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David Dooley convicted of murder in the killing of Michelle Mockbee at Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2012

NKyTribune staff

A jury has found David Dooley guilty of murder and tampering with physical evidence in the 2012 killing of Michelle Mockbee at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

David Dooley and his defense team showed little reaction to the jury’s guilty verdict Tuesday. A jury convicted him of murder in the 2012 killing of Michelle Mockbee at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Boone County (photos by Mark Hansel).

Dooley was charged in the May 29, 2012 killing of Michelle Mockbee at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Boone County.

Mockbee, a Ft. Mitchell mother of two small girls, was brutally beaten to death at the facility in the early morning hours, soon after arriving at work following the Memorial Day holiday.

In 2014, Dooley was convicted of murder in the killing and sentenced to life in prison, but that decision was overturned.

Judge James R. Schrand, who also presided over the original trial, ruled that evidence that might have aided in Dooley’s defense was withheld from trial attorneys and granted him a new trial in May, 2017.

The jury took less than seven hours over two days to reach a verdict.

Defense attorneys Deanna Dennison and Jeff Lawson had argued that, despite more than 500 exhibits, there was no real evidence linking Dooley to the killing.

Assistant Attorney General Jon Heck, who prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth, said that while the case was circumstantial there were just too many coincidences to ignore.

The Office of Attorney General Andy Beshear issued the following statement:

Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced that a Northern Kentucky man has again been found guilty of the May 29, 2012, murder of Michelle Mockbee.

Dan Mockbee, Michelle Mockbee’s husband (left), hugs family members after Wednesday’s verdict. David Dooley was convicted of killing Michelle Mockbee in 2012.

The Boone County jury returned its verdicts of guilty on charges of murder and tampering with physical evidence on March 13, against David Wayne Dooley, 45, of Burlington. 

Dooley’s retrial, prosecuted by Beshear’s office and investigated by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, began on Feb.18, 2019, and was submitted to the jury on March 12, 2019. The jury deliberated for more than six hours before returning its guilty verdicts.

Throughout the retrial, Beshear’s office maintained that Dooley murdered Mockbee after she discovered he had been falsifying time cards and stealing from Thermo Fisher Scientific in Boone County, where Dooley worked as a janitor, and where Ms. Mockbee was the office manager in charge of payroll.

The Commonwealth believes Ms. Mockbee may have surprised Dooley as he was breaking into her office on the morning she was murdered.  
Dooley was first convicted of Ms. Mockbee’s murder in 2014.

However, in 2016, it was discovered that a video of an unknown man walking around the warehouse less than 12 hours before Ms. Mockbee was murdered and the complete personnel file of one of the lead detectives had not been provided in discovery by the original prosecutor. 

Attorney General Beshear’s office brought this to the attention of the trial judge, and after an approximately weeklong hearing, the trial court ruled that the conviction was to be vacated and the case set for retrial. 
“Justice demands a fair trial process,” said Beshear. “Through this retrial, Mr. Dooley received a fair trial and was convicted. Justice has now been served.”

The jury is now hearing evidence regarding the appropriate penalty for Dooley.  

The jury was still deliberating at the time of publication. They can return a verdict of 20 to 50 years, or life in prison for the murder conviction and one to five years for tampering with physical evidence.

This story will be updated.

For links to the NKyTribune’s extensive coverage of the Dooley case, click here.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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  1. Dean Knolls says:

    So sad ! Who knows, maybe he did it, maybe not. At least the Innocence Project (who was already going to take this) will have more information that Dennison has uncovered. It doesn’t help that that jury foreman had a connection with Michelle’s sister. Now NKT …….. let’s see that 18 page letter

    • Mike says:

      If you have information pertaining to the jury foreman and the deceased family you need to bring that information forward.

  2. Margaret Lynn Fewell says:

    Unreal! I understand that circumstantial evidence is acceptable but this case was ridicules! There was testimony given by the prosecution that was proven false. Evidence entered in the previous trial was proven false. Prosecution witnesses now could not remember essential evidence. Other possible murderers were not pursued or accounted for. How many people can write a $10K check but not remember what it was for? Too many unanswered questions! Another black mark on the slate of Boone County legal system!

  3. Dean Knolls says:

    Amen Margaret !!

  4. Denise says:

    I am a former employee for Thermo Fisher.
    I’ll never forget Michelle.
    We talked several times a week for many years.
    I was so taken off guard when this happened. It was a really a
    Sad day for all of us.
    We worked in different states but we were all close and worked hard.
    I sure hope in my heart they have the right person and she is at peace. God please give peace to her husband and children:

  5. Jane Mullins says:

    I just watched Dateline and can’t believe he was convicted. I had to look on the internet if something new happened and found ur comments. I am glad to hear the Innocence Project is taking on this case. I work for a security company and that’s one of the first things u do is check video before and after an incident. I pray there is hope for this man.

  6. Mike says:

    Why would the janitor need to break into an office? Wouldn’t he have a key?

  7. Jonah Hill says:

    You can still break into an office with a key if you’re not supposed to be there / there for any reason other than cleaning (as he was the janitor).

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