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Osakis murder suspect pleads guilty

Jeffrey Brooks

Six months after an Osakis woman was murdered, the suspect has pleaded guilty.

Jeffrey Allan Brooks, of Alexandria, entered a guilty plea on November 18 for the murder of Diane Fortenberry.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 480 months.

Brooks will be sentenced in January 2012.

On May 20, Fortenberry stopped home after lunch and reportedly interrupted a burglary at her home in rural Osakis.

Fortenberry, 51, was assaulted and she died from blunt force trauma injuries.

On May 27, Brooks was arrested in Alexandria.

Investigators discovered a fingerprint on a shopping bag that reportedly matched Brooks'. Blood matching Fortenberry's DNA was found on a pair of shoes in that shopping bag.

Brooks was scheduled for a court hearing on December 5.

Diane Fortenberry is survived by her husband, Mike, and two sons, Colter and Grayson, of Osakis.

Fortenberry grew up in Osakis and graduated from Alexandria Technical College with a sales and marketing degree. She moved to Mississippi in 1989 where she met her husband and started a family.

The Fortenberrys moved back to Osakis in 2007 after surviving Hurricane Katrina and a house fire. She worked as a dispatcher for Hensley Trucking of Osakis.