WARREN (WWJ) – A Warren man who pleaded guilty to allowing his 360 pound wife to die while lying in her own waste has been sentenced to probation.

Michael Brooks was charged with second-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult after authorities said he ignored his bed-ridden wife, allowing her to wither away in a bed surrounded by maggots.

Yolanda Reese-Brooks, a 40-year-old mother of four, died of morbid obesity and other injuries last fall.

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.

Authorities said the apartment that had no beds or mattresses and a refrigerator containing spoiled meat.

Prosecutors had asked Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Peter Maceroni to sentence Brooks to nearly two years in prison. Instead, the judge ordered psychological counseling, drug testing and probation.

Maceroni noted that Brooks had no prior criminal record and had been with his wife for over 20 years.

The couple’s four children have been removed from Brooks’ care.

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


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