As the day opened, District Attorney General W. Paul Phillips told the court that the state rested its case against Jamie Brock for the 2005 beating death of Janet Brock.
Defense Attorney Wesley Stone led off with testimony from neighbor Christine Baker who stated that conditions looked normal at the Brock house on Sunday evening, August 28, 2005. Stone then presented witnesses who stated that Jamie Brock had sought their opinion on an addition to the residence at some time before the date of the incident.
Paramedic Terry Neal then testified that he and his partner arrived at the Brock house just before seven a.m. on August 29 where he observed the body of the victim. Neal said that no attempts were made to revive the woman as it was obvious to him that she had been dead for some time.
Claiborne County Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator Dave Daniels took the stand and related his actions on that morning. Daniels stated that he entered the Brock house and took photos then cleared the residence of all personnel and awaited the arrival of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent James Whitson as well as the arrival of Jamie Brock. Daniels testified that he and Whitson interviewed Brock at the Criminal Investigation Division Office in Tazewell. At the request of officers, Brock signed releases to permit release of financial and medical records of the couple as well as an authorization to conduct an autopsy. Daniels and Whitson requested the clothing currently worn by Brock and provided him with clothing used for prisoners at the county jail. Daniels testified that at one point in the evening, Brock asked if he could leave. After conferring with the TBI, Daniels said that he was free to go but requested Brock to stay to talk with TBI Agent Skip Elrod. Brock agreed to stay at CID.
Judge Shayne Sexton called for a short break. Following that break Defense Attorney Stone moved for acquittal on the basis of insufficient evidence. Sexton denied the motion.
Considerable time was then spent establishing that Brock had called Bambi Alford several times on the morning of August 29 between four a.m. and five-thirty a.m. and those calls utilized four different towers in Harrogate, Tazewell, Bean Station, and Morristown. Phone records were introduced to demonstrate that Brock and Alford communicated frequently by using cell phones, both of which were contracted by Alford from Verizon. Cingular cell phone records reflected regular calls from Brock to his home around five to five-forty a.m. on workdays. Alford testified last week that she and Jamie had been lovers for a “couple of months” before Janet's death.
Retired FBI Agent and Private Investigator Arthur G. Richards, Jr. testified that he re-enacted the route taken by Brock that morning. According to Richards, the trip is 52.3 miles and takes one hour and eight minutes at the speed limit.
Deputy (now Sgt.) Jimmy Seals related that he escorted Brock by convoy from Tazewell to north of the Powell River on Hwy. 25E and then stopped the vehicle Brock was in at the direction of his shift sergeant. Seals read the Miranda Rights to Brock then took him to Back Valley Road. Seals said that Brock asked about his children during the ride.
Claiborne County Rescue Squad member Joseph Stacy testified that he assisted the sheriff's department in an attempt to locate a bag of clothing in Clinch River which they believed was tossed there by Brock. The clothing was not found.
Defendant Jamie Brock took the stand at two-thirty p.m. Monday. He related his early life and work history. Brock testified that he and Janet were married in 1995 following an eight-month courtship. Brock described his marriage and family life as very good. According to him, the family spent considerable time together and shared care for their two young sons. The defendant was sometimes observed to be sobbing when speaking about his wife and children.
Brock said that they sometimes disagreed about money matters and that Janet had handled the family finances since before the marriage. He said that the family finances were poor at the time of his wife's death.
Brock described his relationship with Bambi Alford as “a friendship that went too far,” and added, “I should have put a stop to it.”
He said that it had been his habit to rise at four a.m. beginning in June of 2005. He would go to work or visit with Alford if time permitted before work.
On the morning of August 29, Brock said, he rose as usual and completed his normal routine with the addition of taking some of Janet's jewelry and her wallet then left for work. Brock told the court that he had taken the jewelry to have it appraised to obtain some extra money. He also said that he took the hidden door key and Janet's wallet to explain how “someone” took the jewelry.
He said he returned to the house to retrieve a set of blueprints. He said he wanted to deliver the prints to someone to review before starting construction on the house extension. Brock left again, stopping in Tazewell for coffee and in Morristown to use the restroom. Brock said he arrived at Walters State Community College about five-thirty a.m.
Brock related the events of the day with substantially the same recollection as previously told by law enforcement officers. He then said that TBI Agents Elrod and Whitson explained their theory of what had happened to Janet. Brock signed a statement, agreeing with the TBI theory, around eleven p.m.
“I had no other option,” he said.
During his testimony, Brock recanted most of the salient points in the statement. He said he signed the original statement only because he was tired, confused, and numb, as well as to satisfy the police. Brock said he believed the truth would be found and he would be released.
Attorney Stone told the court he was finished with his questions. Judge Sexton recessed the court until eight-thirty a.m. on Tuesday, August 22, when the prosecution will begin their cross examination of the defendant.
Ed Baldwin is a Correspondent for the Claiborne Progress.
Editor's Note: In the Thursday, Aug. 17, edition, the date Mrs. Brock's body was discovered was incorrectly reported as Aug. 30, 2005. The correct date is Aug. 29, 2005. We regret the error.