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Defense claims detectives overlooked other suspects in Michelle Mockbee's homicide

Posted: 5:54 PM, Mar 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-06 22:58:13Z
Bruce McVay

BURLINGTON, Ky. — Defense attorneys for David Dooley have said since opening statements that investigators were laser focused on Dooley, to the point that they may have overlooked others with the opportunity or motive for murder.

Dooley is currently being tried on a murder charge in the death of Michelle Mockbee, his former coworker at Thermo Fisher Scientific. A jury previously convicted Dooley in 2014, but a judge later ruled he was entitled to a retrial after defense attorneys said they had never recieved surveillance video evidence showing an unidentified person outside the person hours before Mockbee's death.

On Wednesday, defense attorney Deanne Dennison cross-examined retired Detective Bruce McVay, who was the lead investigator on the case.

"You've asked all other employees what they were doing that day, in particular David Dooley, and you've crucified him over it," she said. "So let's talk about, what were the things that you asked [Joe] Siegert before 6 a.m. that he did?"

Siegert is another employee who, jurors learned for the first time Wednesday, was also a suspect. Dooley's defense has been trying to raise questions about other people, suggesting that someone other than Dooley could have been responsible for killing Mockbee.

However, McVay said inconsistent statements Dooley made stood out to detectives. In an initial interview, Dooley hadn't told them that he left Thermo Fisher in the time between when investigators believe Mockbee died and when her body was discovered. They learned that from surveillance video.

In another interview two days later, McVay said Dooley told detectives that his wife was sitting on the couch when he went home. But she, at first, said he'd never gone home. In another interview months later, McVay said Dooley claimed his wife was in the bathroom.

Detectives said it was when they engineered a ruse using a tape gun, and that's when they got Dooley.

Dennison asked McVay if he ever lied in the investigation.

"Yes, of course," McVay answered. "A ruse: in this case, when I pulled the tape gun out."

"Besides a ruse?"

"No."

Prosecutors said a tape gun was the murder weapon, but it has never been found. Dooley is the only one who left the facility that morning.

Detective Everett Stahl testified that Dooley's "demeanor changed quickly" when they brought in a tape gun like the one they believe was used to kill Mockbee. Dooley terminated the interview, he said.