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Shadow of man in door with knife besides his leg
The Tragic Murder Of Brooke Preston Explained
History - Science
In 2017, 21-year-old Brooke Preston was stabbed to death by her roommate and childhood friend, Randy Herman Jr., in their West Palm Beach, Florida home. Herman called 911 and confessed to the killing, but adopted a defense saying he murdered Preston while sleepwalking.
According to Herman, Preston was visiting him to pick up some leftover belongings and attend a goodbye party before moving to her boyfriend’s house in New York. Herman was badly hung over the next morning and remembered helping Preston pack one last item before falling asleep; the next thing he knew, he was standing over her body with a knife in his hand.
Although uncommon, sleepwalking murders do happen and can be defined by three criteria: an attacker with a history of sleepwalking, no apparent motive, and a victim that was well-loved by the attacker. Herman’s case seemed to fit most of these standards, with his mother telling detectives that he had significant sleepwalking episodes.
In 2019, a jury rejected Herman’s sleepwalking defense, agreeing with the prosecutors that he would have woken up while stabbing Preston. Herman, now serving a life sentence, is still trying to process everything that has happened, writing in a letter to the Miami Times that he is “beyond sorry” but partially feels that he deserves “a second chance in life.”