A Kentucky man was indicted Friday on charges of kidnapping, raping and killing a 7-year-old girl whose body was found in a creek soon after she disappeared from a youth football game.
Following the indictment in Scottsville, Kentucky, local Commonwealth's Attorney Clint Willis said he had not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against Timothy Madden, who is charged in Gabriella Doolin's death last month.
Willis said he planned to discuss the matter with the child's family after the holidays.
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"That's not a meeting you would want to have with this family right before Christmas," Willis said in a phone interview.
Madden, a former construction worker who has maintained his innocence, was indicted on murder, kidnapping, first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy charges. His arrest warrant says the child died of manual strangulation and drowning.
She disappeared while attending a Nov. 14 game to cheer on her brother. She was found dead less than a half-hour later in a creek. The death and arrest of a local man stunned people in Scottsville, a town of about 5,000 near the Tennessee state line. On the day of the child's funeral, residents lined streets holding pink and blue balloons that were released as the hearse drove by.
Madden's attorney, Travis Lock, said Friday he was not surprised by the indictment.
"This gets us one step closer in the process to the time when we will be entitled to the evidence that the commonwealth possesses to support its belief that they have the right guy," Lock said by phone.
Madden's next court appearance is an arraignment set for Jan. 13 in Allen Circuit Court. Madden pleaded not guilty at his initial appearance last month in district court.
The police citation said Madden's DNA collected during the investigation matched that recovered from the child during the autopsy. So far, Lock said, he has received a two-page preliminary DNA report. Willis said some DNA evidence is still being tested.
Meanwhile, Lock said he was denied access to meet with Madden on the day of his client's arrest. Lock said he was contacted by a Madden relative on the morning of the arrest, and Madden reached out to him shortly before taken into custody.
"That is a clear-cut violation of Timothy Madden's civil rights," Lock said.
Madden, in his late 30s, professed his innocence in a jailhouse media interview after his arrest. Lock said he first met with Madden the day after the arrest.
Lock's complaint was downplayed by Willis, who said: "If he didn't say anything incriminating during those meetings, what difference does it make? I'm not really sure how it comes into play."
Lock also is trying to track down surveillance video from local convenience stores that might show his client before and after the child's death. Lock said Friday he's been told the video exists and is being preserved but he has yet to see it.
No decision has been made on whether to ask that the trial be moved, he said.
"That's certainly something we will very seriously consider when that time comes," Lock said.
Another high-profile child slaying occurred this week in Kentucky. An Indiana man has been indicted on a murder charge after police say he fatally stabbed 6-year-old Logan Tipton in the head during a burglary in Versailles in central Kentucky.
Police said the kindergartner was killed in his bed in the pre-dawn attack. A Woodford County grand jury charged Ronald Exantus, 32, with murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of second-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree assault.