GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - With his family behind him, Troy Brake appeared in court Mondaymorning for the first of three trials -- in this case, the allegedbeating and rape of a prostitute.
In May, the 31-year-old man from Grant is expected to face hisbiggest trial -- for the September deaths of four people in WrightTownship.
A jury of eight women and six men (including two alternates) wasseated Monday in Kent County Circuit Judge Paul Sullivan'scourtroom on charges that Brake raped and tried to murder MaryLouise Parker, a prostitute he allegedly picked up in mid-Octoberon South Division Avenue.
It was her screams for help, and the response by Grand Rapidspolice, that led to Brake's arrest -- not only for the beating ofParker but for the Wright Township deaths.
The bodies of Shar Zimmer, her sons, Jeremy and Tyler, andJeremy's girlfriend, Katherine Brown, were found inside theZimmers' burning home on September 29 -- three weeks before thebeating of Parker.
Shortly after Brake was led into the courtroom this morning, hisfamily was asked to leave to make room for members of the jurypool.
"We just want everyone to know he's got family and friends hereto support him," his brother, Jason Brake, told 24 Hour News 8.
Opening statements and testimony should begin on Tuesday.Several potential jurors said they were vaguely familiar with theassault case. One was excused because she knew about the WrightTownship murders.
The jury is expected to get the case by as early asThursday.
Brake also is accused in a Sept. 1 shooting involving aprostitute and a man on South Division Avenue. That case also ispending.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Investigators in Montcalm County are working to determine what led up to a deadly crash.