Jury selection to start in manslaughter trial
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Jury selection begins today in 9th District Court in the manslaughter trial of Jessie Brooks.
Brooks, 23, of Carbondale stands accused of accidentally killing his friend, 23-year-old Bobby Rogers, with a .22-caliber handgun on April 2.
Brooks faces a charge of reckless manslaughter, a Class IV felony. If convicted, Brooks could receive two to six years in prison, three years mandatory parole and a fine of $2,000 to $500,000.
Opening arguments are expected to begin Tuesday, 9th District Attorney Mac Myers said, and the trial could last until Jan. 14.
According to reports, Rogers was helping Brooks move into a house at 1360 Barber Drive on the day of the shooting. The pair went out drinking and the shooting happened later that night, when they came back to the house, court documents said.
The documents also say that earlier in the day, Brooks said he placed a bag containing an unloaded .22-caliber handgun on a kitchen counter. Rogers started playing with it, prompting Brooks to tell Rogers to put the gun away. Then Brooks took the gun from Rogers.
Sometime after 10 p.m., Brooks and Rogers went back to the house, where Rogers picked up the gun again, documents say.
“I had him in a headlock teasing him, don’t play with guns … wham, noise, body falls to the floor,” court documents say Brooks told police.
The police affidavit indicates that Brooks later changed his story, saying he loaded the gun earlier while he was sitting in his car.
Brooks also later told police he grabbed Rogers’ hand, causing the gun to fire, documents say.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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