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OSBI has completed investigation in Serenity Deal case

Prosecutor plans to study Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation report into death of Serenity Deal and look for any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of state Department of Human Services workers.
by Nolan Clay Published: March 11, 2012

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has delivered to a prosecutor a 1,046-page report on the Serenity Deal case.

“They were very thorough,” Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon said.

Serenity was the 5-year-old girl who was murdered by her father after DHS workers agreed she could live with him at his Oklahoma City apartment. She had been in foster care.

The district attorney in August asked the OSBI to look into the events leading up to Serenity's death June 4.

“The focus of the investigation will be on the actions and inactions of all parties involved in the custody and placement of Serenity Deal prior to her death,” he wrote the OSBI.

He specifically asked the OSBI to look at events that happened and decisions that were made while the girl was in DHS custody, “and what, if any, criminal violations may have occurred.”

Smothermon told The Oklahoman the OSBI on Tuesday delivered the report and two boxes of information. He said he now will review the materials.

“I will look for any evidence of any criminal wrongdoing on the part of DHS workers,” the district attorney said.

Serenity died less than a month after she began living with her father full time at the recommendation of DHS workers.

The girl was placed with her father, Sean Devon Brooks, even though she was injured twice in January 2011 during overnight visits with him. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services got involved in the girl's care because her mother had been accused of molesting a boy.

Brooks had not known he was Serenity's father until she was about 3, records show.

Brooks, 32, pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. He admitted in his plea that he beat her in the head.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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