An attorney representing Scott F. Doll has filed a motion to vacate the former Corfu resident's 2010 murder conviction on the grounds that Doll's rights were violated the night of his arrest and his trial counsel's failure to raise the issue of specific rights being violated constituted inadequate representation.
Timothy Murphy is also asking for DNA testing on fingernail scrapings from the victim, Joseph Benaquist, a former coworker of Doll's and occasional partner in a used car business.
Murphy argues in a 22-page motion that there was no probable cause to detain Doll for more than three hours the night of the murder and then later transport him to the Sheriff's Office for further questioning.
Doll previously lost an appeal over the police interrogation, despite the fact he was never read his Miranda warnings, under a legal theory known as the "emergency doctrine," which allows police questioning if they believe a person's life may be in danger.
The night of Feb. 19, 2009, emergency dispatchers received a call about a suspicious condition on North Lake Road, Pembroke.
Deputy James Diehl responded to the scene and located Doll walking on North Lake Road in overalls and carrying a tire jack in one hand.
When Diehl approached, he noticed that Doll's overalls were covered in blood.
At one point, Doll claimed it was blood from a deer he had recently butchered.
At the time, there was no missing person report on Benaquist and his body wouldn't be found for another four and a half hours.
In arguing for the emergency doctrine exception for questioning Doll on North Lake Road and later at the Sheriff's Office, the prosecution contended that deputies and investigators found the blood suspicious and Doll's inconsistent statements troubling.
They suspected a crime had been committed and that perhaps a victim was still alive and in need of assistance, thereby justifying trying to get information out of Doll that might lead them to a victim.
Murphy argues that in rejecting Doll's appeal on those grounds, the Appeals Court found that there was no probable cause for taking Doll into custody and then transporting Doll to the Sheriff's Office.
There is prior case law that prohibits both actions without probable cause, according to Murphy's motion.
Detaining Doll for three hours at the scene exceeds the police's authority to "stop and frisk" a person under suspicious circumstances, Murphy argues.
The failure of Doll's defense counsel, led by nationally renowned defense attorney Paul Cambria, and assisted by Daniel Killelea, to object during the trial stage to the custody and transport of Doll constitutes a procedural error that compromised Doll's right to a fair trial.
Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl has written a response, but it has not yet been filed with the court, so it's not yet a public document.
A hearing on the motion was scheduled for this morning, but was postponed to March 10 to give Murphy more time to read and respond to Zickl's answer.
For previous coverage of Scott Doll, click here.