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Brooks sentenced to 35 years in Osakis murder

Sentenced to 35 years in prison

Jeffery Allen Brooks, 53, of Alexandria was sentenced to 35 years in prison today for murdering Diane Fortenberry of Osakis in May 2011.

Todd County District Court Judge Jay Carlson sentenced Brooks, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder, later tried to change the plea and was denied.

Brooks was ordered to immediately begin serving his time at a St. Cloud correctional facility. He was given credit for the 381 days he has already spent behind bars while his case proceeded.

Brooks was also ordered to pay restitution of $6,940 to Fortenberry's husband, Mike Fortenberry, $18,895 to State Farm Insurance(for damage to the Fortenberry home and contents) and $9,355 to the Crime Victims Board.

On May 20, 2011, Diane Fortenberry, 51, stopped home after lunch to let her dog outside and she interrupted Brooks burglarizing her home. She was assaulted and died from blunt force trauma injuries. One of her sons returned home that afternoon and found his mother unresponsive.

On May 27, 2011, Brooks was arrested in Alexandria.

On November 18, 2011, Brooks pleaded guilty to the murder. He was initially scheduled for sentencing in February but he entered a request to change his original guilty plea. Brooks alleged that the court-appointed attorneys had misrepresented him and that he was pressured to accept a guilty plea bargain.

On April 20, Judge Carlson denied Brooks' request, ruling that he failed to reach any of the burdens set forth by the law.

A second-degree murder conviction carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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