Man recounts story suspect told him of mother's death

Randallstown woman charged in bludgeoning

February 01, 2003|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

Josh Loucks says he doesn't know why Sommer Loren Brooks, the 22-year-old Randallstown woman accused of killing her mother, chose to tell him about the gruesome bludgeoning.

But Loucks says Brooks told him in chilling detail how she wrestled with her mother, tied her up and abused her Sunday night before she beat her to death Monday.

Baltimore County police discovered the body of Linda Carol Brooks, a 52-year-old state worker, on Monday night. She had been beaten with an ax and maul and died of severe head trauma, police said. Sommer Brooks was charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail at the county women's detention center.

"I don't know how anyone could torture their mother all night like that," said Loucks, 25, of Westminster. "You could see from the bruises on [Linda Brooks] and the way she had been mangled what she had gone through."

"I'm still in shock, I think," said Loucks, who gave an in-depth interview about the confession yesterday, saying he wanted people to stop asking him questions about the tragedy. "I figured if I just told everyone what I know, the questions would be over. All I want to do is move on."

Loucks was in the house in the 4200 block of Holbrook Road Monday night when Sommer Brooks called 911, according to police charging documents. But police wouldn't comment on Brooks' alleged confession to Loucks, saying the case is under investigation.

Brooks' lawyer, Dominick A. Garcia, declined to comment on the case yesterday.

Loucks, who works in the billing department of a doctor's office and is studying to become a physician's assistant, met Sommer Brooks about a week before the killing through a mutual friend. He said that he and Brooks, who enjoyed writing short stories and was looking for a job, went to dinner at T.G.I. Friday's on Reisterstown Road Monday evening.

She mentioned having a fight with her mother over household chores the day before, he said, and had some fingernail-like scratches on her face, but otherwise seemed fine throughout dinner. "She was laughing and talking," he said.

They returned to Brooks' home about 8:15 p.m. and went to the basement to talk and watch a video, Loucks said. "I was just about to leave when she put her face in her hands and started crying about how her life had turned out. I thought she was upset because of the fight with her mother and because she was still looking for a job," he said.

According to Loucks, Brooks said she and her mother started fighting about 4 p.m. Sunday when she slapped her mother and her mother slapped her back. He said she told him that her mother ran outside and that they wrestled in the snow.

"She said then she tied up her mother and kept her that way all night," Loucks said. "She said, `When she was good, I gave her a snack or a drink, even let her go to the bathroom.'"

Brooks told him that her mother eventually asked to be killed quickly and suggested that her daughter give her 20 sleeping pills, he said.

Brooks said that she gave her mother the pills but that she didn't die, Loucks said. After that, according to Loucks, she said she hit her mother on the head with a round hammer and killed her.

Loucks said that when he saw Linda Brooks lying in the bathroom, her body wrapped in a sheet and her head wrapped in a towel, he knew she was dead. "There was no way she would've survived those injuries," Loucks said.

Sommer Brooks told a 911 operator that her mother had overdosed, but Loucks got on the phone and said it was a homicide, according to police.

"I don't know why she chose to tell me," he said. "I didn't know either one well. But I've heard since that her mother was a really wonderful person and that she had been trying to get mental help for Sommer for months. It bothers me that something like this could happen. It makes you wonder why."

It is not the first time Loucks has known a woman charged with murder. He dated Sarah E. Citroni, a 17-year-old Reisterstown teen, about a year before she and her then-boyfriend were charged in the 1994 killing of his mother and her boyfriend, both from Westminster. Citroni was sentenced to two life terms.

"I've had the unfortunate coincidence of meeting two women who have done rather extraordinary things," Loucks said.

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