Brooke Preston was 21 years old when fa*tally st*abbed by her roommate, Randy Herman, Jr., in 2017. When questioned, Herman claimed he had been sleepwalking when he s*tabbed Brooke.
Brooke and Randy were childhood friends who shared a home in Florida together for some time. After moving out to relocate to Buffalo, New York, with her boyfriend, Brooke returned to the Florida home to pick up her belongings.
It was the evening of March 25, 2017, when Randy at*tacked and b*rutally st*abbed Brooke 25 times. Afterward, he hid Brooke’s lif*eless body under a blanket.
“I Was Sleepwalking”
Herman called the police to report the incident and readily admitted he had s*tabbed Brooke. He later changed his story, claiming he st*abbed Brooke during a sleepwalking incident and had no recollection of the events.
Originally from Wyalusing, PA, Brooke relocated to Florida with her sister to attend the State College of Florida. Another friend already resided in the home. Herman Jr. moved to West Palm Beach around the same time, and the friends roomed together. All was well with the living arrangement for several months.
When Brooke graduated with her Associate’s degree, she landed a job in Buffalo. She planned to relocate to New York with her boyfriend the day after she was mu*rdered.
The night before her mu*rder, Brooke had sat down with her sister and the second roommate to discuss Herman’s odd behavior that day. She left the house because she felt so uncomfortable. When she returned the next evening, Herman ki*lled her.
Around 9 p.m. on the night of the mu*rder, Herman drove to a park near the home and called 911. He tearfully confessed to ki*lling Brooke, telling the operator, “Someone’s been mu*rdered…Just send the police. It was me. I’m sorry.”
A Bl-oody Scene
Police found Herman covered in b*lood and Brooke’s body under the blanket. She suffered numerous kn*ife wounds to her abdomen, throat, and back, and defensive injuries to the left hand. Herman was charged with m*urder.
Herman told detectives he gave Brooke a shirt, told her goodbye, and went back to sleep. He claimed he had no memory of ki*lling Brooke until he found himself standing with a knife in his hand over her body. He claimed he called 911 and confessed to mu*rdering Brooke since he was the only person inside the home.
Herman’s lawyers claimed their client had been sleepwalking when he sta*bbed Brooke and was unaware of his actions. They asserted Herman was not g*uilty by reason of insanity.
Forensic experts testified that the crime had been se*xually motivated, citing the allegations made by Brooke’s friends that Herman made her uncomfortable the night before he m*urdered her by jumping out of a closet na*ked.
Aside from this alle*gation, police were stumped for explanations for the m*urder. Herman did not have a history of viol*ence and there had never been any issues between the friends before this incident.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Wade C. Myers testified that Herman could not have sleepwalked through such an act of violence. Prosecutors asserted that Herman c*onsciously and intentionally mu*rdered Brooke.
In the end, jurors did not buy the sleepwalking story. They found Herman guilty of first-degree m*urder in May 2019. He is serving life in p*rison at Hardee Correctional Facility in Bowling Green, Florida