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Convicted Murderer Might Get Retrial Because Detective Had Relationship with State Attorney


When convicted killer David Dooley was found guilty in 2014, it was thanks to the efforts of Kentucky prosecutor Linda Tally-Smith, and lead investigator Bruce McVay. That might all go down the drain, however. Dooley’s attorneys are pushing for a retrial due to allegedly withheld evidence, and one itty bitty detail: The detective and the prosecutor had a sexual relationship.

That detail emerged during tense questioning at a retrial hearing on Thursday. Defense lawyer Deanna Dennison picked at McVay, a former detective for the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, during testimony:

McVay: We were friends, Deanna.

Dennison: Just friends? Are you telling me that you didn’t have a sexual relationship with her?

McVay: We were friends.

Dennison: You are under oath.

McVay: We were friends.

Dennison: Did you have a sexual relationship with her? Are you denying that?

McVay: I don’t think it’s any of your business.

Dennison: I’m asking you and you’re under oath. This isn’t game land here. I’m asking you a question. Did you have a sexual relationship with Linda Tally-Smith? Yes or no? And you’re under oath. She’ll testify. She’ll say. Tell me what your answer is.

McVay: I just said, yes.

Tally-Smith took the stand on Friday, where she admitted yes, they really did have a relationship, but it started after the Dooley trial—these two bonded when working together on the case. They were apparently only together after the conviction in 2014 until spring 2015, Tally-Smith said. McCay charmed her through humor and confidence, she said. He also allegedly lied when working. She claimed they were doing another homicide case in June 2015, where he told her a suspect wasn’t on surveillance footage. That apparently wasn’t true.

Dooley was accused in the 2012 murder of 42-year-old mother Michelle Mockbee. Prosecutors say he beat her to death outside their workplace at Thermo Fisher Scientific. His attorneys claim there was withheld evidence: Surveillance footage showed apparently showed an unidentified man at the facility’s entrance 10 hours before the killing.

“It would have been our closing [argument],” said Tom Pugh, a co-counsel at his original trial, said on Tuesday. “Our whole defense was that he didn’t do it, so if we can point to unknown individuals who were trying to get into the building and things like that, it would have been used. One of our biggest issues was you could get in and out.”

He said the prosecution’s case relied on the idea that the building was “impenetrable,” reducing the number of possible suspects. But he claimed there remained several ways to make it into the building.

Tally-Smith’s testimony will resume Monday.

[Screengrab of Dooley via WLWT]

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