Teen Gets 120 Years for Killing CLTV Host's Parents

Parents asked judge for mercy, calling their son a "sweet kid."

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010  |  Updated 5:20 PM CDT
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Moments after his son was sentenced to 120 years for the shooting deaths of Ruby and <a title=Milton McClendon, Gregory Brooks Sr. told reporters that despite his son having a good, supportive upbringing, he was "inducted" by gang members with negative motives." />

Moments after his son was sentenced to 120 years for the shooting deaths of Ruby and Milton McClendon, Gregory Brooks Sr. told reporters that despite his son having a good, supportive upbringing, he was "inducted" by gang members with negative motives.

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Despite being called a "sweet kid" by his parents, a 19-year-old man who pleaded guilty to abducting and killing the parents of a former CLTV talk show host was sentenced Tuesday to 120 years in prison.

Gregory Brooks admitted last month to the slayings of  Ruby McClendon, 76, and Milton McClendon, 78, both of Hammond. 

He was given 60 years for each of the two counts of murder and robbery.

Brooks' parents, Gregory Brooks Sr. and Veretta Brooks, both cried during their appearance before Lake County (Ind.) Judge Clarence Murray.

Both asked for leniency in their son's sentencing, saying it was Brooks' co-defendant, Reo Thompson, who pulled the trigger that took the lives of Ruby and Milton McClendon.  Thompson also entered a guilty plea last month and is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.

"I'm asking y'all for forgiveness from the bottom of my heart," Veretta Brooks said to the McClendon family.

Former CLTV talk show host Garrard McClendon told the court that Brooks killed his parents in cold blood and asked for the maximum sentence.  

The McClendon's were both found shot to death in a forest preserve near Calumet City a little more than a year ago.  Their Cadillac was found abandoned on the Dan Ryan Expressway two days later.  Witnesses said they saw two men running away from the car.

Garrard McClendon was let go from the Tribune Company, which owns CLTV, in September.  Two detectives who worked on the McClendon case were later named "Officers of the Year" by Lake County, Ind., authorities.

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