BURLINGTON, Ky. -- A janitor sentenced to life in prison for the May 29, 2012 murder of Michelle Mockbee hopes that the introduction of new evidence could lead to a retrial of his case, his attorneys said Monday.
David Dooley, who worked as a janitor at Thermo Fischer Scientific in Florence, Kentucky, was in 2014 convicted of bludgeoning his coworker to death and abandoning her body in their office.
Prosecutors said at the time that there was no physical evidence tying Dooley to the crime -- no smoking gun, no DNA proof -- but that the evidence they needed to convict him had emerged through questioning of both Dooley and his co-workers.
Dan Mockbee, the victim’s husband, called him “shady” and said they’d had past disagreements, according to ABC News; Dooley was also one of only a few workers who would normally have been in the building in the early hours when Michelle Mockbee died.
Dooley’s team argued Monday new evidence that went unseen during his first trial could have swayed a jury in his favor.
The evidence they presented included a security recording that showed another man tugging on the Thermo Fisher Scientific office door the night before Mockbee’s death and a statement from a former coworker who said he’d had an unusual conversation with a forklift driver around the time of the murder.
"The Commonwealth’s entire theory was that nobody could get into this place, so, you know, when you have somebody that’s walking up," said Christopher Roach, who represented Dooley in his first trial, of the security footage. "Anytime that anybody would be walking up to the building would be a thing that you would want to know."
Deanna Dennison, who now defends Dooley, argued that these pieces of evidence are enough reason to give him another shot.
Dooley pleaded not-guilty in his initial trial and insisted past the rendering of the verdict that he was innocent of the murder.
"I feel railroaded. I’ve been run over in this courtroom. In this very spot someone stood and lied and they got away with it,” he said the day he was convicted.
Mockbee’s family and prosecutors remained convinced that it had been him; her sister, Jennifer Schneider-Ernst, called the killing "the evil act of a monster" and added that Dooley was a coward for not confessing.
"The jury was totally convinced and the judge was totally convinced, so he’s where he should be and hopefully he stays there forever and away from the public so he can never do this to anybody ever again," Dan Mockbee said.
Dennison and Dooley will have another chance to convince the justice system that its 2014 verdict was incorrect Tuesday, when the defense will present more witness testimony.