Second Trial Set For Oklahoma Man Accused Of Killing Dad For Life Insurance
Lawton Constitution, The (OK)
DUNCAN — The second trial for an Oklahoma City man accused of killing his father and faking it to look like a suicide has been moved to the September jury trial docket.
Stephens County District Judge Ken Graham ordered a continuance of the trial for James Kyle Brooks, 41, for a charge of first-degree murder until 9 a.m. Sept. 19, records indicate. If convicted, he could face the death penalty, life without parole or a life sentence.
An October 2019 jury trial ended up with a hung jury resulting in mistrial, records indicate.
Investigators believe Brooks was motivated to kill for a $500,000 insurance policy taken out without his father's knowledge, according to investigators.
Marlow police were called by Brooks on Aug. 8, 2012, on the report his father, Timothy, had shot himself at his home, the probable cause affidavit states. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) was called to investigate after Brooks' story did not match evidence at the scene.
Timothy Brooks was found sitting in a chair, clad only in shorts, and had suffered a gunshot wound to his upper abdomen. There was a 12-gauge shotgun with the muzzle pointing upward located between his legs, the affidavit states. Investigators said Brooks picked up the shotgun before following orders to put it down.
Brooks offered investigators his story of being estranged from his father. He'd gone to his father's the day before to talk. According to the affidavit, he returned the next morning and said his father began "talking crazy talk" while reloading a shotgun and threatened to shoot himself. He said that after about 20 minutes, he lifted the gun and said "watch this" before he shot himself in the abdomen.
Brooks told investigators that he was beneficiary of a life insurance policy for his father but was unsure if it was $250,000 or $500,000. He added that the policy probably had a suicide clause, meaning it wouldn't pay in the event of suicide.
In December 2016, when investigators accessed Timothy Brooks' life insurance policy, it was discovered Brooks was the sole beneficiary of the policy, according to the affidavit. A claim was filed in August 2013 and investigators learned Brooks continued paying the premium for 10 months following his father's death.
Brooks was eventually paid the value of the $500,000 policy as well as a check for $8,000 for interest and another $2,000 as repayment of premiums paid after his father's death, the affidavit states.
Timothy Brooks' death ruling as suicide had been disputed by the State Medical Examiner's autopsy report and the manner of death was listed as undetermined. Medical Examiner Dr. Marc Harrison described to investigators how Brooks told them his father fired the gun and he didn't believe it was possible to have happened in that manner with the shotgun, according to the affidavit.
Brooks had been in jail and held on no bond since his initial court appearance on March 22, 2018. After posting an ordered $400,000 bond, he was freed two months later.
Brooks has been allowed to leave the state for various trips, according to court records.