Man Accused of Leaving His Morbidly Obese Wife to Die, Covered in Maggots
by Barry Burch Jr.
For some people there is a catch to the wedding vows, “to have and to hold…until death do us part.” Sadly, most don’t find out what that catch is until its too late. Gaining too much weight or suddenly becoming disabled are both popular excuses for why many spouses believe their vows should be nulled and voided; maybe not legally, but certainly in their minds and hearts, causing unhappiness and in more extreme cases, death.
Unfortunately, there has been an extreme case in Michigan, dealing specifically with the before-mentioned popular excuses. Michael Brooks is facing abuse charges after allowing his wife, who was 400 pounds, to die in bed surrounded by maggots and covered in her own waste. His wife, Yolanda Reese-Brooks, had to be removed from her home by fire crews wearing hazardous material suits. The conditions were that appalling, according to Daily Mail.
Yolanda, who was 40-years old was found very close to death with maggots crawling all over her body. She had not been able to move for months and was literally lying in her own waste. She was taken to the hospital where she died six days later from morbid obesity and other injuries.
Brooks, 27, who was his wife’s primary caretaker after she sustained crippling injuries in 2011, including a crushed pelvis and ruptured bladder in a 2011 car accident, has now been charged with abuse for not taking care of her. He told police his wife lay in her own waste for at least eight or nine days under his watch.
Police said the home was unfit for living, and insect infested. They found no beds for the four children, including twin two-year olds, and an 11 and 13-year old. The refrigerator was also empty except for some spoiled meat. The children are currently with the victim’s sister.
Brooks’ attorney, David Draper, calls the situation “tragic.”
“He is devastated by the loss of his wife. This is a very tragic case. To add insult to injury, his children were taken away by CPS,” he said.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said Brooks owed a certain amount of care to his wife, and although he may not have tried to injure her, he is partly responsible.
Brooks is charged with second-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult.
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