9/11/2017 12:44:00 PM Man convicted of murder by a jury seeks 'relief' from sentence
Jody M. Brooks has filed a petition for post conviction relief with Jennings County Circuit Court. Brooks, 25, is currently serving a sentence of 60 years at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. A jury convicted him of murder in Nov. 2015. Brooks was sentenced Dec. 7, 2015 for killing Richard Smith, 52, at the former Hatton apartments on Fifth Street. The Dupont resident was kicked and stomped to death and his body thrown into a dumpster behind the building. Brooks' conviction was affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals in Nov. 2016. Now he is seeking a modification of his sentence by claiming "ineffective assistance of counsel." He is asking the State Public Defender "to determine meritorious issues." Chief Deputy Prosecutor Drew Dickerson responded to the petition by denying "all material allegations." He also noted that Brook's attorneys, James Funke in his trial and Mary Beth Mock in his appeal, were "not deficient" and noted the petition "does not set forth grounds or facts in support." Dickerson asked the court to dismiss and deny Brooks' post-conviction relief. Judge Webster has now ordered the State Public Defender of Indiana to represent Brooks in this case and that copies of documents from the case to be mailed up state.