Brian Brookins was sentenced to death by the State of Georgia for the murders of his wife and stepdaughter. According to court documents Brian Brookins would fatally shoot 44-year-old Suzanne Brookins, and her 15-year-old daughter, Samantha Giles, on Oct. 14, 2005. Brian Brookins would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Brian Brookins 2021 Information
EYE COLOR: BROWN
HAIR COLOR: BROWN
MAJOR OFFENSE: MURDER
MOST RECENT INSTITUTION: GA DIAG CLASS PRISON
MAX POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE: DEATH
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A jury returned a death sentence Tuesday morning for Brian Duane Brookins for the murders of his wife Suzanne McDade Brookins and her 15-year-old daughter Samantha Giles.
The sequestered Morgan County jury returned the sentence after deliberating eight hours during two days.
Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Scott Deason escorted 36-year-old Brookins from the Baldwin County courtroom immediately following Superior Court Judge Hugh V. Wingfield sentence to death for the double murder and the maximum sentences for the other charges of cruelty to children in the third degree, aggravated stalking, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee and deputies took Brookins to Georgia Diagnostics and Classification Prison in Jackson that houses death row inmates Tuesday afternoon.
Brookins’ execution by lethal injection is set for between noon Nov. 14 and noon Nov. 21 this year.
The number of appeals, including an automatic appeal, will take years, delaying the execution date.
Steve McDade, older brother of Suzanne and a sergeant with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, felt justice was served in the sentence.
“There is a weight off my shoulders. They honored her memory by getting the only logical conclusion to the case — a death sentence,” McDade said. “The jury looked at the evidence and came to the only logical conclusion they could come to. I am very pleased. That is the only way justice could have been served.”
McDade feels Brookins got equal justice to what he showed Suzanne and Sam.
“He didn’t just murder them. He executed them. He got what he deserved,” McDade said.
Sitting in the court every day of the nine-day trial was a struggle, McDade said.
“Being in law enforcement helped me do the right thing,” McDade said.
This is a tragedy that should have never happened to both the McDade and Brookins family, Mcdade said.
“Both sides have lost,” McDade said.
McDade expressed respect for the defense team’s professionalism and compassion for both families.
“They did the best with what they had, but there was no other conclusion the jurors could come to,” McDade said.
Deason told the jury a story that reassured them that they had done what the victim’s family wished.
“At the time of the murder, Steve McDade was a sergeant on my shift. Steve told me that a few days after the murders, he returned to the crime scene, and he couldn’t bring himself to go in Suzanne’s house. He said it was nighttime when he was standing outside the residence, and he saw something on the ground. He didn’t know what it was, and he picked it up. It was a hair bow that had been in Suzanne’s hair. He said the hair bow had a bullet hole in it and had blood on it. Steve said for two years he has been attempting to try to wipe this blood off his hands. He said today when the jury rendered their verdict, he could finally get the blood off him, and getting some cleansing, getting some closure from this,” Deason said.
Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright believes justice has been served.
“This case rocked the community. I believe the jury has spoken clearly by giving the ultimate penalty,” Bright said. “It was the community condemning Duane Brookins for his absolutely heinous killing of not just his wife but also the child, the 15-year-old girl who was running from him. The way he shot her in the back and a final execution shot in her head, I think it is the ultimate condemnation by the community to the defendant saying you crossed that line.”
This is the beginning of the process, Bright said.
“He will be on death row for awhile. I always tell the victim’s family that there will be endless appeals. Even though the judge set the execution date for a month from now, that is a formality,” Bright said.
The automatic direct appeal to Georgia Supreme Court will take one to two years, Bright said.
“It is a long appellant process. If you wanted a ballpark figure, it is at least 20 years of appeals,” Bright said.
The most recent death penalty sentence from Baldwin County carried out in July was for John Washington Hightower, who murdered his wife and two stepdaughters in July 1987.
Bright found it fascinating that Brookins never truly admitted to the murders even when he took the stand.
“He admitted the gun was in his hand, he admitted he was pulling the trigger, but he could never bring himself to admitting what he and everybody else involved in this case knows, that he is the true killer,” Bright said. “He never said, ‘I killed Suzanne, I killed Samantha’. He never really said that.”
Lead defense attorney Dennis Francis of the state Office of the Georgia Capital Defender expressed his disappointment in the sentence.
“I think we should end the killing. We don’t need any more victims,” Francis said.
Brookins was at peace because he was able to testify, Francis said.
“All he wanted was a chance to tell his side. That’s it. After he got that he was at peace,” Francis said.
The Brookins’ family is disappointed, Francis said.
“I think they understand it is in the next step of the process,” Francis said. “There is still so much evidence of mental illness and sub-average intelligence that we may never see an actual execution.”
Francis admitted it was a tough case.
“There was nothing I could do to minimize the fact that he put a gun six inches away from Samantha’s head,” Francis said.