they were getting paid three times what they should have been."
But that is only the sisters' theory, and there is no proof that Dooley or his wife Janet committed any wrongdoing with the payroll. Janet remains convinced her husband is innocent.
"I have told all my friends and my family if I thought for one minute that Dave was guilty I would not stand by him," Janet Dooley told a WXIX-TV reporter.
And a search of Dooley's apartment and garage apparently produced no evidence tying him to the crime.
Prosecutors believed Dooley went home that morning to dispose of the evidence. But in the search detectives didn't find anything that would support that claim.
At the trial even Boone County, Ky. prosecutor Linda Tally-Smith admitted the case has flaws.
"Prosecutors told the jury that there was no smoking gun, no eyewitnesses, no fingerprints," said Amy Dash. "And so this was basically a circumstantial case, and prosecutors focused on Dooley's inconsistent statements."
But despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury convicted David Dooley.
"The judge first read the kidnapping charge and he was found not guilty of that," said Jennifer. "But then they read the murder charge and found him guilty, and we were just absolutely relieved that justice was finally served. Justice was served for Michelle."
Case closed? Not quite.
David Dooley is in a courtroom in the Commonwealth of Kentucky wearing prison stripes. He's about to be sentenced for the murder of Michelle Mockbee.
"The courtroom is divided between the people who know I didn't do it, and the people who think I did," Dooley said in court.
Dooley unleashed an angry outburst toward the jury, and the judge wasn't having any of it.
"Notice the difference between the words 'know' and 'think,'" said Dooley. "Just because you think you know something doesn't mean you're right."
David Dooley has maintained his innocence from day one. But his claims fell on deaf ears.
"We the jury fix the defendant David Wayne Dooley's punishment for the offense of murder at life imprisonment."
"I don't think he will ever admit to being guilty of this crime as long as he feels there is some glimmer of hope out there that he is going to get away with this," said Jennifer.
But now Dooley thinks he could get a glimmer of hope by appealing his conviction. Then a shocker surfaces: grainy video raises big questions. Video shows an unidentified man walking up to the door of a business in the same building where Michelle's company is. The video was recorded 10 hours before her murder.
Who is the guy the cops call the "random dude?" Dooley's defense lawyers say there is no visual evidence. The so-called "random dude" left the property before the killing. No one knows who he is and he's never been found.
"During the appeals process, the special prosecutor filed a motion basically admitting that the defense never saw the surveillance video," said Amy Dash.
Prosecutors say it was a random truck driver, it was 10 hours before the murder, and not relevant to the case. Dooley's defense disagrees and goes back to court asking for a new trial.
"It's gonna come out anyways, we may as well ask it," Dooley's lawyer Deanna Dennison says in court.
The next question Dennison asks lead detective Bruce McVay shocks everyone.
"The question: Were you having a sexual relationship with Linda Tally-Smith?" said Dennison.
Dennison is accusing the detective who investigated the murder of having a sexual affair with Linda Tally-Smith, the woman who prosecuted the case, a relationship they claim began after Dooley's trial.
Dennison: "Did you establish a personal relationship with her after the trial or during the trial?"
McVay: "We were friends, Deanna."
Dennison: "Just friends? Are you telling me you didn't have a sexual relationship with her?"
McVay: "We were good friends."
Dennison: "Did you have a sexual relationship with her? Are you denying that?"
McVay: "I don't think it's any of your business."
Dennison: "You're under oath. This isn't 'game land' here. I'm asking you a question: Did you have a sexual relationship with Linda Tally-Smith, yes or no? Tell me what it is your answer is."
McVay: "I just said yes."
But it just gets more embarrassing. McVay admits he and Tally-Smith had secret code names for each other.
Dennison: "What was her code name?"
McVay: "Um, I think..."
Dennison: "Chiquita Queen?"
McVay: "Chiquita Queen, yes."
Now Dooley's lawyer puts the prosecutor in the hot seat and grills her.
Tally-Smith: "So I don't get a chance to explain it?"
Dennison: "I didn't ask you to explain it. She can ask you to explain it, if you want to, and you're not controlling this anymore, you're not the Commonwealth Attorney right here."
And then in a stunning turn, Tally-Smith throws her one-time detective lover under the bus.
Tally-Smith: "Before I tried this case I did not know anything about the person walking. I did not find out about it until Bruce McVay told me months after the trial was over. If he's willing to lie in a case report, then obviously he's lied to me about everything there is to lie about."
But all the sex talk turned out to be a side show. In an 18-page decision the court ruled that Dooley was entitled to know about the surveillance video. And in a ruling that shocked everyone, the judge vacates David Dooley's conviction and orders a brand new trial.
"I was definitely a little upset, a little surprised at the judge's decision, but I totally respect it, I know why he did it," said Michelle's sister Jennifer. "Maybe the new trial will be a way to get the word out to all the naysayers out there, the people who think he is innocent based on only what they hear."
David Dooley is innocent until proven guilty. He is getting a new trial. But he remains in jail on a $1-million bond.
Michelle Mockbee's family has no doubt David Dooley did it. But will the grainy surveillance tape raise new questions at trial number two?