Testimony in a case where a son is accused of shooting his father in 2012 to collect a $500,000 insurance policy concluded Thursday in Stephens County District Judge Ken Graham’s court room.
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 James Kyle took out a $500,000 life insurance policy on his father in 2010. Brooks previously pled not guilty.
Brooks is represented by Martin Law Office out of Oklahoma City. Mack Martin leads the defense in this case. The State is represented by Assistant District Attorney Cortnie Siess and Bobby Lewis.
The final State witness from the first day of testimony came from Marlow Police Detective Antonio Aguilera. When questioned by the state, he told them of what he found when he first arrived to the scene. According to Aguilera, he saw Timothy slumped over in his orange chair with a shotgun wound to his abdomen. The shotgun — which previous testimony from now Marlow Police Chief Elvis Walker indicated it was found butt end down between Timothy’s legs with the barrel pointed toward his head — had been picked up by James Kyle. Aguilera immediately told him to put the gun down, which James Kyle did. Photographs of the deceased show the gun on the floor next to the victim and a spent shot gun shell to the left of the victim.
A large portion of the case revolves around the spent shot gun shell resting on the floor to the left of Timothy. The exit port for the gun is located on the right side of the gun, and because the gun is a pump action, the gun has to be manipulated or hit with enough force to eject the spent shell. Another portion of the case is that a new shell had been loaded into the chamber, and in a pump action shotgun, it would have to be manipulated or picked up by the forearm to initiate the reload.
Aguilera testified to asking James Kyle to leave the inside of the home and go sit in his pickup, which was parked in the driveway.
Later, Aguilera spoke with James Kyle, who advised he was there to pick up a four wheeler for his son from Timothy. Aguilera also said James Kyle told him he was at the home the day before with his brother-in-law Jared Head to let Timothy know an insurance adjuster would come by to look at the roof for hail damage.
Eventually, Aguilera would take James Kyle to the police station for an interview, which would also include Investigator Justin Scott with the District Attorney’s office.
Aguilera testified James Kyle told him he was visiting his father to pick up the four wheeler and when he arrived, his dad had been cleaning a pump action shot gun. James Kyle described his father cleaning the gun and how his father put away the gun cleaning kit in the garage when he was finished. He also noted his father had loaded the gun in the interview.
Aguilera learned through the interview at the station, which was later displayed in trial with video and audio, that James Kyle had picked up a box of empty shot gun shells, put it in his pocket and removed it when he was asked to sit in his vehicle because he was trying to grab his phone out of his pocket. The interview indicated that the defendant only picked up the empty box of shells because he accidentally kicked it when he followed his father to the garage and since it was empty, he tucked it away.
In testimony with the State, Aguilera said he retrieved the box himself after the interview concluded when he took James Kyle back to his car. Aguilera said it was under the driver side seat.
In cross-examination with Defense, Martin asked Aguilera again about the box. Aguilera said the same thing about retrieving it, though Martin said there was a discrepancy with that testimony and the physical report Aguilera made. In the report, it reads Aguilera was given the box by James Kyle. Martin said the most important part of a law enforcement officers job is accurately documenting what happens. Aguilera said he worded it incorrectly but that it wasn’t wrong.
The next question from Martin asked if it was possible the spent gun shell found next to Timothy had been kicked or moved. When Aguilera said no, Martin stated that just like his “report wasn’t wrong” he “wouldn’t admit it possible it could have been moved.”
Day 2 testimony
Testimony continued on Wednesday in the courtroom. The first witness called to the stand was returning witness Jimmy Williams, who at the time of the death served as the Marlow Police Chief. Williams in his testimony talked about his experience in law enforcement and how he also served as a fire arms instructor.
Most of Williams testimony talked about the concern of the firearm found in the home on the day Timothy died. Williams said it wasn’t normal in a suicide case with a pump action shot gun to find a spent shell casing, let alone another round loaded in the chamber.
A third shell in the gun was also collected. All three shells were submitted as evidence.
Williams also told the State he didn’t find a suicide note at the scene, found no smell of gun cleaning solution or solvent, and couldn’t smell the shot gun fire either. Williams videoed the scene, which was later played in trial.
Williams also told the state he had never seen someone shoot themself with a shotgun in the abdomen in a suicide case.
In cross examination with defense, Martin asked why Williams didn’t have a police report and was testifying from memory. Again, Martin stressed the importance of documentation.
“You have years and years of experience and you didn’t properly document?” Martin asked.
The next question asked Williams if he had done any testing on the gun for biological matter like DNA or blood and Williams said no.
Next, Martin pulled out the gun in question from evidence. It was manipulated to where it wouldn’t go off in the courtroom and so Martin used the gun as a prop to show different scenarios of how the gun could’ve fallen after the shot went off in Timothy’s hands.
He asked if the gun fell and rotated, would it be possible for the shell to go somewhere else than to the right of the deceased. He also asked if it fell hard enough if the gun could eject the shell. Williams said if it fell hard enough or was struck hard enough it could be possible.
Martin then asked if picked up by the forearm of the gun and moved, could the gun be reloaded and again, Williams said it’s possible.
Testimony from others including Investigator Justin Scott, a representative of the insurance company and the medical examiner, along with Day 3 testimony will appear on the website Friday night or in the weekend edition of The Duncan Banner.
As of press time, jury was still in deliberation and had been for around six hours.
The verdict will appear in the Weekend edition as well if it has been reached.