A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Another Dooley pretrial conference, still no trial date; Phelps gets 20 years in death of Aidan Wainscott

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Another pretrial conference took place in the pending trial of David Wayne Dooley, who is charged with killing Michelle Mockbee, but a date to begin the proceedings has not yet been set.

David Dooley was in a Boone County Courtroom Wednesday for a another pretrial conference in preparation for his new trial in the killing of Michelle Mockbee (photos by Mark Hansel).

There had been speculation that the trial date might be set at Wednesday’s pretrial conference, but there remain issues regarding discovery.

Dooley’s attorney, Deanna Dennison said she is still waiting to receive additional discovery information from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

“I understand the court probably wants to get moving with this and Mr. Dooley certainly does as well,” Dennison said. “I just don’t feel like we are in a position at this point without having any of that, except for what we received in the CR60.02 motion, which was a completely different issue. Based upon that I just don’t feel that we are in a position to set a trial date.”

Dooley was convicted in 2014 of killing Mockbee at the Thermo Fisher Scientific facility in Boone County where both worked and was sentenced to life in prison.

Mockbee, a mother of two, was found beaten to death outside of her office in the facility at the Northern Kentucky Industrial Park in May, 2012.

Following the CR 60.02 hearing to determine if Dooley would be granted a new trial, Circuit Court Judge James R. Schrand threw out the 2014 conviction because evidence that was potentially exculpatory was not provided to Dooley’s attorneys at the time.

Michelle Mockbee was killed in 2012 at the Thermo Fisher Scientific facility in Boone County where she worked. David Dooley, who worked at the facility as well, was convicted of killing Mockbee in 2014, but was granted a new trial earlier this year (provided photo).

Dooley has been incarcerated since 2012 and Schrand denied a reduction in his $1 million cash bond following a September 20 hearing, virtually assuring he will remain in jail at least until the trial is concluded.

Schrand presided over the original trial, as well as the CR 60.02 hearing and will also preside over the retrial.

The OAG took over the Dooley case from Boone Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally Smith in October of last year.

OAG Special Prosecutor Jon Heck, said he had the discovery evidence ready to present to Dennison and wantedr to set a date for the trial.

“Our preference is to go ahead and set a trial date, even if it’s down the road, just to give us something to work toward,” Heck said.

Dennison said she didn’t want to set a date and then have to reschedule if additional preparation is needed once the new evidence is reviewed.

“We’re in a position where, if we’re going to retain experts…we need to figure out who it is that we are going to need, whether or not we need to do any further investigation in the case, whether or not it’s going to be completed in time,” Dennison said.

Schrand agreed that it makes more sense to review the evidence and determine how much preparation time is needed before setting a trial date.

The attorneys will meet in the near future to go over the evidence to be certain both sides have what they need to go forward.

It has already determined that the new trial will not begin until some time next year. Another pretrial hearing has been set for December 1, at which time a date is expected to be set.

Phelps gets 20 years in death of seven-week-old Aidan Wainscott

Cody Jene Phelps pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and other charges in the killing of seven-week-old Aiden Wainscott in 2015 and was sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison.

Less than an hour after the conclusion of the Dooley pretrial conference, in a courtroom just a few feet away, a Boone County Man received a 20-year sentence in the beating death of seven-week-old Aiden Wainscott in 2015.

Cody Jene Phelps, 25, of Walton, entered a plea of guilty in September 2017, in Boone Circuit Court to first-degree manslaughter, Class B felony, and two counts of first-degree criminal abuse, Class C felonies.

Phelps was formally sentenced today to 10 years for the manslaughter charge and five years for each of the criminal abuse charges – a total sentence of 20 years.

Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Special Prosecutions Unit secured the plea and recommended the 20-year prison sentence to the court.

According to prosecutors, emergency medical services staff was notified in November 2015, that a child was found in his crib unresponsive. Wainscott, the child of Phelps’ girlfriend, was transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly on arrival.

Circuit Court Judge Richard Brueggemann accepted the plea agreement, but said the facts of the case are troubling.

“It’s beyond this court’s ability to imagine how a child that young could be put in a situation he was by any adult, regardless of one who was close to that child,” Brueggemann said. Children need to be protected. I do hope, if you have it yet, you do find remorse.”

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Phelps will not be eligible for probation or shock probation, Beshear said in a statement.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

Related Posts

Leave a Comment