SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (WTVF) — With the trial of Timothy Madden quickly approaching, a set of new lawyers have brought more questions about critical DNA evidence could in the rape and murder of Gabbi Doolin.
The 7-year-old was killed nearly four years ago, but now, just months before the prime suspect, Timothy Madden, goes to trial, a heated battle is brewing over evidence.
Gabbi disappeared during a football game at Scottsville High School in Kentucky in 2015. Her body was found just 30 minutes later in a nearby creek.
Police arrested Madden who immediately proclaimed his innocence.
"If they find the right person ... I will come out and will sue everybody who slandered my name and put me where I am today," said Madden from his jail cell in 2015.
He's been locked up since the arrest, held without bond now for more than three years.
So, why no trial yet? For one, all the lawyers have changed.
"This case, we have a new prosecutor who took over in 2019," said legal analyst Nick Leonardo.
Plus, Madden was just assigned a new public defender. Leonardo says the attorneys are pretty much starting from scratch.
"Getting up to speed on a capital case like this is going to take quite some time."
Madden's lawyer is already asking to re-test DNA evidence, which was granted by the judge.
"In a death penalty case, they want to make sure they afford the criminally accused all the due process they possibly can," said Leonardo.
After his arrest, Madden said he did cooperate with police.
"I gave them my clothes that night," he said in the 2015 jailhouse interview.
And prosecutors said DNA from Madden's pants linked him to the crime. But how much of a link?
"Is it a 60 percent match or a 98 percent match," asked Leonardo.
With no apparent witnesses, he said the DNA blood evidence will be crucial for arguments on both sides of the case.
It's likely the legal battle over testing will rage right up until the trial, which for now, is scheduled to begin September 4 of this year.