Lake County jury finds man guilty of killing ex-wife
It took less than two hours for a Lake County jury of eight men and four women to find Kenosha resident David Brocksom guilty of killing his ex-wife under cover of darkness at her Gurnee house.
Brocksom, 46, faces up to life in prison for the murder of Beata Brocksom during the violent confrontation on the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue just after 4 a.m. Sept. 27, 2015.
David Brocksom nodded his head three times after the verdict was announced. He stared ahead and refused to look at jurors.
"Justice was served today," neighbor Mary Marquez Barrera said outside the courtroom. "We waited three years for this verdict. We were tormented every day because of it."
Brocksom initially told police in 2015 he was with his two children at a Wisconsin Dells hotel when the couple's 9-year-old daughter accused his ex-wife of molesting her. David Brocksom became irate and, in the middle of the night, drove to his ex-wife's house, he told police.
He knocked on the door, the couple argued and he was hit in the face with a gun. They fought over the weapon, it discharged twice, with one bullet hitting Beata Brocksom in the throat, he told police.
Beata Brocksom escaped through a window, but David Brocksom followed, he said. They struggled a little longer before she died near some bushes.
However, Assistant Lake County state's attorneys Jason Humke and John Brown eviscerated Brocksom's story during closing arguments Thursday to show he planned her murder and tried to make it look like a suicide.
Citing evidence and testimony, Humke and Brown showed David Brocksom took his children to the Dells to get away from Gurnee the night of the murder. He waited for his children to fall asleep before sneaking out, changed into a black sweatshirt and black sweatpants, drove to Gurnee, and intended to return to the hotel in time for breakfast, after the deed was done.
Prosecutors said David Brocksom left his own cellphone in Wisconsin to make sure it wouldn't be tracked. They showed the jury Brocksom's "murder notebook," a step-by-step guide on how to kill his ex-wife and leave evidence behind to ensure police ruled the death a suicide.
Terms in the notebook included the letters "GSR," which prosecutors said stood for "gun shot residue."
"He wanted to surprise her, he wanted her vulnerable, he wanted her asleep," Brown told the jury. "He had a plan and he followed it, but she foiled it by her sheer will to live."
Beata Brocksom woke up before her ex-husband could fire the killing shot, prosecutors argued. During the struggle, prosecutors said David Brocksom fired the gun into her after grabbing her by the neck and pushing the gun to her throat.
Prosecutors argued evidence that he'd been in the house was everywhere, and his plan to make it seem like a suicide was gone.
So Brocksom shifted gears, prosecutors said. He used the gun to give himself a head wound and spread blood throughout the house, then told police the shooting took place after Beata Brocksom started the fight.
"She died for one disgusting, sick, reason -- because he thought he could get away with it," Humke said.
David Brocksom dragged his ex-wife to the bushes, grabbed items such as her cellphone from the house, and left, prosecutors said. He went to his parent's house in Kenosha and showered, discarded his clothes, and arranged to have his children picked up from the Dells. He turned himself in to Gurnee police 13 hours later.
Humke said Brocksom made up the molestation story to give police a reason for driving to Gurnee.
After the verdict, Judge George Strickland ordered Brocksom held on no bail while awaiting sentencing.