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David Dooley trial: Defense questions victim's husband about life insurance money

Posted at 4:36 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 20:30:47-05

BURLINGTON, Ky. — In an anticipated new strategy, David Dooley’s attorney grilled Dan Mockbee, Michelle Mockbee’s husband, about how he spent life insurance money after his wife’s murder.

Dooley is being tried for a second time in the death of Mockbee, his coworker, who was found dead inside Thermo Fisher Scientific in May, 2012.

During opening statements defense attorney Deanna Dennison laid the groundwork to raise questions about other employees at Thermo Fisher Scientific, as well as Mockbee's husband, who testified Thursday he had nothing to do with his wife’s death.

“You say that you didn’t kill your wife,” Dennison said, “but did you have anything to do in hiring someone to kill your wife?”

“Absolutely not,” Dan Mockee said.

Dennison said Dan Mockbee received about $1 million in benefits after Michelle’s death. Dan Mockbee testified that he has spent a big chunk of that money, losing at least 10 percent in failed business ventures.

“Had a buddy, Ed, that was a concrete guy and I was gonna try to be a partner in his business,” Dan Mockbee told the court. “So we tried it like in introductory period — like where I was investing a lot of money into the company. Problem was I wasn’t getting anything back out of it.”

Mockbee said he lost about $100,000 in that venture. He also gave his nephew money to fix cars purchased off of Craigslist.

“But that never really panned out at all,” Mockbee testified.

Mockbee said he also spent money on the couple’s daughters.

“We had this money and the girls had just lost their mother and I’m trying,” he said. “I don’t want the girls to go into a dark place.”

Mockbee testified that he still owes $1,088 for a monument at the site of Michelle’s burial plot.

“All that cash withdrawal and you haven’t paid for her headstone yet?” Dennison asked Mockbee.

“No, I haven’t,” he said.

More coworkers testify

Jurors in the retrial of the once-convicted janitor also heard from the last people who saw, Michelle Mockbee alive.

Joe Siegert, who worked in receiving, told jurors Thursday that he saw Mockbee clock in the morning she was found dead.

“She was in a hurry to go and get her job done,” Siegert said.

On the stand Siegert said Dooley was going home at about 7 a.m. to change his clothes because he ripped his pants. Minutes later, an overhead page instructed all employees to the front lobby of the business where Siegert said he saw police officers and Dooley.

Defense attorneys have maintained that no evidence actually ties Dooley to Mockbee's death.

A jury previously convicted him in 2014 of murdering Mockbee, but a judge later ruled that Dooley was entitled to a retrial after defense attorneys said they had never received surveillance video that showed an unidentified person outside the building where Mockbee was killed just hours ahead of her death.

Prosecutors have said that Dooley was triple dipping time cards, and that he killed Mockbee because she caught him.

The trial is set to continue Friday at the Boone County Courthouse.