SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (WTVF) — The man who confessed to killing a 7-year-old Kentucky girl was sentenced to life without parole. He appeared in court for the sentencing hearing in which investigators are outlined evidence in the case.
Back in September, Timothy Madden pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering Gabbi Doolin at a youth football game in Allen County in 2015. He will serve life in prison without parole. However, during sentencing Madden maintained his innocence.
"Mr. Madden entered the plea because it was the right thing to do for himself and for the victim's family and for everybody involved including the community," said Madden's attorney Tom Griffiths in a press conference.
As Wednesday's hearing got underway, a detective testified that after Doolin went missing, they gathered everyone who as at the football game in the gym to identify possible suspects.
Police went to Madden’s home where he provided them with the clothes he was wearing that night. Officials linked him to the crime after a DNA test matched Doolin’s DNA to blood that was found on Madden’s underwear and belt buckle.
However, the defense said it typically takes weeks or months for DNA testing to be done. In the Doolin case, DNA testing was done in three days. An analyst said there was a request by police to “rush” the testing.
Her official cause of death was determined to be manual strangulation and drowning.
Just some perspective here. There was was never a trial in Gabbi Doolin’s case - so prosecutors are essentially presenting all of their evidence now during sentencing in an effort to get the harsher possible sentence for Timothy Madden.— Chris Conte (@chrisconte) October 23, 2019
Gabbi’s mother, Amy Doolin, will also give a victim's impact statement at the two-day hearing. In addition to hearing from family, evidence in the case will also be revealed -- specifically, DNA from both blood and semen that linked Madden to the crime. Much of it was graphic, including photographs and witness statements.
If you’re following along with the Gabbi Doolin case. I’m choosing not to Tweet out details of what’s being discussed in court right now related to her rape. It’s too graphic, and to be honest no one really needs to know these details aside from those choosing to listen in court— Chris Conte (@chrisconte) October 23, 2019
Prosecutors say the death penalty was on the table, the family approved a life sentence to avoid the drawn-out process of appeals.
Emotions ran raw as Amy Doolin, Gabbi's mother, gave her victim impact statement. Her statement moved most of the room to tears as she described in painful detail what it was like losing her only daughter.
“Because of you, we lost our baby girl. Our boys lost their sister. Before she was even 8 years old, you took her from us,” Amy Doolin said as he took the stand to give her victim impact statement.
The emotions hit an all time high as Gabbi's father, Bryan, erupted in anger at Madden and his attorney, who were speaking while Amy spoke.
"Sir, that's the most disrespectful thing I've ever seen...We've had four years waiting, you can let him listen to what she has to say. Do you understand me?"
During the hearing, the judge said a jury likely would have sentenced Madden to death, but the family agreed to accept his plea deal. And Commonwealth Attorney Corey Morgan spoke to that choice in a press conference following the hearing.
"There would have been the death penalty given. I have no question in my mind. But at the same time, you have years and years of appeals. The family understood that and the family at this juncture is looking toward having closure - as I said before you can't have complete closure on a heinous crime like this, but they do need to be able to move forward with their lives and they would not have been able to do that..."
NewsChannel 5 did not stream the hearing, per the judge’s order.