'Making a Murderer' DNA expert testifies in David Dooley retrial

Posted at 4:46 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 17:35:50-05

BURLINGTON, Ky. — Viewers of Netflix's "Making a Murderer" may recognize the forensics expert who testified in David Dooley's retrial Friday.

Dr. Karl Reich, who fans of the documentary series may recall as a DNA evidence expert from the second season, testified about the amount of DNA sent for testing in the Michelle Mockbee homicide investigation. He said it wasn't enough for confidence.

"We do know that in the samples we've discussed so far, there's very little biological material, and thus very little recovered DNA," he said. "We are really scraping the bottom of the barrel of samples here to be able to get profile data."

Dooley's defense team is trying to challenge partial DNA connections to the scene of Mockbee's homicide.

Earlier in the retrial, the prosecution had called another DNA expert who testified that the DNA taken from a bag put over Mockbee's head didn't conclusively link Dooley, but didn't exclude his profile either.

Reich said testing other trash bags in the facility would have proven Dooley — the janitor at Thermo Fisher — wasn't the one who put the bag on Mockbee.

"You might consider the fact that [his DNA] was found on the bag covering the decedent as a less important result," Reich said. "If he's on multiple bags in the facility, you might go, 'Oh, it's normal that he's there, and maybe he's not related to the assault and maybe it's just an innocent fact of his work.'"

The tape used to bound her wrists had no DNA other than her own. Prosecutors said that proves Dooley used his janitor gloves, or the tape dispenser they believe is the murder weapon.

Kentucky Assistant Attorney General Jon Heck asked Reich if the combination of gloves and a tape dispenser would make it less likely for DNA to be transfered.

"Absolutely," Reich said. "You would probably have to practice it, but if you did you could probably do it very cleanly."

Dooley is accused of killing Mockbee, his coworker at Thermo Fisher Scientific, in 2012. A jury convicted him in 2014, but a judge later ruled he was entitled to a new trial after defense lawyers said they had never received a piece of surveillance video evidence that showed an unidentified person walking near the building the night before Mockbee died.

The defense also called several truck drivers to testify Friday, including the only one who was at the building the night before the homicide. He said the man in the video isn't him.