FARMINGTON — Bryan Brooks Jr.’s father said he hopes Isaac Cain Valdez “has to look in the mirror every single day” for his role in ending his son’s life.
Second District Judge David Hamilton sentenced Valdez, 22, on Wednesday afternoon to a suspended prison sentence of five years to life, another year in the county jail and two years in an intensive treatment program for the death of Brooks, 19, of Ogden, who was killed in a Layton drug robbery on Jan. 29, 2017.
Hamilton said Valdez then must serve 48 months of probation.
Bryan Brooks Sr. told the court during the online sentencing hearing that although his family accepts the plea bargain Valdez agreed to with Davis County prosecutors, he’s not sure Valdez is sincerely remorseful and argued he does not deserve probation.
A young woman who was in the car with the younger Brooks as he was killed said she too disagreed with the plea deal, “but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Valdez originally was charged with first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony aggravated robbery and second-degree felony obstructing justice.
Under the plea bargain, prosecutors dropped the murder and obstructing justice charges.
“He took away my trust for people,” the woman who witnessed the shooting said tearfully. “I pushed everyone away, I couldn’t finish school and I couldn’t get a job until I was 21. I have PTSD and I can’t get a good night’s sleep anymore.”
In the plea document, Valdez denied he was armed during the robbery but acknowledged that two witnesses testified during a preliminary hearing that they saw him with a gun.
The plea said he assisted, aided and abetted “another individual who was armed.”
Bostin Crookston pleaded guilty March 7, 2018, to first-degree felony aggravated robbery and a reduced charge of manslaughter, a second-degree felony.
Crookston, now 23, who admitted pulling the trigger, was sentenced to five years to life in prison for the robbery and one to 15 years for manslaughter.
Valdez’s attorney, Ed Brass, said that by the time Valdez finishes the inpatient treatment program, he will have spent about eight years “not out on the streets.” That includes the more than four years he’s been in jail since the shooting.
Brass said Valdez “was immature and had a severe drug problem” when the crime occurred. “He was a young kid in way over his head, under-educated and doing drugs and he got involved in something he didn’t have the capacity to think through.”
But while in jail, Valdez “has grown into a genuine adult man who takes full responsibility for what he’s done,” Brass said.
Valdez also gave brief comments before Hamilton imposed sentence.
“I do have the utmost remorse for what happened that night,” Valdez said. “I hope one day his family will find forgiveness and realize I just made a bad mistake.”
Hamilton said Brooks’ death carries an ongoing toll. “As his father says, his family has been destroyed,” the judge said.
He warned Valdez not to deviate from the treatment program, which includes mandatory mental health and substance abuse treatment.
“You need to take this opportunity and do something with it, because Bryan can’t,” Hamilton said.
Brooks’ father focused on that same point in his remarks.
“My child’s life is done, gone. He’s never coming back,” the elder Brooks said. “He’ll never have a chance to raise a child, to fix the errors that he makes.”
As for Valdez, Brooks said, “I hope he has to look in the mirror every single day and realize that in one act of violence and stupidity he ended another kid’s life.”