Homicide suspect arrested in Yakima - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Homicide suspect arrested in Yakima

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A 39-year-old Yakima woman is dead and her boyfriend has been arrested for investigation of murder.

Felicia Joan Brooks was declared dead early Wednesday morning at the home that she and her boyfriend shared after police responded to a report of a medical problem.

Police say her boyfriend is the suspect. The couple has a history of violence and it seems that this morning that violence escalated, and now a friend and mother is dead.

"She's one of the best people you can be around, yes she was," says Rodney Johnson, a friend of the Brooks.

He didn't know Brooks had been killed until he saw us on the street taping her house.

However, when he heard she had been found dead in her home and that police arrested her boyfriend he wasn't surprised.

"'I can't stand to be around him when he starts doing the dope because he gets crazy,'" Johnson remembers her saying.

He says he often heard complaints like this from Brooks about what her boyfriend would do her when he was drunk or high. He remembers one incident as recently as last week.

"'Yeah he threw me out, he grabbed me, he choked me up,'" she told him.

Johnson says the 39-year-old was excited over the last few days because after months of threatening to leave her boyfriend she finally had plans to go.

"She was doing everything in her power to go to Spokane with her kids, that's what she tried to do," Johnson says.

Another neighbor told us Brooks was leaving for Spokane on Friday.  Police aren't sure if her plans to leave led to her attack. 

Investigators believe the evidence is clear that Brooks' boyfriend 54-year-old Richard Roberson is their killer. Police interviewed Roberson at the scene. He was subsequently booked into the Yakima County jail.

"The scene was only in the house, only two present during the assault which led to the victim death was between those two folks," Yakima Police Lieutenant Mike Merryman says.

Investigators still aren't sure what exactly killed Brooks; they think it was some sort of head trauma. An autopsy may reveal those details.