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Joseph Vrooman Jail Calls

Chronology of Jail Calls, Testimony, Letters


Vrooman knew he was facing the death penalty or a life sentence and began negotiating a deal on the drive to the Marion County Sheriff's office in Tennessee 11/19/06.

"I talked to them about a deal when I first got arrested but right on the drive--" (09/29/08 Jay Brooks Trial 3356)

Mr Keefe told you that he thought he had enough evidence to convict you of capital murder, correct? Life without parole and maybe even the death penalty, right? 

Vrooman: I believe I knew that, yes. ( 11/13/09 Jesse Brooks Trial 2613)

00:00 / 00:48

Interview in police cruiser with NH State Police Sgts. Robert Estabrook and Scott Gilbert. 

Vrooman: “I think what I’m trying to say is that. My words that I say if it incriminates me, not in the murder but being there, having knowledge or anything like that. And then if, as I’m saying, does it hurt my chances of making a deal”  (11/30/06 24179)

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Sgt. Robert Estabrook             Sgt. Scott Gilbert

 Vrooman testified to "off the record" offers made by NH State Police Sgts. Estabrook and Gilbert before his arrest.

“We don’t want you, we want John Brooks.” (11/13/09 2600)

Note: Unrecorded instructions to Vrooman by Sgt. Estabrook in Dec. 21, 2005-Vrooman refused to talk to him.

“Robin spoke good of me and they came down to give me a chance.” (11/30/06 24211)

Note: Vrooman tells Roger Sargent police have talked to Robin Knight and they are there to give Vrooman a chance. 


“I think I said to him that Robin - Robin was the one that said to give you a second chance”

Note: Gilbert admits he told Vrooman he stated he was there to give him a chance. (06/27/08 Scott Gilbert Deposition)


Vrooman also stated that he learned that Knight declined an attorney (06/02/08 29393)

Joe changed his mind about an attorney while in Tennessee and told Sue & Sarge forget it. 29401

Note: Vrooman declined attorney after Estabrook and Gilbert told him Robin Knight declined attorney.

"Alright I know they said they'd do like prisoner exchange so I don't know."  (11/30/06 24211)

Note: Vrooman speaking to Roger Sargent about police promises of serving his sentence closer to Tennessee.

“Don’t say anything, don’t say anything right now, you need to think about what you’re going to say,

 you’ve got some decisions to make, you know” (07/07/08 Vrooman Deposition 304:17-23, 305:1-8)

Note: Unrecorded instructions to Vrooman from Sgt. Gilbert on ride to Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Estabrook & Gilbert left Vrooman in Tennessee jail for (10) days to think about it. 

 If they offered you a three and a half to seven, would you take it?” And I said “Is that possible?”

He said, “Well, it’s possible.” I believe my response to him was if they offered me three -

- I said, I’d take- I believe a ten to fifteen, not knowing how everything is cut in half,

 it would have been ten to twenty, but I said, “I’d take - I’d take the ten to fifteen if

they offered it.  (03/24/08 Vrooman Proffer 11-18)
Note: Sgt. Gilbert made offer of 3-1/2 to 7 years while Vrooman was being extradited during an airport layover. 

Listen to Vrooman's Jail Calls Below

00:00 / 00:39


Read Vrooman's Letter to relatives Roger and Sue Sargent


09/09/07 Joseph Vrooman’s Letter to Sue and Roger Sargent

If good time doesn’t pass I can ask for a sentence reduction after completion of 75% of sentence so 17.5 minus 5.8 is 11.7 years same as if good time passes. My lawyer will work on that for me if it comes to that, he thinks I would have a good chance because I have no previous criminal record, so if I do 17.5 I’ll be 68 when I get out if I do 11.8 I’ll about 62 I know it’s a long time but I’ll still get me a 20 year old girl when I get out and make up for lost time. They can’t give me a great deal and ask for the death penalty for Brooks.

I’ve been in every meeting with my lawyer and the attorney general to negotiate a deal there has been four meetings and the shortest one was 5-1/2 hours. A high price lawyer can do no better. I wish I could tell you everything then you would know this is a good deal for me. When it’s over I’ll be able to tell you everything. (30904) 

Read Vrooman's Trial Transcript Statements


Jay Brooks Trial 

A.   “I was told that right from the first interview I had and Charles Keefe said that this is a potential capital murder case and he          said, I have enough to convict you on capital murder.”

Q.   Oh, he did?  Right from the get-go, told you he had enough to get you on capital murder, right?

A:    Yes, sir.

Q:    Not what you’re sitting here with today, right? There’s no capital murder charge against you, correct?

A:    Just conspiracy to commit.   (p. 3353, 3354)

Jay Brooks Trial 

A:  “There was - I had asked him (Gilbert), I said, if I cooperate, what is it, you know, what kind of deal do you think I could get?”         (3376)


Jay Brooks Trial 

Q:    “Yeah. You’re already calculating what the numbers are going to be, where you’re going to do your time, if you tell them                 something of value, right?”

A:    If I cooperate.

Q:   Yeah, no, you knew somebody was already cooperating, you needed to come up with something special, right?

A:    I didn’t know somebody else was cooperating. 

Q:    Oh, but they said Robin Knight said nice things about you, right? You told us that already, correct?”

A:     Robin? Yes, he did.  (3377)

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