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Springfield woman sentenced for murdering man after movie date

Springfield News-Leader (Missouri) logo Springfield News-Leader (Missouri) 1/11/2020 Harrison Keegan, Springfield News-Leader
a person wearing a black shirt: Christina Duckett © Greene County Jail Christina Duckett

A Springfield woman was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison after she was convicted of murdering a man shortly after they left a movie date.

Christina Duckett, 34, was sentenced to the prison time at a hearing in front of Judge Ron Carrier.

Following a jury trial in November, Duckett was found guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the September 2018 killing of 40-year-old Joshua Brooks.

During the trial this past fall, Greene County prosecutors admitted that they were unable to show a motive for the killing, but they said the evidence pointed to Duckett as the shooter.

Duckett maintains her innocence, and her attorney said Friday she plans to appeal the guilty verdict.

Springfield police say Duckett and Brooks went out to the movies on Sept. 8, 2018, and Brooks was found shot to death in his truck the next morning on a dead-end street.

a close up of a man smiling for the camera: Joshua Brooks © Submitted photo Joshua Brooks

Duckett told police she went to the movies with Brooks, but he was alive when he dropped her off after their date.

Previous coverage: Springfield woman convicted of killing man after movie date

The main evidence presented by prosecutors during last year's trial included one of Duckett's friends saying she confessed to him, the same bullets used in the murder being found at Duckett's home, cellphone data putting Duckett in the area where Brooks was killed that night, and Duckett making some false statements to police early in their investigation.

Duckett's defense attorneys pointed out that a neighbor who lived near where Brooks was killed heard what sounded like a gunshot at 2 a.m., long after Duckett and Brooks had parted ways. Furthermore, the defense said there was no blood or gunshot residue found on the clothing that Duckett was wearing that night, and the murder weapon was never found.

Before Friday's sentencing, Duckett's public defender Dawn Calvin asked for an acquittal or new trial, saying she believed the jury made the wrong decision. Judge Carrier denied the motion, saying the jury made a reasonable decision.

Before handing down his sentence, Carrier listened to argument from the attorneys and statements from Brooks's family members who described Brooks as gentle, compassionate and family-oriented. The family members said Brooks was great with children and cared for his mother who has health issues.

Several of Brooks's family members asked that Duckett be sentenced to life in prison (which is 30 years in a second-degree murder case).

During his argument, Assistant Greene County Prosecutor James Miao said he felt life in prison would be appropriate, saying Duckett would be a risk to the public if she were not incarcerated.

Duckett also addressed the judge on Friday, saying Brooks was nothing but kind to her and she did not kill him.

"I am innocent," Duckett said. "I know that I did not do this horrible crime."

Before handing down his sentence, Judge Carrier said he had to sentence Duckett based on what was known — which is that Duckett was convicted of senseless murder by a jury of her peers.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Springfield woman sentenced for murdering man after movie date


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