Coworker describes day Michelle Mockbee was found dead

Testimony in David Dooley retrial continued Friday
Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 20:27:39-05

BURLINGTON, Ky. — One of the first employees to arrive at Thermo Fisher Scientific on May 29, 2012, said he noticed a suspicious white van outside.

David Dooley is charged with murder in the death of Michelle Mockbee. Both worked at Thermo Fisher, and authorities have said Dooley killed Mockbee on that day in 2012 because she caught him in a triple dipping time card scheme.

Kenny Hicks was working in the warehouse when Mockbee was killed. He testified in Dooley's trial Friday, and he said the white van was the only thing that seemed out of the ordinary that day. Other than that, the Tuesday after Memorial Day was busy but he didn't notice anyone who shouldn't have been there.

Hicks said he only saw Dooley, the janitor, when Hicks was on his break, and he told Dooley that he'd gotten a call from the offices upstairs about possible blood on the floor. He said Dooley said he'd just cleaned there and didn't see anything.

It wasn't long after that encounter that all employees were called to be identified by investigators. Their job site had become a crime scene. Mockbee had been found dead on a mezzanine floor near the warehouse, her head bashed in and her hands bound behind her back.

Hicks was among the employees called to the lobby to meet with investigators. Mockbee's husband, Dan Mockbee, arrived. He said he heard Dan in the break room.

"What did you hear?" Assistant Attorney General Jeff Prather asked.

"A loud scream," Hicks answered.

Retired maintenance supervisor Roger Hibner testified that he saw Dooley as he was going to the lobby.

"He was very fidgety," Hibner said. "I asked him what was going on, and he just kept saying, 'It's Michelle.'"

Jurors also heard from the retired Erlanger fire chief who was in charge of the cadaver dog searches during the case. He said there was never a definitive hit on anything inside or outside the warehouse, other than Michelle Mockbee's body.

A jury previously convicted Dooley of killing Mockbee in 2014. A judge later threw out the conviction and ruled that Dooley was entitled to a retrial after defense attorneys said they'd never received surveillance video that showed an unidentified person outside the building hours before Mockbee's death.

The retrial is scheduled to continue next week.