BURLINGTON, Ky. — On the day after Memorial Day 2012, Michelle Mockbee went to work early. She had to get payroll done at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prosecutors say she never made it out of the office.
Ed Yuska, who was the operations manager at the time, is the one who found Mockbee's body. He said another employee noticed a spot of blood outside their officers and called to the warehouse to make sure no one got hurt. Later, when janitor David Dooley stopped by to tell him the blood hadn't been there when he cleaned, Yuska said he went looking for someone in trouble and found a horrific scene tucked in a corner.
"I walked up to her, got close enough to see her legs were bound, her hands were bound behind her back, there was a bag over her head and blood all over," he said.
Yuska said, right away, he "looked to see where Dave was at. Dave was over by a fence."
Dooley is now on trial, charged with murder in 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.
Both sides in the case seemed to imply that someone messed with the crime scene. Defense attorney Deanna Dennison has shown conflicting statements from Yuska. He originally reported there was tape on Mockbee's legs, but a report shows it had been cut. He also had remembered a University of Kentucky poster on her back, but it wasn't in the photos. He told investigators he saw Mockbee's shoes next to her bag. A crime scene photo shows them inside the bag.
"So you didn't put the shoes into the bag, did you," Dennison asked.
"No," Yuska answered.
"And David didn't, that you know of? You were right there with him."
"So somebody between the time could have been lurking around or something?"
Defense attorneys have maintained that no evidence actually ties Dooley to Mockbee's death. In this trial, they appear poised to try a new strategy of offering other people as possible suspects.
Witnesses testified that no blood was found on Dooley, in his truck or in his janitor's closet at Thermo Fisher Scientific, where he and Mockbee both worked and she was found dead in May of 2012.
Prosecutors have said that Dooley was triple dipping time cards, and that he killed Mockbee because she caught him.
Camera allowed, but live coverage banned
The judge in David Dooley's retrial has banned further live coverage of the case.
Judge James Schrand ruled Tuesday morning that a shared "pool" camera will be allowed to record video for news outlets covering the trial, but the video cannot be live streamed online and reporters cannot live tweet during testimony.
WCPO had been streaming the trial from the time opening arguments began last Wednesday through Monday morning's testimony. After lunch Monday, court officials announced that no recording devices would be allowed in the courtroom because of a concern raised by one of the attorneys.
Updates can be made during lunch break and after the end of testimony each day.
The trial is scheduled to continue Thursday.