Last month, a St. Louis-area teacher accused of raping a 14-year-old student was found dead in his jail cell the day before his bond hearing.
Brandon Holbrook, 30, a substitute teacher at Bernard Middle School in Mehlville, was being held in the St. Louis County Jail on charges of statutory rape and sodomy when he was found unresponsive on Monday, September 26. He was later pronounced dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. No signs of trauma were found, officials said.
Holbrook’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, called for a thorough investigation into his death, telling the Riverfront Times that there was no indication that Holbrook was suicidal.
According to police, Holbrook first met the girl last spring while substitute teaching at Bernard Middle School. Police said he groomed the victim through social media, exchanging direct messages and pictures. He then raped the girl at her home on three different occasions, later threatening her to stay silent.
He was charged with three counts of statutory rape and six counts of statutory sodomy. After his arrest, two other girls came forward with similar accusations against Holbrook.
Holbrook entered the St. Louis County Jail about ten days before his death but was still in a cell by himself due to COVID quarantine procedures for newly arrived inmates.
Scott Rosenblum said Holbrook was scheduled to have a bond hearing on September 27 in which he was “completely optimistic” that his client would have been released to await his trial.
When he was found unresponsive in his cell, jail officials attempted to revive him with CPR. Suspecting that he may have overdosed on drugs, officials administered Narcan as well.
According to the spokesman for St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, there is no indication that Holbrook committed suicide and there were no objects in the cell Holbrook could have used to injure himself.
An autopsy was being conducted, however, no details have been released as yet.