Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced today that Michal Brooks (9/17/61), with a last known address of 125 Knowles Way Extension, Narragansett, pleaded nolo contendere before Superior Court Justice Melanie W. Thunberg to four counts of first degree robbery for the August 2010 robberies of four elderly woman in shopping plaza parking lots in Narragansett, East Greenwich and North Kingstown.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, which came while the trial underway, Brooks was sentenced to 35 years, with 20 to serve and the remainder suspended with probation, and no contact with the victims.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the state would have proved that on August 29, 2010, Brooks grabbed Barbara Kogut by the throat while she was in her automobile in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop in Narragansett, and ordered her to turn over her purse. On the same date, Brooks approached Kathleen Mackie in the parking lot of Dave's Marketplace in East Greenwich, where he stuck a sharp object into her side and demanded her purse. The victims and witnesses told police they saw a man driving an older model maroon station wagon leaving each scene of the crime at a high rate of speed. Police issued a bulletin with the description of the automobile.
Two days later, August 31, 2010, in the parking lot Dave's Marketplace in North Kingstown, Brooks came up behind Helen O'Neil where he wrapped his arms around her and demanded her wallet before he pushed her to the ground. The victim, who did not sustain any injuries, saw Brooks drive off in the maroon station wagon, where he waved and held up her wallet.
Very shortly thereafter on the same day, Brooks pushed Terri Ormond to the ground and stole her purse as she was walking in the Wal-Mart parking lot in North Kingstown. Ormond was treated for head lacerations and four broken ribs.
Later that day, the East Greenwich Police spotted the vehicle with a man who fit the description of the robber. Police took Brooks into custody. Three victims identified Brooks from a photo array and one through an in-person identification.
"The defendant targeted elderly women whom he believed he could overpower and rob. He then re-victimized these women by reneging on his plea agreement last year. I am hopeful today's plea and sentence will bring peace for his victims," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
Brooks has been held without bail since his arrest. Originally from New York, Brooks has a long criminal history dating back to when he was merely a teenager, with multiple arrests for larceny and robbery. He was paroled in January 2010 from a New York prison after serving 13 years for a 1997 burglary.
The North Kingstown, Narragansett and East Greenwich Police departments conducted the investigation and Assistant Attorney General Mark Trovato and Special Assistant Attorney General Amy Dodge handled the prosecution for the Office of Attorney General.