Nicholas Brooks Pleads Not Guilty To Sylvie Cachay Murder Charge

01/04/2011 04:00 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT -- The hard-partying Manhattan man accused of strangling and drowning fashion designer Sylvie Cachay admitted to police that he gave her the drugs that rendered her incapacitated, according to court documents unsealed at his Supreme Court arraignment Tuesday.

Nicholas Brooks, 24, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges Tuesday. Cachay's half-dressed body was found submerged in a bathtub at the SoHo House private club in the Meatpacking District on Dec. 9.

Brooks told detectives at the 6th Precinct, where he was taken after his arrest, that Cachay was too "pilled out" to get up the stairs at SoHo House without assistance, and to sign-in at the front desk of the members-only hotel, according court documents.

In a separate handwritten statement, Brooks recounted their last day together.

It began with brunch at a Cafe Cluny on West 12th Street and ended in a feud over his penchant for hiring escorts, Brooks said in the statement.

In his comments to police, Brooks said that he and Cachay had fought and that he penned a note to apologize, but said the fight "was not a big deal," according to the police transcript.

Brooks said Cachay wanted to take a bath to wash off the remnants of a fire in her apartment earlier, but he had left the room by the time she got in the tub.

Cachay's hair had caught on fire when lit candles set the headboard of her bed on fire, according to Brooks' account.

"When we got in, she said she wanted to take a bath to get all the feathers out of her hair," Brooks wrote, explaining he had to tamp out the fire with a pillow.

"I said ok, wasn't really listening," he added in his handwritten statement.

A grand jury indicted Brooks on second-degree murder charges last week, after he was initially charged with attempted murder and strangulation.

He showed up for his court appearance Tuesday wearing khakis with a light blue shirt and tie. At his Dec. 11 arraignment, Brooks appeared disheveled and had a scraggly beard.

Brooks, the son of a famous composer, faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted. He's being held without bail, but said he could pull money from his trust fund to spring himself.

"Will I get bail? I have money in a trust fund, but have to get the money in person," he said in a police vehicle taking him to his arraignment last month, court documents said.

"I'm Jewish and I'm worried about getting beat up by white supremacists," he added. "I watch the show Oz; I've seen what happens in jail."

Brooks is the son of disgraced "You Light Up My Life" composer Joseph Brooks, who's facing sexual assault and rape charges.

Authorities believe Nicholas Brooks choked an intoxicated and barely-conscious Cachay as he held her underwater in the bathtub at about 2:15 a.m. on Dec. 9, sources said.

Cachay had so much Xanax in her system she was unable to fight back, sources told DNAinfo. The results of the toxicology reports have not been officially released.

Videotaped evidence shows Brooks and Cachay were the only ones to enter and exit the suite on the night of her murder, prosecutors said.

Brooks' attorney, Jeffrey Hoffman, said his client is "devastated" by Cachay's death and would not comment on the prosecutors' accusations.

"They had a very intense and caring relationship and it's something that he's very sad over," Hoffman said.

But a lawyer for Cachay's family insisted that she was brutally killed by a heinous murderer, as evidenced by Brooks' alleged behavior.

"To read that this person left the room after he killed somebody and went to dinner and had drinks is just mind-boggling and it just shows you the cold-bloodedness of this murder," Karten said.

Cachay's half-brother, Patrick Orlando said it was "disgusting" to see the "cowardly" Brooks in court.

"I think he has no respect for neither the law, nor human rights, nor my sister, nor the family," Orlando said.

Brooks is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 8.

Read more at DNAinfo

Suggest a correction