LAS VEGAS (AP) – A former Nevada lawmaker has been indicted on a felony firearms charge stemming from an arrest that began a public spiral that ended with his expulsion from the Legislature, authorities said Thursday.
Steven John Brooks, 41, is accused of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person _ a charge that could get him up to four years in state prison if he is convicted.
The grand jury that indicted Brooks on Wednesday found that he shouldn’t have had a gun when he was arrested because he used marijuana, Deputy Attorney General Thom Gover said.
“The allegation is that he is an unlawful user of a controlled substance,” said Gover, the prosecutor in the case.
Brooks’ lawyer, Mitchell Posin, called the charge far-fetched and said the Democrat will plead not guilty.
“I don’t understand where this charge comes from,” Posin said. “It sounds like an awful long way to get from threats against Marilyn Kirkpatrick to this.”
Posin referred to Brooks’ arrest on Jan. 19 by North Las Vegas police investigating claims that Brooks, a Democrat, threatened to harm Kirkpatrick, the Democratic Assembly leader. Kirkpatrick and Brooks both live in North Las Vegas.
Police said a silver .357-caliber revolver and ammunition was found in a shoebox in Brooks’ state-issued car, and the two-term assemblyman was held overnight on suspicion of intimidating a public officer by threat of physical violence.
Gover said there wasn’t enough evidence to seek an indictment on that felony charge.
A Nevada state court judge issued an arrest warrant Wednesday and set bail at $100,000. An arraignment date wasn’t immediately set.
Brooks is currently being held on $100,000 bail at a county jail in San Bernardino County in California. He faces a May 7 hearing in Barstow after a police chase and violent struggle with officers on March 28 along Interstate 15, authorities said.
Bystanders videotaped the struggle in which police say Brooks attacked a police dog with a wrench. He has pleaded not guilty to resisting an officer, felony evading, assault on a police dog, and other charges.
A succession of sometimes bizarre incidents followed, leading to Brooks’ expulsion last month from the Legislature and his arrest later that day on the freeway in California.
Brooks was hospitalized in late January for a psychiatric evaluation after Las Vegas police were called to a domestic disturbance at his grandmother’s home.
He was released from the hospital in time to be sworn in at the Legislature on Feb. 4, then arrested again on Feb. 10 at his estranged wife’s home in Las Vegas after police alleged he tried to punch and grabbed for a gun from an officer who responded to a domestic dispute.
Brooks faces an evidentiary hearing date in Las Vegas Justice Court on one felony and three lesser charges in that case.
Brooks was stripped of his elected position following a recommendation from an Assembly committee.
Clark County commissioners appointed Odis “Tyrone” Thompson, a Democrat from North Las Vegas, to serve the remainder of Brooks’ term.
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