Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Suspect in Cassidy Senter Case to Testify Murder Trial Will Feature Taped Statement on Killing

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Suspect in Cassidy Senter Case to Testify Murder Trial Will Feature Taped Statement on Killing

Article excerpt

The murder trial of Thomas L. Brooks Jr. - charged with killing 10-year-old Cassidy Senter in December 1993 - today will feature the suspect's own account of what happened.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch said he will play the videotape of Brooks' statements to homicide investigators. The tape is a key piece of evidence in the trial that began Thursday in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Brooks, 28, made the videotaped statement shortly after being arrested on Feb. 3, 1994. He is accused of killing Cassidy on Dec. 1, 1993, in the home of Brooks' sister in the 4900 block of Spring Forest Drive, in the same Hazelwood-area neighborhood where Cassidy lived. Authorities say Brooks kept Cassidy's body in the basement until early Dec. 9, when he dumped it in a north St. Louis alley. It was found later that day.

Brooks has been charged with first-degree murder, abduction, attempted rape and armed criminal action. The state is seeking the death penalty on the murder charge.

In his opening argument last week, McCulloch said that Brooks first told police that Cassidy had entered his house uninvited and asked Brooks to have sex. McCulloch said Brooks changed that account. Defense attorney Kevin Curran, in his opening argument, said only that Brooks cooperated with his interrogators and that "he cried . . . and he admitted it."

McCulloch said the prosecution's case will probably conclude today. Along with Brooks' statement, the jurors will hear testimony from experts. The experts will testify that tire tracks, hair, fibers, metals and blood gathered as evidence link Brooks to the murder. One of the FBI experts, Doug Deedrick, recently testified in the O.J. Simpson trial.

The FBI got into the case because two weeks before Cassidy disappeared, 9-year-old Angie Housman vanished from near her St. …

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