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Kidnapped brother case might never go to trial

May 10, 2008

A man who was accused of kidnapping his brother with a black powder handgun might not ever go to trial. Prosecutors placed the case against Robert L. Brooks Jr., 44, of 15595 Jacobs Church Road in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., on the inactive docket Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court.

The defendant's brother, John Patrick Brooks, told police Robert Brooks Jr. threatened to shoot him Dec. 28 over money owed to the family business, then kidnapped him to help collect on an unpaid debt, police have said.

Robert Brooks, who faced charges of kidnapping, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and other crimes, was ordered not to have any contact with his brother.

A Washington County District Court judge previously alluded to weaknesses in both brothers' stories.

At a January preliminary hearing, the defense argued that John Brooks had not acted as though he was forced to go along, while the prosecution questioned Robert Brooks' claim that the loaded, black powder muzzleloader .44-caliber handgun found in his car was used for hunting.

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