DETROIT (FOX 2) - A man convicted of killing a 25-year-old Detroit police officer broke down in tears Wednesday in court at his sentencing hearing.
When asked if he had any prepared remarks, Decharlos Brooks said he had written something for the judge and the officer's family to hear. The judge said he could turn around and address the family then - but Brooks was overcome with emotion at the suggestion.
Putting his head in his hand, he leaned over and wept. A bailiff offered a tissue. His lawyer whispered, "Be strong."
"I don't know if I can face them," Brooks eventually told the judge. The judge said that was okay then and he could proceed with what he needed to say.
Brooks pleaded guilty to second degree murder last month in the shooting death of Detroit police officer Glenn Doss Jr. Glenn was shot in the head in January of 2018 while responding to a domestic situation. Thirty bullet casings were found at the scene; he had been hit twice. He died four days later at the hospital.
"God knows I would never intentionally bring harm," Brooks read from his statement. "My mental state was definitely off balance and I was out of my mind that day. I wish it would've never happened. ... It pains me to think that I was involved in such a terrible situation."
Brooks added that he can't even remember that day and that when he found out what he was accused of doing, he was "shocked and hurt."
"I'm very, very sorry about it. I just was out of my mind that day and I did not intentionally kill no one; it was a mistake. I'm know I'm about to pay for my crime."
Brooks' family had also told lawyers and the court that he is mentally ill and was off his medication at the time of the shooting. Brooks though was later found competent to stand trial. As part of his plea deal, a sentencing agreement was reached of 36-60 years in prison, which the judge affirmed in court Wednesday.
Glenn's mother, father, grandmother and his fiance's mother also spoke before the sentence was handed down. His fiance's mother spoke on her daughter's behalf because she said it was too difficult for her daughter to be there. She and Glenn share a son together, who was just months old when Glenn was killed. Glenn's mother also said the couple had just bought a house together a month before his death, and that he never even got to spend one night in their new home.
"Losing my son has made me question everything about this world. How could a person like Glenn be taken from this world in such a heinous way?" his mother, Nicole Flowers, said.
Glenn's grandmother showed a picture of him and his father, Glenn Doss Sr., standing side-by-side in uniform. Both served on the Detroit police force, Glenn for two years and his father for nearly 20. He was off duty at the time when Glenn was shot.
"He put me in a position," Glenn's father said of Brooks, "where I received the worst phone call I ever got. The call clearly stated, 'Glenn has been shot.' ... You put me in a position when I was traveling to the hospital I got a call from the doctor. They told me my son was bleeding pretty bad from the brain and they needed permission to operate. ... I was put in a position for the first time in my life, my father and I cried at the same time. You put me in a position where I watched my son fight for his life for four days. You have put your family in a terrible position as well as yourself."
Brooks' family told us in the days after the shooting that he had had a "psychotic breakdown."
"He snapped, he wasn't himself. He wasn't talking like himself, he didn't look like himself," his wife told us. She said he assaulted her that day and then called the cops on himself. When police arrived, she went outside to warn them. But the 43-year-old had a gun and started shooting. Glenn was hit twice, in the head and chest.
Police Chief James Craig was outspoken after Glenn's death, demanding more and better treatment for those with mental illness. Craig called Glenn an American hero and one of Detroit's finest. He said that Glenn's death was the latest in an epidemic.
"It's absolutely a crisis," Craig said. "But I don't hear any cry for treatment for those suffering from mental illness."
The judge ordered Brooks to serve his 2-year sentence on another charge, felony firearm, consecutive to the 36-60 year sentence for second-degree murder.