Trial for a man who is accused of fatally shooting his father in a case dating back to 2012 began in Stephens County District Court Tuesday before Judge Ken Graham.
James Kyle Brooks faces a charge of first degree murder with deliberate intent, which was put on the books six years later in March 2018. Charges from the State against James Kyle Brooks accuse him of shooting his father, Timothy James Brooks, who died Aug. 8, 2012, after taking out a $500,000 life insurance policy. Brooks previously pleaded not guilty.
The State, represented by Assistant District Attorney Cortnie Siess and Bobby Lewis, opened their case today before the jury and told them they would try to depict a snapshot of the deceased’s life. According to Lewis, Timothy was a “simple man who enjoyed simple life,” though he would carry “a wad of cash that could choke a horse.”
Timothy had two kids, James Kyle and a daughter, Jenny, though he had been divorced and was also estranged from these children.
Lewis briefly touched on the day before Timothy died — Aug. 7, 2012. He told the jury that James Kyle and his brother-in-law went to Timothy’s house that day. The children paid for the insurance on the home, located at 506 W. Chickasaw Street in Marlow, and the reason why is said to appear later in trial. James Kyle and his brother-in-law told Timothy an insurance person would come out to look at the roof of the home for storm damage.
Timothy also mentioned a child’s four-wheeler he would like his grandchildren to have and James Kyle agreed to pick it up the next day when he was back in town handling business at a bank. The next day, around 11:27 a.m., Marlow dispatch received a call from the defendant saying, “My dad just shot himself.”
Lewis ultimately told the jury James Kyle had said his dad shot himself after cleaning the shot gun, though law enforcement said they didn’t smell gun oil or solvent. Lewis said there were no usable, latent prints on the gun, no blood on the barrel of the shotgun, and advised the jury James Kyle told him about the life insurance policy and made it sound like his dad was apart of the purchase of it. James Kyle was listed as the sole beneficiary and Lewis said while James Kyle was making the payments, not all of them went through. Even after Timothy’s death, James Kyle continued paying on the policy for almost a year, Lewis said.
During the opening, Lewis talked about Timothy slumped over in his chair where he was shot.
“He looks like somebody’s grandpa taking a nap on a regular day — except he’s shot through the belly,” Lewis said, making the motion of how Timothy was slumped down in his orange chair that day when law enforcement arrived on scene.
Lewis pointed out the case went cold, until OSBI later picked it up.
While opening statements are not evidentiary, Lewis told the jurors when all the evidence had come before them, the State would ask them to come to the same conclusion — murder with deliberate intent.
After a brief recess, the defense, represented by Martin Law Office of Oklahoma City, presented their opening arguments. Attorney Mack Martin lead the defense. His first priority in opening statements was addressing the mental health issues that Timothy apparently had. Martin argued they were so bad, the brother-in-law didn’t want to go to the home alone, and instead asked James Kyle to accompany him there on Aug. 7, 2012.
Martin addressed why the children paid the insurance. He said the divorce from Timothy came after the wife left prison, where she was for drug use, and divorced Timothy. Martin said in the divorce, Timothy was to give half the house to the wife, or in other words, sell the home and give her half of the money. This was never done, according to Martin, who pointed out that Timothy also refused to put insurance on the home, didn’t buy groceries and sometimes let the electricity get shut off. The wife ended up dying, resulting in the two children, Jenny and James Kyle, inheriting her half of the home. That’s when the children realized Timothy wasn’t providing home owner’s insurance.
Martin said the reason Timothy had money was because he didn’t spend it. He also pointed out Timothy wasn’t retired, but instead fired.
“He would sit in his office all day and stare out the window,” Martin said. “You can have money when you don’t pay anything.”
Martin said this is where the life insurance policy came into play. The children realized taxes weren’t getting paid, and liens were being put on the home. Martin said Timothy knew of the life insurance and it was taken out a few years before Timothy’s death to satisfy whatever liens would remain on the home should he pass. Proof of him knowing, according to Martin, appeared at the home on Chickasaw Street through letters, both inside the home and inside the mailbox.
Most of Martin’s opening statements focused on Timothy’s mental health. He used drugs, but sometimes wouldn’t take his mental health prescriptions, Martin said. He covered holes in the wall with tape, thinking people were spying on him. He was convinced his wife was still alive, which is why he didn’t attend her funeral.
Before ending his closing arguments, Martin noted the day Timothy died, Aug. 8, 2012, he threatened to kill himself if James Kyle left. Reports show on this day, Timothy was telling James Kyle there were people on the television talking to him. Martin maintains James Kyle tried to tell Timothy that wasn’t true, but it only agitated Timothy.
“This is a pure sad occurrence involving mental health, suicide — it could be an accident,” Martin said.
Martin also pointed out James Kyle was completely compliant with law enforcement when this incident happened. He also said family members knew of Timothy’s mental health.
“None of them to this day have been interviewed about Timothy Brooks mental health issues,” Martin said. “To this day — none of them.”
He said the family knew of multiple times he threatened to commit suicide.
Before closing his opening statement, Martin told the jury Timothy did know about the insurance policy. He said at the end of trial, jurors would “have one choice: to return a verdict of not guilty.”
Witnesses from Day 1 will be included in Thursday’s edition of The Duncan Banner or appear online at wwwduncanbanner.com Wednesday evening.
Trial for Brooks continues Wednesday at 9 a.m.