By Beth Fisher

WARREN (WWJ) – The husband of a 400-pound Warren woman was arraigned via video Thursday on abuse charges following her death.

Authorities are accusing Michael Brooks of ignoring Yolanda Reese-Brooks and allowing her to wither away in a bed surrounded by maggots and her own waste. The 40-year-old mother of four died of morbid obesity and other injuries last week.

The prosecutor’s office said Brooks was his wife’s primary caretaker after she sustained a crushed pelvis and ruptured bladder in a 2011 auto wreck. Wearing protective gear, emergency crews had to knock down a wall to extract Reese-Brooks from the 12 Mile Road apartment.

Brooks is charged with second-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult.

37th District Court Judge Herman Campbell set a $10,000 personal bond for Brooks, saying that he must stay with relatives but can have no contact with his children, who are currently staying with is sister, Cynthia.

She and a friend were in the courtroom. “I love him and no matter what we’re gonna support him,” she said.

Brooks will be back in court in two weeks for preliminary examination before Judge John Chmura. He also faces a custody hearing about his kids.

Authorities had initially reported Reese-Brooks’ weight at 500 pounds, but that turned out to be an over-estimation.


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