Charlie Brooks, Jr.

Executed December 7, 1982 at 12:16 a.m. by Lethal Injection in Texas

2nd murderer executed in U.S. in 1982
6th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Texas in 1982
1st murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Since 1976
Date of Execution
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Method of
to Murderer
Date of
Lethal Injection
Charlie Brooks, Jr.

B / M / 34 - 40

David Gregory

W / M / 26


On December 7, 1982 Brooks and two friends used heroin, drank, then decided to go shoplifting. When their car broke down, Brooks went to a nearby auto dealership and asked to test drive a car. An employee of the dealership, David Gregory, a 26 year old mechanic was required to go with Brooks pursuant to company policy. Once inside, Brooks kidnapped Gregory and went to a hotel, where he and friends bound him and shot him to death.

Brooks v. State, 599 S.W.2d 312 (Tex. Cr. App. 1979) (Direct Appeal).
Brooks v. Estelle, 697 F.2d 586 (5th Cir. 1982) (Habeas).
Brooks v. Estelle, 103 S.Ct. 1490 (1982) (Stay).

Last / Special Meal:
A T-bone steak, french fries, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, biscuits, peach cobbler and iced tea.

Last / Final Statement:
"Yes, I do. I love you. Asdadu an la ilah illa Allah, Asdadu an la ilah illa Allah, Asdadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah, Asdadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Inna li-Allah wa-inna ilayhi rajiun. Verily unto Allah do we belong, Verily unto him do we return. Be strong."

Internet Sources:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders (Charlie Brooks Jr.)

Inmate: Brooks, Charlie Jr.
TDCJ #: 592
Date of Birth 9/1/1942
Date Received 4/25/1978
Age (when Received) 35
Education Level (Highest Grade Completed) 12
Date of Offense 12/14/1976
Age (at the time of Offense) 34
County Tarrant
Race Black
Gender Male
Hair Color Black
Height 5' 9"
Weight 150
Eye Color mar (according to DPS records)
Native County Tarrant
Native State Texas
Prior Occupation: Laborer

Prior Prison Record
Federal Prison, Leavenworth, Illegal Possession of Firearms, Discharged 1968; TDCJ #214019, Discharged in 1975

Summary of incident
Brooks went to a car lot under the pretense of wanting to test drive a car. A mechanic accompanied him on the drive. Brooks stopped to pick up a co-defendant. The mechanic was put in the trunk of the car. Brooks and his co-defendant went to a motel. The mechanic was brought out of the trunk and taken into a motel room. The mechanic was bound with coat hangers, gagged with adhesive tape, and shot in the head, causing his death. Brooks and the co-defendant fled the scene.

The State of Texas executed the first offender by lethal injection on 12/7/1982. Charlie Brooks of Tarrant County was executed for the kidnap/murder of a Fort Worth auto mechanic.

Co-defendants: Woody Loudres


Charles Brooks, Jr.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Brooks Jr. (September 1, 1942 December 7, 1982) was a convicted murderer who was the first person executed by the state of Texas since it resumed capital punishment. Texas changed its method of execution from the electric chair to lethal injection; Brooks was the first person in USA to be executed using this method.

Charlie Brooks was raised in a well-off Fort Worth family and attended I.M. Terrell High School, where he played football. He had been to prison before, serving time at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth for illegal possession of firearms.

On December 14, 1976 Brooks went to a used car lot and asked to test drive a car. The mechanic, David Gregory, accompanied him in the car. After Brooks picked up Woody Loudres, they put the mechanic in the trunk of the car and Brooks and Loudres drove to a motel. There the mechanic was bound to a chair with coat hangers, gagged with tape and then shot once in the head. Neither Brooks nor Loudres would say who fired the shot. Because of legal complications, Lourdes received a 40 year sentence, while Brooks received the death sentence.

The Supreme Court of the United States rejected by 6-3 a petition to grant a stay of execution. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended by 2-1 that the execution should proceed.

After a last meal consisting of a T-bone steak, french fries, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, biscuits, peach cobbler and iced tea, Brooks was rolled into the death chamber at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas. There he made his final statement. Brooks had converted to Islam while in prison and as such said a prayer to Allah.

The drugs were injected at 12:09 a.m. and Brooks was pronounced dead at 12:16 a.m. A photo of his body after being transported from the Huntsville Walls (prison) Unit to the Harris County Medical Examiner's building following the execution was published in The Huntsville Item and then in Newsweek the following week in an article mentioning that the first ever judicial execution by lethal injection had occurred. (Photographer's Note: The photo was taken in the basement of the Harris County Medical Examiner's building (morgue). It was not taken at the actual execution itself, and those individuals standing near the body were employees of a local Huntsville funeral home responsible for transporting Brooks from the prison to the morgue. They were not the actual individuals responsible for carrying out the execution, nor were they TDC employees.)

New York Times

Abstract: "Technician Executes Murderer in Texas by Lethal Injection," By Robert Reinhold. (December 7, 1982, Tuesday)

The state of Texas injected Charles Brooks Jr. with a deadly combination of sedatives and drugs just after midnight today, making him the first condemned prisoner in the United States to die by lethal injection. The lethal drugs were injected into Mr. Brooks's body at 12:09 A.M. . . .

Gainesville Sun

"Supreme Court Clears Way for Execution." (Associated Press Decemnber 7, 1982)

Ellensberg Daily Record

"Convicted Killer Executed by Injection." (UPI December 7, 1982)

Texas Prison Museum

Lethal Injection Exhibit: Details and describes the method of lethal injection in Texas. The exhibit showcases the paraphernalia used in the execution of Charlie Brooks, Jr. on December 7 1982. Brooks' execution was the first in Texas as well as in the U.S. to use the lethal injection method.

Fight the Death Penalty in the USA

Texas resumed executions in 1982, making national news - and starting a national trend - by being the first state to execute by lethal injection. Condemned killer Charlie Brooks Jr. was strapped to a hospital gurney in Huntsville and put to death in what some called the first "humane execution." Mr. Brooks, convicted for the 1976 murder of David Gregory, a 26-year-old mechanic, had been on death row for five years. His final statement was a proclamation of love for his girlfriend, who witnessed his death.

Prison Fellowship Ministries

Charlie Brooks was executed in December 1982, despite serious doubts about his personal involvement in the murder of which he was convicted. In fact, the prosecutor pleaded that his death sentence be commuted, because no one knew whether he or his codefendant (who was given a prison sentence in return for his testimony at trial) actually committed the murder. (Charles W. Colson, "That Execution Wasn't Painless," Washington Post, December 11, 1982)

Brooks v. State, 599 S.W.2d 312 (Tex. Cr. App. 1979) (Direct Appeal).

The record reflects that on the morning of December 14, 1976, Marlene Smith, an admitted prostitute, thief, and heroin addict, traded sexual services for the use of a car from a used car dealer. She then picked up Woody Loudres and the appellant at a liquor store on Rosedale Avenue. Smith testified that she and Loudres lived together in Room 15 of the New Lincoln Motel in Tarrant County. The record reveals Smith had been acquainted with the appellant for two weeks and that appellant had on occasion stayed with them at the motel.

Smith, Loudres and the appellant drove back to the motel, where Smith and Loudres took heroin. The three then drove to the home of appellant's mother, where they *315 drank. The trio then left, heading for the south side of Forth Worth so that Smith could go shoplifting. In response to a question as to whether appellant and Loudres were going shoplifting with her, Smith testified without objection "they were with me" and appellant had his "booster coat on." As they were driving on East Lancaster Street, the car vapor-locked and they pushed it into a service station. They were unable to get the car started and, according to Smith, the appellant left the other two and walked to a nearby used car lot to "get a car to test drive" so that the three would have transportation to the south side.

An employee of the used car lot talked to the appellant when he walked onto the lot and asked to test drive a car. Appellant was wearing a tan topcoat at the time. Company policy required that customers who walked onto the lot and asked to test drive a car had to be accompanied by an employee. David Gregory, the deceased, was told to accompany the appellant around the block. The record reflects that Gregory was a paint and body repair man who sometimes assisted as a mechanic and also answered wrecker calls.

The deceased and the appellant drove to a location where Smith and Loudres were waiting in the vapor-locked car. Loudres got into the car with Gregory and the appellant. They drove off with Gregory, leaving Smith with the broken- down car. A car identified as the one taken on a test drive from the used car lot was driven into the New Lincoln Motel at about 6:00 p. m. The appellant and Loudres were in the car at the time. The appellant released a man from the trunk of the car and took him at gunpoint into Room 17 of the motel.

Loudres came to the office of the motel and told the manager's wife, Emma Speers, that they had a man tied up and "we are going to have to kill him." The appellant also came to the window of the motel office, pointed a large revolver at Speers' head, and told her, "You're ignorant. If you say anything, I'll blow you and your daughter's brains out." The appellant then walked away from the motel, returned a few minutes later, and walked toward Room 17. Shots were heard soon thereafter. During this time a woman who was delivering cleaning to the motel talked to Speers. When she left the motel she noted the license number on the car in which the appellant and Loudres had arrived. After leaving the premises she notified the police. After hearing the shots, Speers also notified the police and her husband, the manager of the motel. Loudres and the appellant were seen leaving the motel by the back entrance.

Fort Worth police officers arrived at 6:24 p. m. They were advised that shots had been fired. The officers began checking the rooms for signs of foul play. They began their checking at Room 13. Room 15 was unlocked and empty. Rooms 16 and 17 were locked. When Room 17 was unlocked by the manager, Gregory's body was found bound and gagged with adhesive tape and shot in the head.

Phil Watson testified that at about 11:00 p. m. that night he met Loudres and the appellant at the Flamingo Club in south Fort Worth. Loudres asked Watson to drive them back to the New Lincoln Motel. When they arrived, the manager told Loudres to leave. When they were passed by two police cars, appellant stated that "there had been a killing." Watson, Loudres and the appellant were arrested later at Watson's home.

Appellant contends that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence certain items seized by the police as a result of an illegal search of Room 15 of the New Lincoln Motel. The record reflects that after finding the deceased's body in Room 17 of the motel the police returned to Room 15 and recovered State's Exhibit No. 16, two spools of a Curity adhesive tape dispenser, and State's Exhibit No. 23, three hypodermic syringes. State's Exhibit No. 16 was admitted without objection and State's Exhibit No. 23 was admitted over objection that it constituted evidence of an extraneous offense.

The pertinent portion of the indictment charged that Brooks: "did then and there intentionally and knowingly cause the death of an individual, David Gregory, by shooting him with a firearm, and the said Charlie Brooks, Jr. did then and there intentionally cause the death of the said David Gregory in the course of committing the offense of kidnapping, by then and there intentionally and knowingly abducting David Gregory; . . . ."

Brooks was previously convicted in the State of Louisiana on September 27, 1962 and was sentenced to three years for the offense of "simple burglary" in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. He was paroled in 1963 and his parole was revoked in 1965. Brooks also pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 1968 to three counts of illegal possession of firearms. Brooks was also convicted in Walker County, Texas of Theft over $50 and Burglary. (A total of four prior felony convictions introduced during penalty phase)

Almost five years after Brooks was convicted, Woody Lourdes, who had been indicted for and convicted of the same offense, and whose conviction had been reversed on appeal, made a plea bargain with the State, pleaded guilty to non-capital murder and was sentenced to forty years in prison.