Brooks guilty of second-degree murder
April 19, 2006
AUBURN ” Timothy Brooks stood stone-faced as Judge Robert McElhany read the jury’s verdict Wednesday that he was guilty of second-degree murder for fatally stabbing Robert Ash last August in Tahoe City.
Brooks, 26, was handcuffed by the court bailiff and transported to the Placer County jail to await his sentencing June 14. He faces 15 years to life in jail, plus an extra year since the jury also found him guilty of possessing a deadly weapon.
Defense Attorney Marcus Topel said he was disappointed by the jury’s decision and said he would file an appeal.
“We will proceed. That’s all we can do,” Topel said. “I’m stunned. Just stunned.”
Deputy District Attorney Christopher Cattran said that although he argued for first-degree murder, he was pleased with the outcome.
“I am happy the jury returned with a verdict of murder. They deliberated for three and a half days. They obviously put a lot of thought into it,” Cattran said. “For a murder, it came to trial quickly. We had a good team. We worked hard and we’re happy with the verdict. It is justice for Robert.”
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Mimi Ash, wife of the victim, left the courtroom shortly after the verdict was read and drove off quickly. Cattran said he did not ask if she was happy with the verdict but “she said it wouldn’t bring Robert back.”
Robert Ash’s mother, sister, niece and nephew gathered outside the stately courthouse and exchanged hugs and tears of joy.
“Nothing will bring him [Ash] back, but at least he [Brooks] got what he deserved,” said Peggy Marraccini, Ash’s sister, who attended every day of the two-week trial.” He [Ash] was the best brother and father and husband and son. …He will be with us in spirit forever.”
Brooks’ family, including his father who teared-up when the verdict was read, left the courthouse quickly and looked saddened.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 14 at 1 p.m. in Department 1 when McElhany will determine how long Brooks will spend in jail.
Cattran said Ash’s family is allowed to submit a victim’s impact statement to the judge, but that he will not force them to do so.
“It is a very emotional time right now,” Cattran said.