ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Mich. — (March 14, 2014) A St. Joseph County woman is charged with open murder after investigators said she shot her estranged boyfriend, Dennis Dale Brooks on a rural road in Burr Oak Township.
Maria Williams, 34, was arrested and charged Friday.
She is being held on a million dollar cash or surety bond.
Investigators say she shot Brooks as the result of a domestic argument between the two.
She apparently drove away after she shot Brooks, leaving him on the road and went to get help from her brother who called 911.
Thursday night dispatchers got the chilling call from her brother John.
“My sister just came home and um she shot her ex,” he said. “She just told me they got into an argument, he hit her and she shot him.”
He said Williams had possibly killed Brooks with a .38 caliber handgun on Townline Road near Farrand.
The road is surrounded by thick trees. It sits only a couple miles from Brook’s listed address just off M-66 near Sturgis.
You could her brother asking her questions over the phone, saying, “Were you in the road?”
Williams answers, “yes.”
The dispatcher asks, “They were out in the road fighting?”
Williams says yes and indicates through her brother that he was shot in the road.
Court documents prove that the two had a rocky past.
Less than 10 days before the shooting on March, 3 Williams filed a personal protection order against Brooks.
She claimed that on December 25, 2013, “He squeezed me until he broke my rib.”.
Then, August 29, 2013, “He grabbed me threw me on bed held me down and pushed my face in the bed.”
In January of 2014, she alleges he said, “I will kill you.”
The allegations continued into this month.
March 2, 2014 she wrote, he “came into my home uninvited and started taking things.”
On March 3, 2014 she said, “I am afraid for my life. I fear he will kill me.”
“…after the birth of our daughter he started using meth.”
“Dennis is not in his right mind and will harm me or make me disappear,” said Williams.
For his part, Brooks defended himself by telling the courts, “The statements and accusations Maria made are false and in no way has anything in her statement happened in the manner she implies.”
“There is absolutely no reason other than for personal gain for her to have filed this,” he said.
It may be more evident as the case moves ahead what role that history played in the shooting and whether investigators believe she meant to kill Brooks when she fired the gun.
Her brother told dispatchers that she didn’t know where she had shot him or if he was still breathing.
He said, “She’s crying. She’s scared.”
She faces life in prison for the open murder charge. The two shared a child together. We talked to family friends who say that may be the greatest the greatest tragedy, that their daughter will be left without both parents.