Defendant's Parents Testify in Murder Trial

April 14, 2009 7:42:35 PM PDT
Jonquel Brooks and both of his parents took the witness stand Tuesday, as the 21 year old's murder trial continues in a Fresno County courtroom. Brooks is accused of killing 19 year old Brant Daniels back in May of 2007, but claims it was self defense. On the stand, Brooks admitted smoking marijuana two hours before the shooting, but said he was no longer high, just hungry. The shooting happened after four men, including Daniels, showed up at Brooks' apartment, demanding a Playstation they claim he had stolen. Brooks claims the shooting was self-defense, and said he only fired the gun after one of the men pushed him, but he couldn't identify which one. "I cannot say, but the closet to me was Brant Daniels," said Brooks. Tuesday, prosecutors pointed out that statement contradicted previous testimony, because other witnesses claimed no one was near him at the time. After the shooting, Brooks says he called his parents to help him get an attorney and coordinate his surrender. The defendant wiped his eyes in court, as his mother described getting that phone call no parent wants to hear. Later, his father described how Jonquel had changed in the months leading up to the shooting. Silas Brooks says he planned to move his son out of Fresno as soon as school ended. "I couldn't put my finger on it exactly what was wrong but I just knew that I needed to remove him from Fresno, period," said the elder Brooks. Wednesday jurors will hear more about Brooks' surrender to authorities, as they hear from a somewhat unusual witness. Brooks' former attorney, David Mugridge, is expected to testify about how he worked with Brooks' family to coordinate the man's surrender.

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