Letter to WDRB details Orange Co. triple shooting, contains clai - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Letter to WDRB details Orange Co. triple shooting, contains claims of responsibility

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The signature at the bottom of the letter. The signature at the bottom of the letter.
WDRB was there as Brooks was taken into custody in June. WDRB was there as Brooks was taken into custody in June.

PAOLI, Ind. (WDRB) -- A chilling confession to a triple shooting sent to the WDRB newsroom explains the gruesome details of what happened.

The letter was sent from the Orange County jail, and is addressed from Elbert Brooks. However, police say there is more to the story.

Elbert Brooks is one of three suspects in jail for killing two people and shooting another in the face in June of this year naer Paoli, Indiana.

"We arrested three people and have probable cause to believe that three were involved," Sgt. Philip Hensley, with Indiana State Police, told WDRB.

The other two suspects are John Carpenter and James Davidson. However, in the eight-page, handwritten letter sent to WDRB and signed by Elbert Brooks, the writer claims to be the trigger man and says the other two suspects didn't know he was planning to kill the victims.

Sgt. Hensley explained there is more to the story. "He has, through his own admission, told us he is terminally ill with liver cancer," Hensley said.

Officials will not confirm that Brooks sent the letter to us, but his son tells us his father told him to expect to hear from the media and believes the jailhouse confession is connected to his dad's health.

"My dad had a part of it, I mean he's still there. He's still to blame. You shouldn't put yourself in the situation -- you know -- is how I feel, but at the same time the other guys were involved too and there's no reason why he should get all of it and they shouldn't get any of it," Elbert's son James Brooks said.

In the letter details the crime, the weapon, and even a motive. The writer claims he shot the victims because they were alleged drug dealers. It's logic Brooks' son has heard and questioned before.

"I said, 'Well, Dad, they still got kids and family and stuff that loved them. You know I understand that there's nobody perfect. But I mean by you doing wrong and hurting or killing somebody that is doing wrong, I mean what makes you any better,'" James Brooks said.

Meanwhile, all three suspects are being held at the Orange County Jail. Police say this jailhouse confession won't clear them.

"Regardless of his circumstances, regardless of his health issues, to try to admit to something that you didn't do is not something we are going to allow to happen," Sgt. Hensley said.

The letter also includes a request for WDRB to do a jailhouse interview, but the Orange County sheriff says he cannot allow that to happen right now.

"If it turns out that we have to form a jury pool, to form a jury for a trial for him, you know, this kind of a situation could make it really difficult to find an untainted jury," sheriff Richard Dixon said.

Elbert Brooks could go to trial in February.

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