Wrongful death lawsuit halts sale of DC Home – NBC4 Washington


The sale of a home in Northwest DC’s Shepherd Park neighborhood has been halted by a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the basement apartment tenant.

Police allege Luther Brooks, 76, was beaten by a handyman in the house several weeks before the sale, and later died of his injuries.

The victim’s son, Diallo Brooks, said he and his own children have grown closer to his father in recent years.

“My children were also building a relationship with him. My daughter just graduated from high school, he was here, wrote her a poem, ”said Diallo Brooks.

Diallo Brooks says his father was an Army veteran who had served in the Air Force, vowed to take care of himself, had a vegan diet, and found a job putting up signs solar on the roofs.

He enjoyed the privacy of the small apartment at the back of a house on Kalmia Road Northwest, near the Maryland line.

His son says the September 27 call from his father’s landlord, landlord Valerie Mann, telling him that a handyman preparing the house for sale found Luther Brooks seriously injured after a fall, sounded odd.

Luther Brooks died on October 8. DC’s medical examiner determined he was beaten to death.

Radio transmissions from firefighters and paramedics who answered Mann’s 911 call sensed it was more than a fall.

In prosecution documents, police allege handyman Clifton Browne, 57, kicked the apartment door and brutally beat Brooks.

The documents reveal that on October 2, during her second interview with detectives, owner Mann said she told the handyman that he felt Luther Brooks was taking advantage of her by not not moving and having him around would help Brooks move faster. .

Mann has not been charged with any wrongdoing. She released a statement to News4 which says:

“It’s very unfortunate that Luther lost his life. It’s a nightmare. I had no intention of harming him. I took him in when he was homeless, furnished the apartment and helped him find work. I saw it as a success story. I am in mourning too.

In early November, the Kalmia Road house sold for just over $ 1 million. But, the wrongful death trial filed by attorney Richard Evans on behalf of the Brooks family halted the shutdown a day before it took place.

“We were able to provide asset protection for what we believe to be a takeover for the Brooks family,” Evans said.

Browne, the handyman, faces the second degree murder charge.

At the time of Mr Brooks’ death, there was a pandemic-related moratorium on most evictions in the district.

It is not clear if, or how, this would have applied in this case.

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