Jury picked in North Side murder case
By Joe Gorman
Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Trapp told a jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that Michael Brooks was only defending himself when his daughter’s boyfriend shot him twice in the head during an argument last April at a DuPont Street apartment complex.
Doug Taylor, however, attorney for defendant Jermaine Tubbs, said it was the victim who attacked his client with a cane and his client had no choice but to shoot the 52-year-old Brooks.
Both attorneys were speaking during their respective opening statements Monday before Judge Anthony D’Apolito as Tubbs, 26, goes on trial on charges of murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm in the April 10, 2017, shooting death of Brooks.
Jurors heard opening statements late in the afternoon after most of the morning was spent in selecting them. They are expected to begin hearing testimony today.
Brooks was killed in front of his wife, son and their grandchildren after the family decided to help Brooks’ daughter, who said she was fighting with Tubbs and wanted him to leave.
Trapp said Brooks had several medical conditions and used a cane to walk.
Trapp said video from the apartment complex shows Brooks get a cane out of his car and try to walk up a sidewalk to the apartment where Tubbs was staying. Tubbs punched Brooks who shoved Tubbs back and whacked him in the leg with the cane before he was shot by Tubbs, Trapp said.
Trapp said witnesses will testify that before Brooks was shot, Tubbs threatened to kill Brooks if he did not leave.
“Michael Brooks uses a cane to defend himself, and the defendant takes a gun out of his waistband and shoots Michael Brooks in the head twice,” Trapp said.
Taylor said Brooks was drunk and also under the influence of antidepressants. He said when Brooks and his family arrived, Brooks charged angrily up to the sidewalk and Brooks, who was inside on his phone, got up to see what was going on.
Tubbs warned people that Brooks should leave, Taylor said, and he was being beaten by Brooks with the cane and was in fear of his life, which is why he shot Brooks.
“He didn’t know when the beating would stop, so he pulled his gun,” Taylor said.