Jury selection began Monday for the murder trial of a Palm Springs man who allegedly killed a 74-year-old acquaintance and left his body on the side of the road in Sky Valley.
Jason William Brokken, 52, is accused of killing Palm Springs resident Kenneth R. Moody on Jan. 21, 2012. Moody’s body was found the next day on the side of Rudderow Lane, south of Dillon Road.
Brokken is charged with murder and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a weapon in the killing.
Police and prosecutors allege that Brokken, who was temporarily staying at a residence near Moody’s, visited the victim at his home on Gem Drive and asked if he could use Moody’s shower, then killed him in a bedroom. A motive has not been disclosed.
Moody died of multiple impacts to the head, caused by some type of sharp instrument, according to autopsy findings.
At the defendant’s preliminary hearing, a witness testified that Brokken was seen entering Moody’s bedroom with a hatchet, while other witnesses said a van Brokken drove away from Moody’s home in smelled strongly of chemicals, such as bleach.
Moody’s body was found in a ditch in Sky Valley where “various items of identification” were strewn about, leading investigators to the residence where Brokken was staying, court documents state. There, police found clothing stained with blood and “DNA blood evidence” in and around Brokken’s van, all of which allegedly matched Moody’s.