What Happened to Jesse Brooks
What you should know
In a tragic miscarriage of justice, Jesse Brooks was the victim of a vicious smear campaign, an overzealous prosecutor, and outrageous prosecutorial misconduct. There was no credible evidence that Jesse took part in any conspiracy to kill.
The chief evidence against Jesse Brooks was the testimony of incentivized witnesses who negotiated sweetheart deals in exchange for their testimony. The key witness, Joseph Vrooman, is heard in jailhouse recordings admitting that if the prosecutors wanted Jesse Brooks, he’d give them Jesse Brooks, showing a scandalous willingness to say whatever was necessary in order to score as little prison time as possible. He will likely serve only another 6 1/2 years. The sentencing judge never heard the jailhouse recordings.
Joseph Vrooman is the same man who agreed to take a lie detector test under the supervision of New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Kelly Ayotte only when he was assured that he wouldn’t be asked any questions about anything leading up to the actual killing.
In spite of more than 1,000 newspaper articles, radio and television reports about the murder - much of it biased and at least some of it influenced directly from the prosecutor - Jesse was not tried in a different venue. Nor was he tried by jury of unbiased peers. Rather, the jurors included the wife of the Chief of Police from Epping, New Hampshire, who investigated the only other New Hampshire capital murder case in the last eight decades (the Jack Reid murder being the other), a brother of a New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit officer, a teacher from Pinkerton Academy where two of Reid’s children attended high school and a University of New Hampshire student who attended part of Jay Brooks’ trial as his college coursework.
Jesse Brooks believed his innocence would win him justice. Instead a perfect storm of injustices put him in a prison cell. If you would like to get periodic updates about Jesse’s case - or if you have relevant information you wish to share confidentially - contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jesse’s father Jay Brooks hires Jack Reid, a Derry, NH self-employed mover, to move the belongings of Jay and Lorraine Brooks. A short time later, one of the two moving trucks disappears. At the time of the theft, Jesse Brooks was living in California and had no knowledge that his parents were loading moving trucks
JUNE 27, 2005
Jack Reid was murdered in the barn of an isolated farmhouse. At the time of the murder, Jesse Brooks had not been to New Hampshire in six months and he was at a doctor’s appointment in Las Vegas more than 2,700 miles away with no knowledge of what was happening that day.
NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Jesse Brooks is charged with being a co-conspirator with his father Jay and three other men to commit murder in the 2005 death of Jack Reid.
OCTOBER 28. 2009
Opening arguments in the trial of Jesse Brooks on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the 2005 death of Jack Reid.
NOVEMBER 18, 2009
Closing arguments by both Jesse Brooks’ attorney and the prosecutor.
NOVEMBER 20, 2009
The jury finds Jesse Brooks guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.
MARCH 26, 2010
Jesse Brooks is sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison.