Court date canceled for hospitalized lawmaker
January 29, 2013
LAS VEGAS – A Nevada state lawmaker accused of threatening a state Democratic Assembly leader remained hospitalized Monday for a mental evaluation, while his court date was canceled with no charges filed.
Assemblyman Steven Brooks’ lawyer, Mitchell Posin, said he wasn’t sure when Brooks’ 72-hour medical evaluation, which began Friday, would be completed. Posin declined to say where the 40-year-old Democratic lawmaker was being treated.
“He’s pleased they have not filed charges – yet, anyway,” the lawyer said.
Prosecutor Thom Gover, the deputy state attorney general handling Brooks’ case, said he would have asked a judge on Monday for 30 more days to file a criminal charge because he was waiting for North Las Vegas police to complete their investigation.
Gover also said that he was aware that a lawyer for a key witness, Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow, issued a statement Friday denying police accounts of Brooks’ Jan. 19 arrest.
Police reported that officers began looking for Brooks after Barlow told state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, that he believed Brooks meant to harm incoming Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
Barlow’s lawyer, Adam Levine, said Barlow was concerned for Brooks’ health and well-being, but he didn’t tell Atkinson that Brooks threatened anyone, including Kirkpatrick.
Police had said Barlow told Atkinson about a threat, and that Atkinson told Kirkpatrick.
On Monday, Atkinson released a statement saying he became involved because he knew Brooks had been released from a care facility late Jan. 18, and, “I did not want anyone getting hurt, including Steven.”
“Councilman Barlow stated that Steven ‘had it in for Marilyn Kirkpatrick’ and blamed her for his life spiraling out of control. With that information and because many of us had been concerned about Steven’s emotional state over the past few months, I felt I should notify” Kirkpatrick and Assembly Democratic Majority Leader William Horne, Atkinson said.
North Las Vegas police Officer Chrissie Coon, a department spokeswoman, said Monday that police reported what officers were told the day Brooks was arrested. She said detectives were still investigating.
Brooks lawyer, Posin, denied a threat was made.
Brooks’ was arrested nine days ago in a car with a gun and ammunition in a shoe box. The arrest began a week of sometimes bizarre developments. He spent a night in jail on a felony charge of intimidating a public officer by threat of physical violence before being released Jan. 20 on $100,000 bail.
He missed a Tuesday news conference that he scheduled, while Posin said he was hospitalized for treatment of what the lawyer characterized as internal bleeding from a pre-existing condition.
Last Wednesday, Brooks made a brief appearance at Nevada’s statehouse, flanked by legislative police officers and concealing his face.
On Thursday, Brooks posed shirtless for a Las Vegas Review-Journal photo and interview in which he denied threatening Kirkpatrick and alleged that Kirkpatrick tried to kill him. Brooks also said he had been beaten by gang members, although North Las Vegas police said no such crime report had been filed. Kirkpatrick has declined comment on Brooks’ claim.
Brooks vowed to serve his elected office when the state Legislature convenes Feb. 4.
On Friday, Las Vegas police called to a domestic disturbance at Brooks’ grandmother’s house turned Brooks over to medical officials for evaluation. He was not arrested.
Officer Jose Hernandez said Monday the mental referral was made to protect Brooks from harming himself or other people.