David Dooley to get new trial in death of Michelle Mockbee, judge rules

Posted at 4:09 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 19:42:31-04

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- David Dooley will get a new trial, according to the Boone County clerk of courts.

Dooley had previously been convicted in 2014 for the 2012 murder of his coworker, Michelle Mockbee. The judge's order vacated that conviction.

Defense lawyers said they were never told about a surveillance video that showed an unknown man approach the building the day before Mockbee was killed. They argued that evidence could have affected the outcome of the trial.

"The defendant was entitled to know about the individual walking on the surveillance video," Judge James Schrand wrote in his decision. 

Since the trial, it also came out that Bruce McVay, one of the lead detectives on the case, had a sexual relationship with Linda Tally-Smith, the prosecutor on the case. McVay has since retired.

The Office of the Kentucky Attorney General acknowledges an "open investigation ... into potential statutory violations."

Following the decision that Dooley would get a new trial, Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore released a statement calling for Tally-Smith to resign. He told 9 On Your Side he released the statement in part because of the court's findings and in part because of the relationship with McVay.

"The ruling today by Circuit Judge J.R. Schrand casts a dark shadow over the Commonwealth Attorney," Moore said. "Although the Commonwealth Attorney is not a county office, as the chief elected official for Boone County, I believe Linda Tally-Smith has lost the public's trust, thus calling into question her ability to effectively execute her duties in our criminal justice system."

Jennifer Schneider, Michelle Mockbee's sister, issued a statement on behalf of her family Friday night. In it, she expressed a continued belief in Dooley's guilt and regret that Mockbee's loved ones would be forced to experience another trial.

"We respect the court’s decision and we will get through this as a family," she wrote. "We look forward to the public being made aware of the facts of the case that clearly point to David Dooley’s guilt.  We are confident that in the new trial, he will be convicted yet again of this horrific crime."  

Dooley will appear in court June 10 for a pre-trial hearing.

Read the full order below:

Dooley Order by WCPO Web Team on Scribd