• Man sentenced to life after killing cellmate over Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

    By: Tom Jones


    JONESBORO, Ga. - The family of a man who pleaded guilty to killing his cellmate over a piece of candy is apologizing to the victim's family.
    The apology came after 21-year-old William Brooks pleaded guilty to the felony murder of 57-year-old Kenneth Grochowski in the Clayton County Jail in August 2012.
    Assistant District Attorney Katie Powers says it all began when Grochowski bought a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup from the jail store.
     "The defendant requested one of those Reese's Peanut Butter Cups," she said in Judge Geronda Carter's courtroom.
    A fight began. Powers say that's when Brooks beat and kicked Grochowski inside their small cell. She says he then tossed Grochowski head first into the metal toilet in the cell.
    "Where he immersed his face in water and slammed his face and neck into the toilet," Powers said.  Grochowski died from his injuries.
    In a videotaped statement and re-enactment of the crime, Brooks smiled while he explained what happened.
    "He admitted that the reason for putting the victim's face in the toilet is because, quote, "'I didn't like him for trying to take the Reese's cup from me,'" Powers told the court.
    Powers read a letter from Grochowski's stepdaughter. She wanted Brooks to get life without parole or the death penalty.
    "My father was murdered because he was sharing his Reese's Peanut Butter Cup," Powers said, reading her statement.
    Grochowski's two sons said it is horrendous their father was killed over candy.
    "We truly hope Mr. Brooks is never released from prison," they wrote. 
    But the brothers supported Brooks getting life with parole. And that's the sentence the judge gave Brooks.
    Brooks' family tussled outside court after the hearing.
    "Come on. Come on," Brooks' brother told a relative who was intent on sharing his view that Grochowski wasn't innocent in all of this. 
    "That man fled South America. He got picked up at the airport for fleeing extradition charges," he said.
    When Michael Brooks continued to pull him away, he got angry.
    "'Allen, you push me again, I'll knock the hell out of you right here, boy,'" he said.
    Brook's brother said this is not about the victim. "And we apologize for any pain we caused the family," he said.
    Grochowski was in jail awaiting extradition to Illinois on weapons possession and DUI charges. 
    Brooks was in jail on theft by receiving and other charges.

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