Defendant a quiet, peaceful man, according to witnesses |

Defendant a quiet, peaceful man, according to witnesses

Kara Fox
Nevada Appeal News Service

AUBURN, Calif. – Timothy Brooks is a sweet, polite, quiet man, witnesses testified at his murder trial Tuesday, rebutting testimony given Monday.

Both sides rested their cases today.

Brooks, 26, is charged with an open count of murder for allegedly fatally stabbing Robert Ash in August in Tahoe City. Brooks pleaded not guilty and his defense team says he stabbed Ash in self-defense.

Jeff Quittman, Brooks’ history, civics and economics teacher during his last two years at Orinda Academy, testified that he never saw Brooks exhibit violent or aggressive behavior.

“He was always very gentle,” Quittman noted. “He had a soft demeanor.”

Brooks, dressed in a blue sweater and gray slacks, showed emotion for the first time during his trial by tearing up when Quittman was on the stand. He nodded at his old teacher as Quittman exited the courtroom.

Carolyn Davis Rudolph, the mother of Brooks’ best friend, said she has known Brooks since he was 8 years old and that he “was like a son to me.” Rudolph, a retired teacher, said Brooks was “very sweet, very polite, very quiet,” who became “very focused, very thoughtful” when he grew up.

Truckee resident Michael Melton, who has a home next door to Brooks’ mother in Truckee, testified that he employed Brooks during the summers of 2004 and 2005 as a carpenter and that Brooks never showed any aggression during that time. Melton said he would yell and swear at Brooks when Brooks messed up, but that the 26-year-old “just accepted it.”

A friend of Brooks’ from the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow history major, Nicole Kinsey, said Brooks became upset at her once when she repeatedly missed meetings with him, but noted that he didn’t yell at her.

The defense’s private investigator Grant Fine and Detective Sgt. Corie Quillinan were both called to the stand briefly by the defense.

After a brief meeting in the judge’s chambers, both the defense and prosecution rested their cases. There will be a recess today and the trial will resume Thursday at 8:30 a.m. when both sides will give closing arguments.