by: Bryan Leavoy Updated:
WALTON COUNTY, Ga. - An indicted state lawmaker says he is certain he faces federal charges because of his continued push to find justice for victims of a 1946 lynching.
A federal grand jury indicted Brooks on 30 counts, including mail, wire and tax fraud charges.
Brooks, 67, is accused of soliciting contributions from individual and corporate donors to combat illiteracy, but then using the money to pay personal expenses for himself and his family.
Brooks told Winne he believes that the federal government filed the charges against him because of his work trying to solve the lynching.
“I really believe in my heart that the only reason that the federal government would do the things that they are doing to me today is really because of my work on the Moores Ford,” Brooks said.
On July 25, 1946 a crowd of 12-15 white men abducted and murdered two African-American couples in Oconee County. The victims were taken in broad daylight from an area near the Moore's Ford Bridge at the Apalachee River.
George and Mae Murray Dorsey and Roger and Dorothy Malcom were shot hundreds of times, according to witnesses. No one was ever prosecuted for the murders.
“I think that Moores Ford case is beginning to expose information that connects the federal government employees of federal agencies on this bridge and FBI cover-up from 1946,” Brooks said.
“I just hope that some of that new technology will be used in Moores Ford. I think in my heart that if there’s the will in the federal system, the FBI and all of those agencies that have the resources, I really believe they can bring justice by finding those that are still living and prosecuting them,” Brooks said.
“I think all of the controversy around me right now will probably lead to something good and I pray to God that whatever comes out will lead to a re-investigation, another look at this case,” Brooks added.
“Are you saying your own indictment will be worth it if it leads to?” Winne asked.
“Absolutely. Yes, yes. I am saying that,” Brooks interrupted.
Former federal prosecutor Amy Weil told Winne that Moores Ford is not behind the indictment of Brooks.
“It would be fairly inconceivable that this could possibly be retaliation,” Weil said.
Brooks told Winne he was a young worker with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1968 when prominent mortician Dan Young, who handled the Moores Ford funerals, told him and activist Robert Howard about the case.
“They brought ‘em right to here. That’s where the old wagon trail road used to be and that’s where they shot ‘em to death,” Brooks said while showing Winne. “I dream about the Malcolms and Dorseys.”
Brooks told Winne that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had agreed to come to Moore’s Ford after a visit to Memphis. Brooks was waiting at a Walton County home when he learned of King’s assassination.
Brooks told Winne that Howard got him involved in the case again in 1999 and that led to new state and federal probes, but suspects have never been named.
“I just hope all of this would come together to the point where justice will be served,” Brooks said.
Winne obtained federal documents from 2008 that spelled out details of a robust investigation between the FBI and GBI. It refers specifically to new leads developed by the FBI and includes details about members of the Walton County Ku Klux Klan chapters and graphic details about the lynching.