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Ex-con imprisoned 75 years for killing lover

June 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A former ex-convict who pleaded guilty to killing an 80-year-old lover and encasing his body in concrete was sentenced Tuesday to 75 years to life in prison.Thomas Jeffrey Brooks, 41, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and using credit cards belonging to Edward Clayton Andrews to go on a spending spree.

One of Andrew's four children said her father, a former Methodist minister, had a hobby of corresponding with pen pals in prison.

"He thought that perhaps if he could show people in prison that they were cared about, maybe they could turn their lives around," said Linda Runions. "Thomas Jeffrey Brooks took advantage of that."

Brooks moved into Andrews' mobile home in Hemet and began a romantic relationship with him after he was released from prison in 2007.

On May 31, 2008, a neighbor saw Brooks go into the mobile home after saying Andrews was fine, but he was never seen again.

Brooks and an accomplice, Arlo Elizarraraz, encased Andrews' body in a concrete orb that was the centerpiece of a rock garden in the backyard of Brook's landlord in San Diego.

Prosecutors say Brooks withdrew $24,000 from Andrews' accounts before he was caught.

Officials said when Brooks was arrested on financial fraud charges, neighbors partially broke open the concrete structure and a foot popped out.

Andrews, who died of asphyxiation, had been wrapped in a blanket, plastic tarp, with duct tape and chicken wire inside the handmade concrete tomb.

Elizarraraz, who lived off some of the stolen money, was sentenced to nine years in prison.


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