Madden pleads guilty to murder in Gabbi Doolin death

SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. – Nearly four years after the sexual assault and murder of 7-year-old Gabbi Doolin, the man charged in her death entered guilty pleas Saturday morning in Allen Circuit Court.

Timothy Madden, of Scottsville, was facing the death penalty in the case. Now he will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, said Corey Morgan, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 49th Judicial Circuit.

A sentencing hearing is set for Oct  23. The Commonwealth is asking for life without the possibility of parole.

Gabbi Doolin was sexually assaulted and killed in a field near Allen-County Scottsville High School while her older brother Alec played in a youth league football game in November 2015. Her official cause of death was strangulation and drowning.

There have been multiple delays and setbacks as the case made its way through the justice system.

In what was a surprise to the Doolin family, Madden entered the pleas Saturday morning.

”We didn’t know it was a possibility until yesterday,” Gabbi’s mother, Amy Doolin, said after leaving court.

“There is a sense of relief but a numbness,” she said. “We were ready for a trial, and this happened out of the blue.

“I don’t even know how to explain how I feel,” she said. “We are thankful not to have to go through a long trial process. We’ve been in court since 8:30 this morning.

“We had a courtroom full of support today,” Doolin said.

Madden pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murder, Morgan said.

He entered an Alford plea to first-degree rape – victim under 12 years old and first-degree sodomy – victim under 12 years old.

An Alford plea is a type of guilty plea in which the person charged does not admit to committing the crime but accepts the punishment of a guilty plea and admits the Commonwealth had sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.

“Our case is very strong. We have evidence, scientific evidence, that clearly indicates that the defendant, Timothy Madden,  is in fact guilty,” Morgan said.

“There’s no way it could possibly be his son based on the evidence that we have. DNA evidence is very specific to that person, everybody’s DNA is different and that includes a father and son.” Morgan said.

During the sentencing hearing, Morgan will present all of the evidence against Madden so that the community will know what happened to Gabbi, Morgan said.

“It’s been a long road for the victims. I look forward to showing the community in Allen County what he has done,” Morgan said.

“We want whoever is guilty of these crimes to be in prison. We’re not going to put anybody else in prison unless we know it’s the person who actually committed those crimes and we do,” Morgan said.