Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plant City police charge man in double homicide

PLANT CITY —Nine months after two people were discovered beaten to death in a Plant City home, a man neighbors and police long believed to have been involved was arrested Monday in the double homicide.

Ruben Jay Brooks, 47, whom police last year labeled a person of interest, has been held at the Hillsborough County jail since late last year an unrelated robbery charge. He is now awaiting his first court appearance on the murder charges.

Officer Tray Towles said detectives have not disclosed a motive for the killings. He would not describe how Brooks knew the victims.

Shannon L. Thomas, 33, and Faye McClain Kitchen, 59, were found dead Nov. 12 at a home at 506 E Ohio St. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the cause of death for both as blunt-force trauma.

Acquaintances of the victims quickly pointed to Brooks. Two days after the bodies were found, Brooks was shot in what police called a retaliatory act. He suffered minor injuries.

Towles said detectives did not wrap up their murder investigation until last week. He said the department had sent off physical evidence found at the scene and other locations for tests, and had been waiting on results.

Brooks has been arrested 32 times in Florida since 1982, records show. Charges include cocaine possession, battery of a law enforcement officer and grand theft. In 2009, he received a state prison sentence for two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, fleeing police and resisting an officer with violence, records show.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Plant City police charge man in double homicide 08/20/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 20, 2012 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  2. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  3. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  4. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane


    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.