Man convicted of murdering wife, daughter sentenced
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The man convicted of killing his wife and daughter on Thanksgiving weekend last year was sentenced to the maximum Wednesday morning. Four jurors who delivered the guilty verdict were in the courtroom.
"I'm glad we were here for closure, and I feel that justice was definitely served," said Susan Mazzatti, one of the jurors who convicted Patrick Brooks.
Brooks was sentenced Wednesday morning to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Christie and Victoria Brooks in November 2016.
Both family members and jurors appeared to be emotional during the proceeding. For the family, Thanksgiving was the one year anniversary of the crime. But some of the jurors say they will never view that holiday the same way again because of the victims they've come to know. "There was a certain closeness we felt to the family during the trial. Now, they have to go through another Christmas without their mom and sister," Mazzatti said.
Christie Brooks made the Thanksgiving meal in 2016, then went to work at Walmart without sitting down to eat, in order to provide for her eight children. Victoria Brooks, a college freshman on a full scholarship, was home for the holiday and bunking in with her mom.
Christie was stabbed 29 times as she slept. Victoria fought for her life as she was stabbed 55 times. On November 1, 2017 Brooks was found guilty by a jury of two counts of second-degree murder after he stabbed the two women to death in the family's Wellington Avenue home.
During his sentencing hearing, Brooks addressed the court, saying he was "disappointed" to be convicted of a crime he didn't commit. He went on to say he was the victim of "extreme prejudice."
When given the opportunity to speak, Brooks read from a lengthy statement. He said he had an alibi, was innocent and that he himself was a victim of racism. "Even from the beginning, I knew I would not receive a fair trial," he said. "Here I stand, in front of a white judge, white prosecutors and white attorneys and an all-white jury," he said.
Yet prosecutors say scientific evidence, including crime lab analysis showing his blood at the scene, removes all doubt. "This case was significantly due to DNA," said Bill Gargan. "The evidence would be something that would be impartial regarding any race characteristics."
Jurors said they examined and re-examined the evidence. "We were there every day, and after hearing everything, we wanted to come (today) to support the family because he's guilty, and we're proud of what we did," said Janice Garritano.
Mikaylah Brooks was just 13 when she discovered the bodies of her mother and sister. She was not in court for the sentencing, but sent a letter to Judge Vince Dinolfo which he read in court.
Judge Dinolfo called it the "most horrific" case he's ever seen as a former prosecutor and judge. He sentenced Brooks to back to back sentences of 25 years to life each - a total of 50 years to life. Defense attorneys left court without comment, but indicated in the courtroom they would file an appeal.