tv Dateline MSNBC March 21, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT
>> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching. >> and in the "dateline. i stood there in that hallway where that pool of blood was, where his office was. whoever did this knew this facility and knew it well. >> a head-turning new twist in the crime that stumped everyone from the start >> seven years, we're seeking justice for michelle for almost seven years. >> the mom of tw >> a lot of blood, a lot of trauma. >> there were pry marks on her office door. >> what was ine that office th anybody would want? >> that's the mystery. >> a case blown apart with a secret relationship is revealed. >> i don't get a chance to explain it -- >> you're not controlling this anymore. >>in exposing hidden bombshell
evidence. >> he is on the property where a woman is murdered and we don't know whore he is. >> everybodykn on social media s like, that's the guy that did it. >> who was in prison? the real killer or the wrong man? >> we still have a murderer out there. >> you never know how something is going to go. ♪♪ >> hello and welcome to "dateline." michelle mockbee met the love of her lifeov dan mockbee at the warehouse where they both worked. they married, had two daughters, were busy juggling jobs and li family. a day that began like any other studly surnd deadly. a security camera quickly led police to a suspect, but just when michelle's loved ones thought justice had been served, a scandal turned this story on its s head. here is josh meng wits with the early shift.
>> they call it the early shift for a reason, it was still an hour before dawn in this small town in northern kentucky and in a few hours a local warehouse would become an ant hill of activity as the first employees of the morning arrived. but who among them could predict that before the first coffee break that day, one of their co-workers would be dead. >> i just walked in her office and i thinkhe somebody had kill somebody upstairs in her office. >> okay. what makes you think somebody killed somebody. >> she's laying there on the ground and there's blood all over. >> impossible to believe in this tight-knit workplace where everyonela knows everyone, but there was michelle mockbee, 42, wife and mother, face down in a pool of blood. the investigation that followed would peel the lid off an entire company and take a hard look at
every employee who was there that morning. >> you know that your suspect is one of those people in the building? >> that's right. >> probing for clues in the victim's private life. >> the detective asked me if there was any trouble in their marriage. >> eliminating suspect after suspect until there was one. and just when it seemed to be over, it wasn't. >> did you have a sexual relationship with her? are you denying that? >> i don't think it's any of your t'business. >> a scandal would scramble everything. >> you're not controlling this anymore. you'reco not the commonwealth attorney right here. >> they say the wheels of justice turn slowly, in this casewl the wheels came complete off, leaving a family wondering who would do the right thing for a kind and loving woman who went to work one morning and never came home. if you give michelle mockbee's
siblings a chance to tell you about their sister, they can't say enough good things about her. >> she was a our big sister. our role model. >> michelle was just the most amazing sister that you could ever ask for. very loving, caring, giving person.iv she would do anything for anyone. she alwaysg had a big smile an her laughter was contagious. >> michelle carried her positive spirit into the workplace. she was head of payroll at that warehouse owned by thermo fisher scientific, a worldwide supplier of laboratory equipment. it was also where she met her husband, dan mockbee. >> what was she like?t what drew you to her? >> michelle was funny, attractive, intelligent. there was a vibrantness to her. i mean, she was beautiful. >> it was a thermo fisher christmas party back in 1999 that dan just summoned the courage to share his feelings
with her. >> you had been thinking about michelle. >> oh, absolutely. >> he asked michelle to stick with him that night and she did, and then everything went sideways. >> it was the worst date in the world. >> what went wrong? >> i don't know. i wason totally off my game, i couldn't speak, but then i asked her out again and she said yes. >> well, maybe did you something right. >> i must have, i don't know, or she felt sorry for me and gave me another chance, i don't know. >> cmichelle's family soon met him. >> the next thing you know they're seeing each other and getting pretty serious. >> after she came along -- >> oh, my gosh. the world just totally changed. the sun got brighter. it was just a totally different world. >> michelle and dan married in 2001 and continued to work together at thermo fisher. not long after came two daughters, madelyn and carli.
>> i remember she pretty much just said be nice to people, so i was like, do you know what, i'm going to be nice to people. >> because she was nice to everybody. >> yes. >> yeah, she was. she s would always like play gas with us in our backyard and like take us to all these fun places. >> yeah. >> she was just a fun person to be around. >> but even as busy parents dan and michelle always planned a date night every other monday, memorial day 2012 was no exception. >> how was she that night? happy? >> absolutely. >> normal? >>el uh-huh. normal. >> the next morning michelle got up to goel to thermo fisher for the early morning shift. dan had the day off and stayed home. >> she wakes me up, kisses me good-bye, says i love you and went to work. >> and that was the last you saw of her. >> that was the last i saw of her. >> at 5:53 a.m. a security camera captured michelle's car as it arrived at the parking
lot. she stopped by the pair house's time clock and headed upstairs to her office. about an hour later a supervisor noticed a big stain on the upstairs hallway carpet. he started looking around the area with a help from a co-work, the janitor, david dooley. >> ed was out on the mezzanine part of the ways and i was holding the door and there was just -- he said there was a dead body laying there. >> what did it look like? >> i just saw from the knees down, i didn't see the whole thing, but honestly i'm glad i didn't look because i had never been around anything like that. it washi kind of frightening fo me. >> someone inside thermo fisher had killed michelle mockbee, but who? and just as puzzling, why? >> coming up -- >> what was in that office that anybody would want. >> that's the mystery. >> the hunt for a killer begins. >> with each person i talk to
there is no evidence that they've been t involved in anything. >> so if it's one of these people you're interviewing they have'r disguised it well? >> they have. >> when "dateline" continues. >> they have. >> when "dateline" continues ♪let's make lots of money♪ ♪you've got the brawn♪ ♪i've got the brains♪ ♪let's make lots of♪ ♪uh uh uh♪ ♪oohhh there's a lot of opportunities♪ with allstate, drivers who switched saved over $700. saving is easy when you're in good hands. allstate click or call to switch today. your mission: stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. and take. it. on... ...with rinvoq. rinvoq a once-daily pill can dramatically improve symptoms... rinvoq helps tame pain, stiffness, swelling. and for some rinvoq can even significantly reduce ra fatigue. that's rinvoq relief. with ra, your overactive immune system attacks your joints.
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were the boone county sheriffs day of the accident i was called to investigate. they saw the blood stains on the hallway carpet and concluded michelle had been dragged around the corner from her office. the office itself was locked, but there were fresh pry marks on the door. it looked like an attempted break in. >> what was in that office that anybody would want? >> that's the mystery. >> while the detectives were trying to make sense of the crime scene, michelle's husband dan was still at home. co-workers had started reaching out to him, but all they told him was there had been some kind of incident at the warehouse. >> and that's when i started getting nervous. >> dan rushed to the warehouse. to detectives he might have been the victim's loving husband or the perpetrator of an incredibly violent crime, right now they didn't know much. after he was escorted inside, dan took the initiative with detective stall.
>> and i looked at him and i said, excuse me, officer, my wife works here, i really need to know that she's all right. and that's when he told me that she was deceased. >> his reaction was pretty excruciating to watch. i still had to press on and i still had to move forward with my looking at him as a possible suspect. >> when police asked you where you were at the time your wife was killed. >> i was doing what most sensible people are doing at 6:00 in the morning if they don't have to get up and go to work, i was sleeping. it's not a very good alibi, but it's the only one i had. >> detectives asked dan to go to the sheriffs station to take a lie detector test. >> you agreed to take the polygraph? >> yes, sir. that's a scary thing. >> because if it goes wrong all of a sudden there is a case against you. >> right. it was nerve-racking. >> but dan passed the polygraph and for detectives that was
enough. apparently this time the husband didn't do it. with dan cleared, detectives decided to focus on everyone who was at the warehouse that morning. it turned out 13 employees were working their regular shifts when michelle was killed. detectives interviewed all 13. >> with each person i talked to there's no blood, there's no evidence that they've been involved in anything. >> so if it's one of these people you're interviewing they've disguised it well? >> they have. >> there was nothing suspicious about any of the 13 interviews so detectives started meth clee digging through other evidence. starting with thermo fisher's security camera footage. right away at the discovered something unusual that happened the morning of the murder, a vehicle in the parking lot not entering but leaving around the back of the building. detectives matched the truck to its owner, david dooley, the
janitor. and one of the workers who had found michelle's body. >> dave dooley's truck is seen leaving parking lot at 6:31 that morning. >> right after the murder? >> that's right. that's right. >> the security tape showed dooley returning to the warehouse around 7:00 a.m. detective mcvay thought it was odd that dooley hadn't mentioned that when they first spoke. >> they needed to speak with dooley again, so they went to the apartment he shared with his wife, janet, and dooley wasn't surprised to see them. >> i kind of figured it would happen just to do a follow-up. >> before detective mcvay even brought it up dooley told them he had gone home the morning of the murder. mcvay recorded their conversation. >> i came back in and i went back to fisher. >> you came back here. >> i came back here, yeah. i couldn't get ahold of my wife and i came home to make sure she was okay. >> yesterday you didn't tell me you left. why did you decide to leave? >> i didn't think about that. >> detective stall also questioned david's wife, janet,
separately, to see if she would tell the same story. this conversation would prove critical to the entire case. what she said is in dispute because a part of the recording is hard to hear. >> when was the first time you saw [ inaudible ]. >> when was the first time i seen -- >> yeah, yesterday afternoon. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i asked her specifically if dave ever came home that morning and she says no. >> to stall and mcvay janet dooley had just contradicted her husband's story so police questioned her again about that apparent discrepancy. >> did you tell the other detective that he didn't come home that day? >> i did? >> janet seemed surprised. she told police that david did, in fact, come home and the reason she offered raised more
questions for investigators. >> he said he needed another pair of pants. so he had to come home and just, you know, grab a pair of pants. >> janet's statements were not helping her husband's cause. david dooley never said anything about ripped pants to police, adding to the confusion, detectives spoke with thermo fisher employee joe siegert who told them he talked with dooley that morning. >> according to joe he made a point to come over to him and say, hey, man, i had to go home because i ripped my pants. >> dooley was adamant he never said that to siegert and did not rip his pants that day, but the differing stories about why he came homeplaced a bull's-eye squarely on david dooley's back. >> we started working on a search warrant for the residence and truck. >> execute those search warrants and you mind bloody clothing. >> no bloody clothing. >> some kind of murder weapon?
>> no. >> no bloody clothes, no weapon, but david dooley was the only employee who left the warehouse on the morning michelle mockbee was killed and there were witnesses contradicting dooley's account of why he left that morning. on september 27, 2012, the boone county sheriff's department made its move. david dooley was arrested and charged with the murder of his co-worker, michelle mockbee. case closed? not by a long shot. the david dooley trial would expose secrets, tarnish the reputation of law enforcement and have michelle's family question if justice would ever be served. >> coming up -- >> david dooley was in the middle of breaking into her office when she came up the steps and surprised him. >> a break in? what was he after. >> that feels like a thin motive. >> sometimes desperate people do desperate things. >> when "dateline" continues. po desperate things. >> when "dateline" continues
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♪♪ michelle mockbee's favorite color had always been red, since her death her family has worn red in her honor and that's what they did in october 2014 when they flowed into this kentucky courthouse for david dooley's trial. >> on may 29th of 2012 dan mockbee lost the love of his life and two little girls lost
their mom at the hands of a man who couldn't even keep his story straight from one day to the next. >> prosecutor linda talley smith knew she didn't have a perfect case. there were no fingerprints, no dna, so she told jurors they wouldn't hear about any smoking gun, but they would hear david dooley's own words which had made him the last man standing in the detectives' process of elimination. >> it was through this process that the path kept turning back to one person, the defendant, david dooley. >> jurors heard that almost all the employees working on the morning of the murder were on the warehouse floor, far away from the upstairs office area where michelle was killed. they were eliminated as suspects. >> we were able to create a time record of where everybody was and what they were doing at different points during the morning. >> and where was david dooley?
>> there's a red pickup truck. >> the jury got to see dooley on security video from that morning. >> the defendant actually left that building that day at 6:31 a.m. which was about a half an hour after michelle walked into the building. >> the prosecutors showed the jury a photo of those press pry marks on michelle's office door and said they were a crucial clue that helped explain the murder. >> our belief has always been that david dooley was in the middle of breaking into her office when she came up the steps and surprised him and ultimately she was assaulted and restrained. >> because she was a witness to a crime in process? >> absolutely. >> the medical examiner said michelle was bludgeoned with something similar to an industrial pack taping gun. why was no blood evidence ever found on david dooley and why wasn't any of the dna found at the scene a match to his? the prosecutor argued the
janitor worked every day with cleaning supplies and plastic bags, together perfect for removing evidence of a crime. >> at the time david dooley attacked michelle in that hallway what did he have with him? a rolling crime scene clean up cart with a trash bag in the middle of it. >> it's my personal belief that when he left that building he took with him a bag containing all of the evidence that was missing from the scope. >> a cover up so spotless only a janitor so manage it, said the prosecutor. it was only his story, she said, that was a mess. >> it's very hard for a person to explain how they can't tell the same story twice, in these circumstances we had four separate statements from him. >> detective mcvay testified it was only in dooley's second interview at his apartment that dooley first mentioned leaving work and going home. >> and i came back here. >> okay. what time did you come back here? >> 6:30.
i couldn't get ahold of my wife and i came home to make sure she was okay. >> his wife janet said david did come home to change a pair of ripped pants. >> he had to come home and just, you know, grab a pair of pants. >> it sounds like an alibi, except david dooley adamantly denied doing that. >> i never said that. >> okay. you didn't rip your pants? >> no. >> okay. >> when defense attorneys chris roach and tom pew got their turn. they talked about the hard evidence the state didn't have. >> dna evidence, murder weapon, marks on david dooley. >> dooley never testified in front of the jury but he did talk to "dateline" about the case against him and his story that differed from his wife's. >> they say you went home to check on your wife, they talk to your wife and she says he came home because he for his pants and he came home to change his pants. so what's the truth and why can't you and your wife agree on the same story? >> we do agree that i came home.
>> did you go home to change your pants? >> no, i did not. >> why would your wife say that you did? >> i do not know. we've talked about that a couple times and the only thing we come up with is that she didn't hear me prop sneerl janet dooley has serious hearing problems and on the day of the murder she said she only saw a pair of ripped pants in the house and thought david said that's why he came home. >> so a person that cannot hear they put things together themselves through their eyes and i did. >> dave didn't change his clothes and dave didn't change his story. >> the defense also stressed that dna was found on michelle's body and belongings in at least five different places and none of that was a conclusive match to david dooley or anyone else. >> we heard testimony that there were many unknown dna profiles. could one of these unknown profiles have been the killer? >> the defense noted that something had set off the
warehouse alarm system just three days before the murder. >> and you think that's significant? >> yeah. yeah, it's significant. that means that someone could have gained access to thermo fisher. >> after both sides had presented their cases it was time for closing arguments. >> no one could think of any reason to kill michelle mockbee so what motive would david dooley have to kill michelle mockbee? >> but it was only after the defense had wrapped up its closing that the prosecutor gave her answer to that question, laying out her theory of motive for the first time. >> i would suggest to you that the evidence is right in that stack of stuff over there. we have timecards, you have invoices, all kept in michelle's office. >> you think the motive was the timecards? >> yes, i believe that michelle had actually discovered the fact that he had actually been triple dipping by clocking himself in, clocking his wife in and getting paid hourly to do a job that
they were already being paid a monthly salary to do. >> that feels like a thin motive. >> sometimes desperate people do desperate things. >> was david dooley desperate enough to commit murder over falsified timecards? it would be up to the jury to decide. >> coming up -- >> we the jury -- >> a verdict from the jury, but the real stunner was what came after. >> so i don't get a chance to explain it? >> you're not controlling this anymore. >> a prosecutor turned witness and a case turned upside down. >> they lie, they cheat and that's what they do. >> after everything that's come out, do you think they got the right guy? >> we absolutely think they have the right guy. >> when "dateline" continues. hee the right guy. >> when "dateline" continues ple, not actors, who've got their eczema under control. with less eczema, you can show more skin. so roll up those sleeves. and help heal your skin from within with dupixent. dupixent is the first treatment of its kind that continuously treats moderate-to-severe eczema,
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fake pandemic. protests are illegal under current government regulations and nonessential businesses are closed in the country. people are advised to stay home. the city of miami beach declared a state of emergency due to large crowds that gathered for spring break. local authorities are also imposing a curfew that will last at least 72 hours. now back to "dateline." ♪♪ welcome back to "dateline," i'm natalie morales. david dooley was on trial for the murder of his co-worker, michelle mockbee. there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, but in her closing argument the prosecutor laid out a provocative theory, suggesting david killed michelle because she caught him falsifying his timecards. the jury was about to render its verdict, but the twists in this case were just getting started. here again is josh mankiewicz
with "the early shift." >> after waiting a full day without hearing a verdict michelle mockbee's siblings were on pins and needles. when the first day came and goes and there is no verdict, but guys worried at all. >> no. >> stressed. >> stressed. it was pretty agonizing waiting. >> after deliberating for some 16 hours over two days word came from the jury, there was a verdict. >> we the jury find the defendant david dooley guilty of murder. >> guilty for the murder of michelle mockbee. >> did you have anything to do with the death of michelle mockbee? >> no, i did not. i did not kill her. >> david dooley was sentenced to life in prison. he filed an appeal. >> you know getting convictions reversed on appeal is a long shot. >> but when you are innocent it does happen. and it will happen. >> dooley was right, it wasn't over. two years after his conviction a whistleblower came forward to reveal a secret romance between
detective bruce mcvay and prosecutor linda talley smith. the scandal rocked the prosecutor's office and would lead to serious questions about david dooley's conviction. brian hamrick covered the scandal for nbc cincinnati affiliate wlwt. >> all of the information about the personal conversations between the prosecutor, linda talley smith and the lead detective bruce mcvay, all of their correspondence, all of that comes out. >> the jaw dropping head line said the affair between the prosecutor and lead detective began weeks after the trial. at a hearing in march of 2017 the prosecutor and the detective both instrumental in putting dooley behind bars found themselves on the hot seat being grilled by dooley's new attorney, deanna dennison.
>> are you telling me you didn't have a sexual relationship with her? >> we were friends. >> you are under oath. >> we were friends. >> did you have a sexual relationship with her? are you denying that? >> i don't think it's any of your business. >> you're under oath. because she will testify. she will say tell me what it is your answer is. >> i just said yes. >> okay thanks. simple. >> let's talk about this letter. >> it was a sensational courtroom drama. but the issue for the dooley trial wasn't the affair, it was an 18-page letter in which the prosecutor blasted the detective who was by then her former lover, as an outright liar, both personally and professionally. she ended up reading her own scathing words into the court record. >> now that i know what a complete [ bleep ] liar you are i am going to grapple with [ bleep ] ethical issues with every case in which you were involved. >> she said she was upset
because mcvay didn't tell her what was on a thermo fisher security video that he had come across. dooley's attorney continued reading from her letter. >> not to mention the fact that you allowed me to go through a complete [ bleep ] murder trial without telling me the truth about that video and now that i know it what the [ bleep ] am i going to do now. >> what the [ bleep ] am i supposed to do now. >> right. >> that one message from linda talley smith to bruce mcvay really tells the story. >> and that may be the most damning paragraph. >> the video in question shows a man outside the thermo fisher building, police call him the random dude. >> it's a little hard to tell exactly what he's doing, but he's on the property where a woman is murdered brutally ten hours later and we don't know who he is. >> the prosecutor said the defense was given this video, but defense attorneys say they
never saw it and were never told about the random dude. >> that would have been in our closing. our whole defense was he didn't do it, so if we can point to unknown individuals that were trying to gain access to the building, that would definitely have been used. >> remember talley smith said she didn't know about the man on the video during the trial, but finally learned about him from mcvay afterwards. but then she did nothing. >> she didn't go to the judge, she didn't go to the attorney general. >> and she didn't go to the defense, either. >> she wrote a letter to bruce mcvay saying how could you do this to me. >> and i get to live with the worry that someone on the defense side will find it at some point and that we will all wind up in trouble over it and that the entire case will be tainted because of it. you wrote that? >> i did write that. >> in defense of her actions talley smith testified she subsequently calmed down and never sent that letter. and besides, she said, the video
with the random dude was much ado about nothing. >> it doesn't constitute any evidence that someone got in that building. >> would it have changed anything about the case? >> no, absolutely not. >> for his part mcvay said he didn't tell the prosecutor about the video because he was confident the random dude wasn't the killer, but after hearing the testimony the judge threw out david dooley's conviction. it was a stunning development, setting the stage for a new trial. david dooley would remain behind bars in the interim. >> dave found out, he called me. of course, he was crying, he was relieved that finally he was going to get his second chance to prove his innocence. we still have a murderer out there, i'm not going to shut up until dave comes home. >> janet dooley was confident her husband would be found not guilty in a new trial because detective mcvay's credibility was compromised after the prosecutor branded him a liar.
>> they lie, they cheat to win and that's what they do. >> michelle's sister said they were frustrated by the judge's decision, but it didn't change their minds about david dooley's guilt. after everything that's come out you think they got the right guy? >> we absolutely think they have the right guy. we have no doubt about that at all. >> nothing that's happened since the trial, nothing in the appeal has made you think maybe the jury was wrong? >> no, michelle was just -- she deserves justice, i mean, she deserves all of this to be -- we all deserve all of this to be over with. >> seven long years after michelle mockbee was killed both sides had to brace themselves for a new trial. >> this time there would be a new prosecutor with a powerful new case. coming up -- >> where are his boots? we searched his house, his garage, his feet. >> missing boots, a suspicious
screwdriver and those timecards. >> they have never been found. so there are missing timecards, exactly two. >> when "dateline" continues. im exactly two. >> when "dateline" continues fof the creamiest-ever, ♪ ♪ must-have smoothies. ♪ ♪ it's irresistibly delicious.♪ ♪ more almond breeze, please! ♪ you could take your ulcerative colitis treatment in a different direction. talk to your doctor about xeljanz, a pill, not an injection or infusion, for adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis when a certain medicine did not help enough. xeljanz is the first and only fda-approved pill for moderate to severe uc. it can reduce symptoms in as early as two weeks, improve the appearance of the intestinal lining, and provide lasting steroid-free remission. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections. before and during treatment, your doctor should check for infections, like tb and do blood tests. tell your doctor if you've had hepatitis b or c, have flu-like symptoms, or are prone to infections.
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>> while michelle's family was bracing for another trial, a lot had changed. prosecutor linda talley smith had lost her reelection bid and was not a potential witness. so the kentucky attorney general's office and then assistant ag jon heck took over the case. >> ladies and gentlemen of the jury -- >> with every case that i take i review it and i ask myself is this person beyond all doubt guilty. whoever did this was familiar with that facility, you say who was there and whoever did it had to have left, who left? now we're down to one person. >> as for the video that showed the unidentified man approaching the warehouse's side door, heck offered an explanation for why the so-called land dom dude didn't matter. >> knowing that this is what got the new trial granted, we wanted to hit that head-on. what that man did actually was throw something in the garbage can right before the door. >> that guy was never identified. >> never identified. >> for heck the heart of the
case was that david dooley was the only one to leave the warehouse that morning. >> this was a bloody, violent murder. they would be covered in blood. there were no bloody clothes found on the scene. whoever did it left and when you looked at the video camera he is the only one who left. >> one of the things that could have been covered in blood, dooley's steel-toed work boots, required footwear at the warehouse. heck told the jury dooley might well have gotten rid of his boots to cover up the crime. >> where are his boots? they searched his house, his garage, his feet, his truck and these were never found. >> so did dooley leave work to check on his wife or to get rid of bloody evidence? >> david dooley's statement was that he went home to check on his wife. >> right. >> you don't believe that? >> no, he wasn't texting saying how are you doing and she wasn't texting back saying i'm feeling bad. that communication never happened. >> detailed dooley did place one
unanswered phone call to his wife that morning before going home. to heck if dooley was really concerned about his wife he would have called more than once. heck also found janet and david dooley's conflicting stories suspicious. >> but it's her version of the story that sort of you find more interesting. >> yes. because she is essentially covering up for a criminal. >> remember the disputed audio of janet dooley talking to investigators the day after the murder? >> so when is the first time you saw dave -- >> when is the first time i seen him yesterday. >> yeah, yesterday snafr noon. >> [ inaudible ]. >> janet dooley denies ever saying her husband didn't come home that morning and access detectives of manipulating her words and ignoring her hearing problems. but heck points to another interview with detective stall several weeks later in which janet seems to admit saying her
husband never came home. >> i've been spending the last few days reviewing all of the interviews that we've done with you and i said -- >> that i -- >> when dave left for work that morning when is the very first time that you saw him after he left for work and you said when you guys let him go that afternoon. >> that's how i remembered it. >> so the second time they went over her first statement with her and said you told us this, this and this, and she said, yep, that's how i remembered it. she said the exact same thing and that is that the david dooley did not come home. >> prosecutor heck acknowledges not knowing exactly why david dooley would have wanted to break into michelle's office and why he would have killed her, but to heck the fact that david dooley was double dipping on timecards and that michelle handled payroll and that the dooleys timecards from that week were never found were together just all too suspicious to
ignore. >> as we sit here today we have never found david and janet dooley's timecards from that week. they've never been found. so there are missing timecards. exactly two. >> would michelle have had those with her that morning because she was coming in to do payroll. >> she may have gathered them up, she may have. >> and heck emphasized a screwdriver was found in david dooley's locked janitor's closet, a screwdriver the same size and with similar markings as the pry marks on michelle mockbee's office. >> what are the odds that in this situation this screwdriver is a different screwdriver? >> the screwdriver, like much of the case, was circumstantial. heck's response, there was simply too much circumstantial evidence to ignore. >> at some point a coincidence is not a coincidence. at some point it's just
overwhelming evidence of guilt. >> now after years of waiting for their second chance at a trial, david dooley's defense team was ready to make their case and at the top of their list of alternate suspects was michelle's husband. >> no alibi. the police didn't even bother to take his phone. coming up, but questions about michelle's husband and all that insurance money. >> $409,000 of cash withdrawals. could he be paying somebody? i don't know. >> what would the verdict be this time. >> right away your heart just starts pounding. >> yeah, i was terrified. >> when "dateline" continues. y >> when "dateline" continues -i'm down. -yes, please. [ chuckles ] don't get me wrong, i love my rv, but insuring it is such a hassle. same with my boat. the insurance bills are through the roof. -[ sighs ] -be cool. i wish i could group my insurance stuff. -[ coughs ] bundle. -the house, the car, the rv. like a cluster. an insurance cluster.
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♪♪ welcome back. david dooley was back in court charged once again with the murder of his co-worker, michelle mockbee. this time there was a new prosecutor and new evidence, including a screwdriver found in david's locker that matched pry marks on michelle's office door. now it was the defense's turn and they would come out swinging. here is josh mankiewicz with the conclusion of "the early shift." >> david dooley had waited five years for a second chance in court. >> ladies and gentlemen of the jury, david dooley didn't murder michelle mockbee. >> his new attorneys deanna dennison and jeff lawson were
eager to present their new evidence to a jury. >> there was new evidence that some random person we wanted to introduce into rules of evidence prevented defense attorneys from introducing linda talley smith's letters in courts, the ones where she accused detective mcvay of being a liar, but what they did have this time around was the random dude video that had led to the overturned conviction. >> we have an entire first trial in this case that's conducted on the fact that this was a fairly secure building. what the walking man shows is that that's not true. >> to the defense that random dude was just one of the alternate suspects ignored by detectives. >> every single thing that was done from the moment that they saw that david left on that surveillance tape was in an effort to convict david as opposed to make sure that they had the right person. >> the defense brought up other warehouse employees who they said were not thoroughly investigated. they focused on michelle's husband dan and the money he
received from michelle's life insurance policy. >> we started seeing cash withdrawals, $10,000, $20,000, $12,000, $14,000. >> all of which suggests what? >> well, suggests that something is wrong. $409,000 of cash withdrawals. could he be paying somebody? i don't know. >> i mean, that feels like you're throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. >> yes, i am. yes, i am. because it's all reasonable doubt. >> prosecutors, detectives, and michelle's family all agree that dan mockbee had nothing to do with his wife's murder and on the stand he said as much. >> did you have anything to do -- >> absolutely not. >> -- hiring somebody to kill your wife? >> absolutely not. >> the defense also questioned the state's theory of motive. >> you don't dispute that david dooley was stealing? >> no. we don't -- we don't -- we think that he was, yes. >> that he would kill to cover that up? >> no. >> no. >> no. absolutely not. >> even though it would have meant loss of his job and maybe loss of his wife's job. >> so we're going to kill
somebody? no. >> it had nothing to do with covering up a theft. a theft of which we don't even know she knew about. >> i mean, the way she was bludgeoned that's not from somebody, oh, shoot, she found out about t you're going to spend the time to tape her legs up and drag her all over the place? i don't think so. >> and remember the steel-toed boots that the prosecution said were never found, the defense said dooley's work boots were found, shown here in evidence photos. they weren't steel toe, but the defense said dooley wasn't the only one to violate the footwear rules at thermo fisher. in her closing argument deanna dennison emphasized the circumstantial nature of the case against david dooley. >> it's not a question of did he maybe do it, did he probably do it or could he have done it. maybe by process of elimination he is the only one that could have done it.
that's not the standard. the standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it and they have not shown that to you. >> now once again the case was in the hands of a jury. this time it took seven hours. >> somebody said they have a verdict. so right away your heart just starts pounding. >> i was terrified going upstairs to sit in the courtroom. >> we the jury find the defendant david dooley guilty of murder under instruction number 4. >> for the second time david dooley was convicted of murdering michelle mockbee. >> what did your client say afterwards? >> oh, no, not again. >> michelle's siblings had a very different reaction. >> when they read that guilty it was just -- just felt everything just, bam, release. lots of tears. >> lots of tears. >> yes. >> lots of hugs. >> at the end of the day this is a guilty man and the jury rightfully found him guilty. >> david dooley maintains his
innocence and remains silent at his second sentencing. >> and he still says i'm not going to confess to something i didn't do, even if it means that this judge could change my sentence, could give me a lower sentence. i'm never going to admit to something that never happened. >> the judge sentenced david dooley to 43 years. he is appealing. it's been years since michelle's death, but she's still part of her daughters' lives. madelyn and carli say it's the little things that remind them of their mom. >> bon jovi will come on the radio and we will think our mom liked all that kind of music and would go to all kinds of concerts. she was just a fun person. ♪♪ >> everything i know about your mom makes me think that she wouldn't have wanted you in a courtroom. >> no. >> she wouldn't have wanted you to hear about a murder trial. she wouldn't have wanted any of this to touch you at all. >> no she would just want us to
be like happy. >> yeah. >> and maybe she will finally get her wish? >> yeah. >> yeah. yes. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching. ♪♪ i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "date line." >> i knew she would never leave her kids in the middle of a hurricane, so i always knew it wasn't going to be good. >> crystal was gone and there were lots of reasons to be worried. >> she had numerous lovers, men and women. >> you have both the husband and boyfriend all failing the polyss. >> all in the same day. >> the answer would have to wait. >> hurricane harvey is moving in this direction. >> we're stuck in the house. immediately we went to social media. >> what kinds of things did you put up? >> pictures of her,