Brooks enters guilty plea on child molestation

FARMINGTON — A Leadwood man who claimed it was just a “teaching moment” was sentenced to 15 years in prison for child molestation.

Michael Brooks, 23, had entered the guilty plea to the charge in April.

On Friday, his attorney, Cira Duffe, asked Circuit Court Judge Sandy Martinez to sentence him to just five years in prison.

In April, prosecutors agreed to cap his sentence at a maximum of 15 years in prison. On Friday, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Pat King asked the judge to sentence Brooks to 15 years.

After hearing arguments, the judge sentenced him to 15 years.

According to court records, a 3-year-old child told DFS that Brooks hurt the child’s butt with his private part.

When questioned, Brooks told police that the child grabbed him by the genitals and he told her that was a “no no.” He said he rubbed his genitals against her for a minute and told her never to let anyone do that to her. He admitted there was slight penetration.

“This was a teaching moment that’s it,” he said, adding that he had been “touched” as a child.

In other cases, Tony Barron, 38, of Doe Run, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for three counts of possession of a chemical with intent to make meth. However, the judge will consider releasing him on five years of supervised probation if he successfully completes a 120-day shock incarceration program.

Barron, the former Doe Run assistant fire chief, was one of six arrested at his residence when a meth lab was found.

According to court records, law enforcement officers learned James Metcalf, who had several warrants, was living with Jodi Barnhouse and Barron on South Oak Street.

Members of the task force and highway patrol went to the residence and knocked on the door. Two small children answered the door. Barnhouse allowed them in to arrest Metcalf, who was in the basement. When they opened the basement, there was a chemical haze lingering in the air.

Officers found a one-pot meth lab. Drugs and paraphernalia were found throughout the house.

Robert F. McDowell Jr., 33, of Bismarck, was sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the probation he received for second-degree arson.

According to a probable cause statement signed by Fire Marshal Zach Jacobsen, McDowell threw a lit tree limb into an enclosed porch of a rental property. No one was home at the time.

The house at 1021 Maple Street in Bismarck, which was owned by John Blackwell, had only minor fire damage. Jacobsen said he found evidence on the scene that led him to McDowell, who later gave a written statement confessing to setting the fire.

Bradley Clay Moore, 33, of Doe Run, was sentenced to four years in prison for three counts of driving with a revoked license.

Fisher Morrow, 45, of FCC, was sentenced to five years in prison for committing violence against a Department of Corrections offender.

Deshay Trotter, 24, of ERDCC, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for two counts of committing violence against a Department of Corrections employee.

Bruce Link, 36, of Park Hills, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for violating the probation he received for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Placed on five years of supervised probation were  Mykeea D. Cooper, 20, of Charleston, for attempted distribution of marijuana; Shawn T. Olive, 28, of Farmington, for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and three counts of possession of a controlled substance; and Garrett Propst, 21, of Bonne Terre, for possession of heroin.

Dustin Eyerly of French Village was arraigned on a grand jury indictment from April 24. He is charged with tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution; receiving stolen property; possession of heroin; tampering with a motor vehicle; and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at (573) 518-3613 or at

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