The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the sentence that was handed to John Brooke in Starke Circuit Court by Judge Kim Hall. Brooke had appealed the sentence challenging his conspiracy conviction and his sentence.
Brooke was sentenced to 22 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections after a jury found him guilty on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, Intimidation, Possession/Manufacturing of a Destructive Device (a Molotov Cocktail), Possession of a Destructive Device, Resisting Law Enforcement, Unlawful Use of Body Armor and Assisting a Criminal. The charges stemmed from an incident at Bass Lake on February 15th, 2010, where Brooke was convicted of harboring a fugitive, Michael Drogosz, and they developed a plan to kill police officers and rob banks in Starke County. Several other people were also involved in the plan.
Brooke argued that the State of Indiana and Special Prosecutor Michael Krebes did not present sufficient evidence to convict him of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. He also thought his sentence was inappropriate pursuant to Indiana Code. The Indiana Court of Appeals indicated that in his appeal Brooke did not specifically argue that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he and his peers intended and agreed to commit armed robbery or that they performed the acts as alleged in the charging information. In terms of his sentence, the Court of Appeals found that the reckless and violent nature of his crimes clearly justifies a lengthy sentence and his antisocial behavior does not warrant a reduction of his sentence.
This decision was filed on Tuesday, April 17th.