October 17, 2008 - 9:00 pm
BRENTWOOD, N.H. — A Rockingham County jury Thursday convicted Las Vegas millionaire John Brooks of capital murder in the murder-for-hire death of handyman Jack Reid three years ago.
The verdicts on two counts of capital murder, first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder came after one day of deliberations.
Brooks showed no emotion as the verdict was read, while Reid’s children and other relatives sobbed and Brooks’ wife, Lorraine, quietly cried and dabbed her eyes with a tissue.
Witnesses included two men who confessed to helping kill Reid. They said Brooks recruited them and paid them to ambush Reid in a barn in Deerfield in June 2005, where they said Brooks helped beat him to death with a hammer.
The jury found Brooks guilty of capital murder involving solicitation (murder-for-hire) and capital murder during a kidnapping. It now will hear evidence on whether Brooks should be sentenced to death.
The jury rejected defense arguments that Brooks was involved in a plan to confront Reid, not kill him.
Brooks, 56, was convicted of hiring three men to kidnap and kill Reid, 57. Witnesses testified that Brooks wanted Reid killed because he thought Reid had stolen items from him during a 2003 moving job.
Brooks is the first person to be tried for capital murder in New Hampshire in 50 years and could become the first executed in the state since 1939.