The man police believe killed a Maple Valley woman and her neighbor had a violent past that included an assault on his father, who had given him room and board and rescued him from trouble for years, court documents say.
Daniel Dooly, 40, was convicted of assaulting his father in May 2000. He also had been convicted of assaulting a Maple Valley woman and burglarizing her house in 1998, and he had five charges of domestic-violence assault from 1989 to 1996.
Dooly was the suspect in the death Saturday of Zoe Heath, 41, and her neighbor, Terry Drennen, 39. Both died of blunt-force injuries, according to the King County medical examiner.
Police believe Dooly drove Heath's black-and-silver pickup into a tree in Skagit County on Sunday afternoon and was killed. His identity has yet to be confirmed, but the pickup had been stolen from Heath's home the night before.
JoAnn Stevens-Morton, Heath's mother, said she was unaware of most of Dooly's past but knew he had assaulted his father. She said the older man was afraid of his son. Nevertheless, Dooly had lived with his father in Renton since Dooly's 1980 divorce.
Dooly's father would not comment yesterday.
King County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said police believe Zoe Heath "definitely had been Dooly's girlfriend." But Stevens-Morton said her daughter had no romantic interest in Dooly, whom she described as an unhandy handyman who broke more than he fixed.
His primary job was to mow the 10-acre pasture on Heath's small farm near Francis Lake in southeastern King County, Stevens-Morton said. Because he was known to be volatile, the mother had advised her daughter to be patient and tactful so he wouldn't become enraged. Dooly would vacillate between anger and being obsessively apologetic, she said.
Heath considered getting a restraining order against him last September but feared it might set him off. So she continued to put up with him "just showing up," Stevens-Morton said.
On Saturday, she said, "I had been talking to (Zoe) all afternoon. Danny was there and she said, `Mother, he just won't leave me alone.' I said, `Zoe, you know this is a delicate balance.' " Her daughter replied, "He makes me so angry I want to throw rocks at him to make him go away."
Stevens-Morton talked to Dooly. He apologized, she said, and said, "I won't do anything."
Police believe he left and returned when Heath and her neighbor were working on shelves in the barn. Stevens-Morton got a phone call from her daughter, who cried into the phone, "He did it." Stevens-Morton called police.
Heath, who was divorced and worked for King County Parks and Recreation, leaves two daughters, 10 and 14. Less is known about her neighbor, Drennen, who Urquhart said lived in a tent on property in Maple Valley and rode a bicycle around town.
Urquhart said it's not known if Drennen was an intended victim or someone who just got in the way.
In 1998, court records show, Dooly was dating a Maple Valley woman and was in the bedroom with her when another man, who was visiting, walked in.
Dooly "just snapped," the woman later told police. He hit the man and caused a lot of damage in the house.
The woman called Dooly's father, who came to the house and tried unsuccessfully to intervene. Police arrested the son.
Dooly spent 58 days in jail, was ordered to undergo a domestic-violence, mental-health and drug-and-alcohol evaluation and to do community service — none of which he did, court records show.
On May 29, 2000, he was a passenger in his father's car when the older man flagged down a Renton police officer and told him that his son had put him in a headlock while he was driving, tried to take the keys from the ignition, tried to veer into oncoming traffic and threatened to kill him.
A King County Superior Court judge ordered Dooley to have no contact with his father and gave him 28 days in jail.
A short time later, he was once again living with his father, who Stevens-Morton said would come to Heath's farm to fix things his son broke.
Nancy Bartley can be reached at 206-464-8522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.