Defense, prosecution counsel stances differ regarding statements made in January 2016 between murder suspect Timothy Brokes, public defender

Multiple motions have stalled the two-year-old case against a Hannibal man facing several felony charges stemming from a January 2016 crime spree in Marion and Monroe counties.

Timothy M. Brokes Jr., of Hannibal, appeared before Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd in Marion County 10th Circuit Court on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Charles Hoskins, David Kenyon and Raymond Legg represented the defendant. Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David Clayton, Special Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick and Special Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Zoellner represented the state.

Shepherd heard various motions, including motions to suppress statements centered around a conversation between Brokes and then-Public Defender Jennifer Richardson in January 2016. A suppression motion, if granted, would exclude certain pieces of evidence from a trial.

The first witness called to the stand was Kevin Coates, Marion County Jail Administrator. He testified that Brokes contacted fellow jail employees with a desire to talk with a detective following his arrest on Jan. 13, 2016. He said Brokes was experiencing nightmares following alleged incidents in which he is accused of shooting three people, killing one. Coates contacted Hannibal Police Department Lt. Jennifer Grote, who was leading detective work on the case.

Grote said that Brokes cried during the interview, and she said he admitted to shooting and running over Aaron Gauch, shooting Brittany Gauch and shooting Monroe City police officer Travis Pugh. Defense attorneys asked Coates and Grote if they had contacted the Public Defender's Office before the interview.

They both contacted Clayton, the prosecuting attorney.

He said that although Richardson recommended that Brokes not make statements without her present, Brokes was asked again if he wished to speak with Grote.

Defense arguments centered on the fact that video and audio recording in the interview room remained in use during a private conversation between Brokes and Richardson after Grote temporarily departed the room. Conversations between attorneys and their clients are generally privileged. Shepherd appointed Special Master David Wasinger to redact that portion of the interview Nov. 2, 2016; Grote also testified that turning the recording device off would disable the recording process.

Shepherd did not rule on the motions to suppress evidence. Those motions will be taken up again on March 26.

Clayton announced the first-degree murder and assault charges against Brokes on April 29, 2016 — three-and-a-half months after Brittany Gauch died of gunshot wounds and her husband, Aaron Gauch, was wounded in separate incidents. Because the first-degree murder charge indicates premeditation, Clayton said the charge could carry a potential punishment of the death penalty.

Brokes faces felony counts in Monroe County for assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and hindering prosecution. Those charges stem from a shootout that left Monroe City police officer Travis Pugh injured and ended with Brokes and his passenger, June Smith, placed under arrest. Brokes and Smith fled to Monroe City after the alleged assault and murder in Hannibal on Jan. 12, 2016.

Brokes remains incarcerated in the Marion County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond, two $500,000 cash-only bonds and a $100,000 cash-only bond.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com