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N.H. Mom: Trial Delays ‘Death Sentence’ for Son

Manchester — The mother of a man convicted of plotting with his father to murder a handyman said Thursday that delays in her son’s request for a new trial are tantamount to a death sentence.

Lorraine Brooks has spent millions of dollars since 2008 trying to clear the name of her son, Jesse Brooks, who is serving 15 to 30 years in prison — currently in Arizona — for helping his father recruit friends to kill Jack Reid.

At a news conference in Manchester on Thursday, Lorraine Brooks said she’s gotten no explanation for why a hearing on whether to grant a new trial was delayed until January. She said an evidentiary hearing was originally scheduled for March of this year and the delay, she said, is part of the state’s attempt to keep Jesse Brooks behind bars.

“He’s wasting away,” she said. “You wouldn’t do this to an animal. Why would you do it to my son?”

She said a severe back injury keeps her son in constant pain and unable to participate in his own appeals.

Janice Rundles, New Hampshire’s senior assistant attorney general, said there is no attempt to delay the case.

“There’s been nothing filed to say the state is delaying and it’s not true,” she said. “It was not ever delayed. I believe what we had in March was a scheduling conference to discuss how much time it would take to complete preparations, complete discovery, and so on.”

Brooks wants a new trial, claiming ineffective work by his defense team. His original lawyers, who called no witnesses during the trial, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

His father, John “Jay” Brooks, believed Reid had stolen a trailer of motorcycles from the family and was convicted of plotting Reid’s murder over nearly two years. Reid was bludgeoned with a sledgehammer at a Deerfield horse farm. John Brooks is serving a life sentence.

Jesse Brooks’ alleged involvement included attending a planning meeting in Las Vegas before the murder, but Lorraine Brooks says he was in court and at a doctor’s appointment that day.

“From the beginning, all we’ve ever asked for is a level playing field,” she said.