Brooks trial begins

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By The Staff

As the attempted murder trial of Rodney Brooks got underway on Wednesday morning, the victim made a surprising admission.

“I wanted to go toe to toe with him,” said Anthony Potter.

In October 2008, Brooks allegedly shot Potter at point blank range when the two argued over Potter’s mother, according to court testimony.

Barbara Kellogg, who is at the center of the case said she met Brooks while he was in prison. After corresponding through letters, he moved in with her upon his release.

Potter testified on the night in question he was angry with Brooks regarding the treatment of his mother. A few weeks earlier Brooks had allegedly broken a glass over Kellogg’s head sending her to the hospital for stitches. Harboring this Potter said he wanted to fight with Brooks, he wanted to see where his breaking point was, Potter testified.

It was also revealed in testimony the pair, along with another man, had been drinking brandy, beer and vodka most of the night. In fact, they had finished off what liquor they had, later driving to Knoxville to restock, according to testimony.

It was after the liquor run that tempers flared.

Despite being unarmed, Potter challenged Brooks.

“I’ll just shoot you,”

 Potter testified Brooks said.

It was then that Brooks took out a handgun and shot Potter in the face.

When Brooks fled the scene, Potter, shot in the face, stayed choosing to clean up the empty bottles, testimony revealed.

Brooks was later arrested by LaFollette Police when he returned to the scene of the shooting.

On Monday, Brooks attempted to file two motions on his own behalf.

Standing before Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton, Brooks said he wanted a new attorney. He also asked that his trial be moved out of Campbell County.

“He (Public Defender Charles Herman) didn’t want to file these,” Brooks said shackled and standing in the jury box. “I want to ask for another attorney; the relationship has broken down.”

When Sexton asked Herman if he felt the same way, he said no.

“First of all you have a very good lawyer,” Sexton said to Brooks.

He next told him the motions he wanted to file on his own would not be beneficial.

Brooks wanted to argue because his preliminary hearing had not been held 10 days after his arrest that was grounds for dismissing the charges.

As Brooks tried to argue his case, Herman sat silently, shaking his head.

Sexton told Brooks based on the issues he had raised, there were no grounds for a dismissal.

He also denied Brooks request for a new lawyer.

Regarding the change of venue, Sexton said he would take that under advisement.