A Kentucky man has admitted to kidnapping and murdering a 7-year-girl who disappeared during a football game and whose body was later found in a nearby creek.
The 2015 rape and murder of Gabbi Doolin shocked the tiny town of Scottsville. She was found dead in a creek not far from a high school football field where she and her family had gone to watch her 11-year-old brother play youth football. She died of strangulation and drowning. Madden was arrested a week later after DNA linked him to the crime scene.
Timothy Madden pleaded guilty Saturday to counts of murder and kidnapping in exchange for a life sentence with the possibility of parole, according to WBKO in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He originally faced the death penalty.
While he pleaded guilty to some of the charges, Madden did not admit to raping the child.
His defense attorney Tom Griffiths told WBKO his client entered an Alford plea, in which he acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him, yet he maintains his innocence. The Alford plea covers the rape and sodomy counts he faced.
Madden’s sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25. His trial was originally scheduled for next month.
Doolin’s family has responded to the plea deal with mixed emotions.
“There is a sense of relief, but a numbness,” her mother Amy Doolin told WNKY. “We were ready for a trial, and this happened out of the blue.”
She added she only found out about the possible plea deal on Friday.
“I don’t even know how to explain how I feel,” the mother said. “We are thankful not to have to go through a long trial process.”
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.