Wednesday was sentencing day for a Warren man charged with abuse and neglect of his morbidly obese wife. The judge ruled he would get another chance.
Michael Brooks, 38, stood quietly beside his attorney inside Macomb County Circuit Court while waiting his fate.
"To incarcerate this individual would not make any sense whatsoever," said Judge Peter Maceroni.
With those words and a signature, the father of four was sentenced to two years probation, a mental health evaluation and random drug testing.
"We're overjoyed, and really the ultimate answer for this was parenting classes, getting back to seeing his kids. That's been Michael's goal since the day he was arrested," said Brooks' attorney, David Draper.
Brooks' children were taken away after firefighters and EMS, dressed in full hazmat gear, had to extract his wife Yolanda from their Warren apartment in October. The nearly 400-pound woman was covered in bed sores and her own waste. She died days later in a hospital.
The judge felt prison was not the answer.
"No incarceration, which I think is the right answer for this issue. He needs help," said Draper.
While Brooks has been given the chance to rebuild his life, his wife's life was lost in a disturbing death that has shattered the family.
"It's a tragedy, and the four kids don't have their mom, and that's a terrible thing," said Draper.
As a part of Brooks' sentencing his four children are living with his sister. Brooks is living with a relative.