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Judge sentences David Dooley to 43 years for killing of co-worker Michelle Mockbee

Posted at 7:34 AM, Apr 11, 2019

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- After seven painful years, Michelle Mockbee’s family may find closure in the 43-year prison sentence handed to convicted killer David Dooley on Thursday, but Mockbee’s sister told the court even that sentence wasn’t long enough.

“With all due respect to the jury and their recommended sentence … [it] is just not enough for the act of pure evil committed by David Dooley,” Jennifer Schneider said in her witness impact statement.

Schneider said Dooley’s second conviction – his first was overturned – should put to rest the defense’s argument that someone else – maybe even Mockbee’s husband – could have committed the crime.

“Having them found him guilty twice now puts to rest some of those naysayers out there who think he was innocent - you know, all the finger-pointing at other people, the finger-pointing at my brother-in-law,” Schneider said. “To know what type of person he was, it was extremely frustrating.”

Mockbee, the human resources officer at Thermo Fisher Scientific, was found beaten to death in her office in March 2012. Prosecutors say Dooley, a janitor, killed her after she discovered that he had been triple dipping his time cards.

Schneider said it was a cowardly act.

“He didn’t have to do that. I’m sure Michelle probably confronted him about the time card fraud or whatever and maybe she caught him breaking into her office, but whatever the case may have been, the type of person Michelle was - she was so nice and kind - all he had to do was man up, don’t be a coward, and what he did was silence her,” Schneider said.

Schneider said one of the most frustrating things is that she will never have a chance to confront Dooley.

“He’s claims to have found God in prison … if he truly has found God, why couldn’t he find it in his heart to confess to what he did?” she said.

Dooley’s attorneys promised to appeal, as they did after his first conviction, but Schneider said she is confident the appeal will be rejected this time.

A jury found Dooley guilty in 2014, but that conviction was thrown out after defense attorneys said they had never received a piece of video evidence.

Dooley, 45, was convicted again in March. The jury recommended 38 years for murder and five years for tampering with evidence. Dooley will be eligible for parole after serving 85 percent of his murder sentence and 15 percent of his tampering sentence.

Because the murder weapon was never found and there was no physical evidence tying Dooley to the crime, the defense tried to argue that the victim's husband, Dan Mockbee, could have been the killer, and cited the family’s financial troubles as a possible motive.

But prosecutors said Dooley had to be the killer because he was the only other person at the warehouse in the early morning hours when she was killed.

Dooley will be back in court next month on a separate charge of possessing child pornography.