22-year-old Thomas Brookbank learned Wednesday that he has lost an appeal of the 2013 sentencing hearing that ultimately landed him in prison for life.
Brookbank had pleaded guilty in March of 2013 to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. It was a so-called open plea, meaning his punishment was not pre-determined. Instead it was up to Judge Jack Skeen Jr. who used a pre-sentencing report, among other things, to determine the appropriate punishment.
Brookbank's attorney Reeve Jackson immediately filed notice of appeal following the life sentence. In the following months, Jackson submitted what's known as an Anders brief to the Texas Twelfth Court of Appeals. In that filing, Jackson "reluctantly conclude[d] that as a matter of professional judgment the record contains no reversible error and no jurisdictional defects [we]re present."
A panel of judges in the Twelfth Court agreed with Jackson's assessment, writing "it is the opinion of this court that there was no error in the judgment."
Accordingly, Brookbank's life sentence was upheld and Jackson was allowed to withdraw from the case.