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Bend assault suspect in court as details emerge

By Nina Mehlhaf
Published On: Jul 20 2012 11:25:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2012 12:23:07 AM CDT

NewsChannel 21s Nina Mehlhaf reports on the arraignment of a Redmond man accused of attacking, threatening to kill his ex-wife.

BEND, Ore. -

The Redmond man arrested in a northeast Bend rape and assault case went to court Friday as new information came to light.

A grand jury will be meeting Monday to discuss additional attempted murder and attempted kidnapping charges against Jody Brooks, arrested early Thursday morning.

He's the man police and prosecutors say broke into his ex-wife's apartment and held a knife to her throat as he raped her.

"The defendant did have intentions to kill her," Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Beth Bagley told Circuit Judge Wells Ashby at Friday's hearing. "He had purchased a map, a saw, a tarp, rope, zip ties and other items that same day."

A frightening plot to kill his ex-wife on her birthday almost came true early Thursday morning, prosecutors say.

Brooks, 53, was very out of it at his first court appearance, likely on pain medications after trying to cut this own throat and wrists with a knife. He had heavy bandages on his wrists and left side of his neck and appeared via video link from the the county jail in Bend, barely opening his eyes the entire arraignment appearance.

Brooks and his wife divorced this past April after 30 years together.

Court documents say he stole the key to her Northeast Bend apartment from their adult daughter without her knowledge, and broke in in the middle of the night.

"She was awakened by an individual placing a cloth over her face, which she realized was the defendant," Bagley said. "The defendant had a knife which he held to her throat. He restrained the victim by kneeling on her arms, threatened to kill her and held the knife to her throat while he sexually assaulted her."

Naked, hurt and terrified, she managed to get away and run through her Stonebriar Apartment complex for help.

When police got there, Jody Brooks was "bleeding out" from trying to cut himself.

After getting checked out at the hospital, the woman has since gotten a restraining order against Brooks, who has no prior criminal history.

"Sexual assault is often a tool that an abuser uses in a violent relationship," says Rebecca Swearingen of the domestic violence non-profit Saving Grace in Bend.

Swearingen says the allegations are sadly a classic case of a man trying to maintain control, even though the woman has left the relationship.

"When (the abuser) feels like he's losing control over her, he will often escalate the violence, so it often becomes more dangerous after they've left," Swearingen says.

In this case, that appears to be true.

Two days before the alleged assault, court documents say, Brooks both called and texted his ex-wife, saying he was going to kill her.

In addition to the six counts of rape, sex abuse, burglary, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and coercion, Brooks could face attempted murder and kidnapping charges if a grand jury indicts him Monday.

If you or someone you know needs help to end an abusive relationship, call the Saving Grace hotline at 541-389-7021.

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