State Attorney announces Grand Jury indictment of Rachael Wilks for first degree murder

Update on June 3, 2024: Wilks was acquitted of all charges by a jury on May 31, 2024.


State Attorney Brian Kramer announced today that Assistant State Attorney Ryan Nagel presented “State vs. Rachael Laniese Wilks” to the Alachua County Spring Term Grand Jury, and the Citizens of Alachua County returned a True Bill indicting Wilks for first degree murder in the killing of Brian Rashad Brown on December 31, 2021. Wilks was arrested on February 1, 2022, after a Gainesville Police Department investigation.

The finding of a True Bill means that Wilks will now be arraigned and will face trial at a later date. Judge Meshon T. Rawls received the grand jury findings and ruled that Wilks will continue to be held without bail.

According to the arrest report, Wilks and the victim were in a dating relationship and lived together with Wilks’ four other children. She was also reportedly pregnant with twins, with the victim as the father.

Wilks had called the non-emergency dispatch line at 9:00 p.m. on December 31, 2021, and asked to speak to an officer about removing someone from her residence. She reportedly refused to provide the address or give details. An officer told her she would need to evict the person because he had established residence there, and her search history about an hour later reportedly showed her searching for “eviction cost gainesville fl.”

At about 11:45 p.m. on December 31, Wilks called 911 while driving to her parents’ house to drop off her children. She told dispatchers that she had “discharged her weapon in self-defense” after her boyfriend had repeatedly attacked her. She said she did not know if her boyfriend was injured and asked for emergency medical services to check on him.

Upon arrival, Gainesville Police Department officers found the victim deceased and face down in a pool of blood, with a single gunshot wound to the right temple. He was lying on top of his phone.

Post Miranda, Wilks reportedly initially stated that she and the victim had been in an ongoing verbal and physical altercation since the previous night (December 30). She described a long history of domestic violence in which her boyfriend repeatedly struck her and threatened her life. She said she had taken her gun from her purse after being shoved into closet doors and then pinned down on the bed. She reportedly told officers that she told the victim she would call the police if he didn’t leave the house. He refused to leave, and, according to Wilks, said he would kill her and her unborn children before police could arrive. She reportedly said she charged across the room at the victim, closed her eyes, and fired the gun at him. She said she fled the room without looking back and left the house with her children.

Officers reported that Wilks did not have any injuries consistent with her account of physical abuse, and there was no history of calls regarding domestic violence between the two.

The report notes that forensic evidence at the scene was inconsistent with Wilks’ story, including blood spatter and the location of the wound. There was a downward angle from the entrance wound to where the bullet was located at the base of the skull, which was not consistent with her story that the victim was standing and moving toward her. The angle is consistent with the victim kneeling or being below Wilks when he was shot.

In a second post-Miranda interview on February 1, Wilks reportedly changed her story multiple times from the first interview. For example, she reportedly told officers that when the victim saw her gun, he knelt down to pick up his phone, with his back to her. She said he began to turn toward her and said he would kill her, and then she shot him and fled the house. She admitted to being frustrated that the victim would not leave the house. However, she also reportedly denied knowing she had shot the victim and said she didn’t know why the forensic evidence did not match her story.

  • Apparently she didn’t want another New Years Eve kiss, with six kids already. Poor guy must have been very very desperate. Sad about the kids, too. ;-(

  • Unfortunate the children will suffer for years because of her actions.

    Sounds like the suffrage our great grandchildren will have to endure because of current liberal policies.

  • This will be an interesting trial, I think… Hopefully, the jury will be able to sort through the evidence that both sides present, and discern the truth…

    • Wow if he did that to her you wouldn’t want a dam trial .. u femenist are one sided and crazy hate all men he did nothing wrong to that evil bitch

  • If I was on the jury, I would find her innocent. It’s
    The system and law enforcements fault for not
    Getting the bum out of her house. There was no
    Place else for her to go for her because of the castle doctrine. She was cornered with no escape.
    It was self defense…it was an abusive relationship
    And the guy would still be alive if law enforcement
    Would have removed him from the house. The guy
    Should have left and he would still be alive. You
    Have to put yourself in her shoes…she couldn’t
    Take the abuse any longer.

  • She never said he told her not to leave , or that he forced her to stay! She was clearly upset and acted out of anger and unfortunately she doesn’t have a leg to stand on because she didn’t tell the truth initially! If there was no proof or reports of previous abuse, how dare you judge the guy. This is how women “get away with murder.” His back was turned and she fired the gun. In what way is it that you illiterate people consider that self defense ?

    • I agree. She clearly could leave, and had someplace to go, ie her parent’s house

    • On 12/31: “she called law enforcement about having
      Someone removed from HER residence”. Cops said
      She would have to evict him…common practice for
      Law enforcement to say. The guy could have left.
      Hope you never have a flopping abusive A-hole abuser in
      Your home that refuses to leave…you’ll understand then.
      The guy could have left. She’s in shock why the different
      Stories…it as intolerable.

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