In a calm, sometimes emotional voice, Sandy Brooks told the court details surrounding the events that led up to her alleged kidnapping in April.
The defendant, 28-year-old Quintine Harper, of Fayetteville, Ark., was in Rogers County Associate District Court Tuesday for witness testimony during a preliminary hearing for kidnapping charges.
That hearing has been continued until Aug. 2, due to the large number of witnesses the defense is expected to question.
Brooks, the ex-wife of famed country singer Garth Brooks, was allegedly kidnapped by Harper April 3 from her Keetonville home, west of Claremore.
According to police reports, Harper used a handgun to allegedly force Brooks to drive him off the property after learning he was being sought by bondsmen for failing to appear in Tulsa County Court on an unrelated charge.
During testimony Tuesday, Brooks said she met Harper at a shopping center on Aug. 12, 2005. Four days later, she had rented him an apartment and purchased a used car and clothing for him.
In October 2005, Brooks said Harper moved into her home on Keetonville Road, and would attend family functions and her childrens’ school events, adding that he even helped with homework. In November 2005, she gave him a “list” of things he needed to do.
“I asked him to get a job, get an apartment and finalize his divorce,” Brooks told the judge.
On March 30, Brooks said she gathered Harper’s things and took them to him and asked him to leave because he hadn’t accomplished the things she’d asked of him. She added that Harper had until that Sunday to remove the rest of his belongings, along with the car she had purchased for him.
That Sunday, April 2, Brooks said she found some disturbing material in her Jeep, that Harper was using for his personal vehicle.
“There were articles in the Jeep, tapes like cassette tapes and DVDs and cameras,” Brooks said. “There was an assault rifle in there too. I asked him what it was for and he said it was his backup plan in case anything happens to him.”
According to Brooks, Harper explained the tapes would jeopardize the custody of her children and that there were other copies. She added that Harper was armed with a .40 Glock, which she says he carried with him all the time.
When Brooks tried to leave for her childrens’ soccer game that afternoon, she said Harper threatened to shoot out her tires. She told the court she talked him into going to the game with her instead. When they arrived, she said Harper took off his shirt and spread it on the ground for her to sit on.
“I didn’t sit there very long because I was nervous. I couldn’t sit still,” Brooks said.
After the game, Brooks said she, Harper and the children went to Wal-Mart to purchase a birthday gift. Brooks then took Harper back to her home before attending a birthday party.
Monday, April 3, Brooks said when she awoke around 11 a.m., she listened to a message from Bill Owen, a bondsman who was searching for Harper. Harper had failed to appear on an embezzlement charge in Tulsa County. Brooks said Owen called her because, “I was the one who paid $600 to bail him out of jail.”
“He had oral surgery two days before he was arrested and they weren’t treating him well. They weren’t giving him his medicine so I bailed him out,” Brooks said. Harper’s bond at that time was $6,000.
Brooks made the call to Owen while taking lunch to her children at school, and told him of Harper’s whereabouts. She added that while on the phone, she told Owen, Harper was armed and that she had seen “a different side of Quintine.” Owen agreed to come to Brooks’ place around 3 p.m. to serve an arrest warrant on Harper.
When she returned home, Harper was still there. It was then the two had a lengthy conversation about their relationship.
“He didn’t think it was fair that I had ended the relationship and that I didn’t know how special he was,” Brooks said. “He started talking about ... disciples and bloods and the crips. He said he was a disciple and that the tattoo of a bulldog on his arm proved it. He told me he makes the calls and the people below him do the work he needs done.
“The conversation was making me very nervous.”
When Brooks tried to leave around 3 p.m., she said Harper wasn’t going to let her leave. It was during a conversation in her vehicle that they observed Owen, and bounty hunter Roger Lowry, pulling up the driveway.
“(Harper) said, ‘Is that Bill?’ I said no I don’t think so, but he said yes it is and told me to drive,” Brooks said. “He had the Glock between his knees and told me to drive.”
According to Brooks, she drove at a steady speed out of her property so Owen could make it out of the security gate and keep up with her vehicle. However, testimony from Lowry indicated Brooks jumped into the vehicle with Harper when they spotted Owen’s vehicle, and that Brooks was traveling at a high rate of speed all the way to QuikTrip in Owasso where the chase ended.
“While I was driving, (Harper) was telling me to calm down and quit crying,” Brooks said. “I was upset and he wanted me to call (Owen) and see if this could be handled tomorrow.”
Owen told her no, according to her testimony, and a second call was made asking Owen to follow her to the bank for the $16,000 it would take to bond Harper out. Owen did not agree with that either.
“I put on my seatbelt thinking I could run the car into a tree and get away from him,” Brooks said.
When Brooks approached the intersection of Highways 20 and 169, she said she just pulled into the parking lot near the curb by the highway, took out the keys and threw them, kicked off her shoes and ran inside the store.
Lowry said it was at that point that he approached the driver’s side of Brooks’ vehicle and saw that Harper was armed. Lowry said Harper (who was sitting in the passenger’s seat) pointed the gun at him. Lowry said he then shut the driver’s door before Harper took off running through a field.
“(Owen) fired a shot into the air to get him to stop,” Lowry said. “Then (Harper) turned around and fired a shot at me. I chased him into the Owasso police.”
Harper was arrested on the outstanding warrant, and charged in Rogers County with kidnapping for extortion. In May, the Tulsa County embezzlement charge was dropped by the state.
Two men who accompanied Brooks into the courtroom were removed by Judge Joe Smith for carrying concealed weapons.
The defense plans to call several witnesses when the preliminary hearing resumes in August.
Harper is currently being housed in the Rogers County Jail in lieu of a $150,000, which was reduced from the initial $1 million bond.