The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:
The process that began Monday morning of selecting jurors to hear the evidence against defendant Robert Henry Brockway III, age 35, generally of the Mendocino Coast, came to an abrupt end Wednesday afternoon just after the lunch hour.
While the jurors were on the lunch break, the prosecutor and defense attorney worked to hammer out a disposition that would be acceptable to both sides instead of continuing towards a two-stage trial (guilt and then sanity) that was expected to last two-and-a-half weeks.
With the potential jurors waiting downstairs in the jury assembly room, defendant Brockway admitted by guilty plea the second degree murder of Jimmie Mathis Mooneyham back in October 2020.
The defendant also admitted by guilty plea burglary in the first degree, wherein he admitted entering Mr. Mooneyham’s residence to commit a felony assault on Mr. Mooneyham with a sword.
A residential burglary occurs when a person unlawfully enters a residence with the intent to commit larceny or, as in this case, enters a residence with the intent to commit a felony therein.
To effectuate the defendant’s change of plea, defendant Brockway was required to withdraw his previously-entered dual pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.
By agreement of the parties, the defendant will be sentenced to 21 years to life in state prison when he returns to court on September 9, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah courthouse.
The stipulated sentence is the maximum allowed by law for this combination of guilty pleas.
The law enforcement agencies that investigated the case are the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Justice crime laboratory in Eureka, the Department of Justice DNA laboratory in Redding, and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations.
The prosecutor who was prepared to present the People’s evidence to the jury once selected was District Attorney David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder accepted the defendant’s change of plea Wednesday afternoon and is expected to impose the agreed-upon life sentence in September.