BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sacramento man will soon face a jury trial in Butte County for allegedly killing his children and brother-in-law after crashing his truck into a canal on April 12, 2020.
The Butte County District Attorney’s Office said 28-year-old Colby Allen Brookman is suspected of being under the influence and driving over 80 mph as he neared a canal at the end of Grand Avenue in Oroville.
Investigators said his wife, J’Lynne Stothers; their two children, 7-month-old Ava and 1-year-old Arianna; and her brother, Matthew Stothers, were inside when the truck entered the canal.
According to the DA, a witness at Brookman’s preliminary hearing said they saw Brookman and J’Lynne Stothers swim out of the truck. They also saw Matthew Stothers swim to the surface but struggle and drown.
“Butte County Search and Rescue later recovered the bodies of Matthew, Arianna, and Ava from the canal’s water,” said the DA’s office.
According to DA Mike Ramsey, a blood test taken two hours after the crash showed Brookman’s blood alcohol level appeared to be .12.
Ramsey added that evidence presented at the hearing showed Brookman had been told to not drive.
Brookman’s trial is set for April 14 and he could face life in prison, according to the DA.