No body, no weapon, 1 murder conviction in 2015 death

Posted at 6:33 AM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 06:33:29-04

Despite having no body, no weapon and no cause of death, prosecutors secured the murder conviction of the man they say lured another man to a drug deal and killed him to steal $40,000.

The Capital reports an Anne Arundel County jury found 52-year-old Richard Wayne Brooks guilty in the 2015 death of Mark Hatmaker. He was also convicted of robbery and theft.

Prosecutor Terri Morse said Brooks met Hatmaker for the deal, then killed him in Brooks' recreational vehicle. She said several pieces of evidence proved Brooks was the only person who could be responsible, pointing to forensic evidence from the RV that prosecutors said showed Hatmaker lost at least a liter of blood.

Public defender Caitlin O'Donnell says police "jumped to the worst-case scenario hypothesis" without considering alternatives.