Tubbs found guilty in North Side murder
By Joe Gorman
When a jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court was assembled after jurors informed Judge Anthony D’Apolito they had a verdict, the judge appeared in court clutching a paper bag.
Inside the bag was a piece of evidence – a white jacket prosecutors said Jermaine Tubbs, 28, dropped after he shot Michael Brooks, 52, on April 10, 2017 – but was never given to the jurors to examine.
So Judge D’Apolito sent the jurors back with the bag Friday afternoon, and 20 minutes later, jurors assembled and found Tubbs guilty of the murder of Brooks. A sentencing date has not been set.
Prosecutors said Brooks was killed when he went to a DuPont Circle apartment complex to help his daughter, who was the girlfriend of Tubbs, move.
Tubbs, however, claimed Brooks was drunk and attacked him with a cane. He shot Brooks in self-defense. That is what he told the jurors when he testified Wednesday.
The jacket was found in a wooded area near the apartment complex. Police said after Brooks was shot, Tubbs ran into the woods to elude them.
Kevin Trapp, the lead assistant county prosecutor, said, “I would rather not say” when asked how the jacket did not get back to the room where jurors deliberate, but he did say jurors had pictures of the jacket taken where it was found by police.
He commended the jury for their verdict.
“By all accounts, Michael Brooks was a good man and he did not deserve this,” Trapp said.
Defense attorney Doug Taylor said he asked for a mistrial when he found out the jacket was not with the jury when they began their deliberations, but the judge overruled his request.
Taylor said he presented the evidence the best way he knew how, but the jury did not see things his way.