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Nicholas Brooks Strangled Girlfriend, Then Went for Drinks, DA Says

By DNAinfo Staff on December 11, 2010 7:08pm  | Updated on December 13, 2010 6:10am

By Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — Nicholas Brooks tried to kill Sylvie Cachay in a rage after the glamorous swimsuit fashion designer ended their relationship, prosecutors said Saturday.

The unemployed son of a disgraced composer then headed to the bar of the upscale SoHo hotel, drinking cocktails and shots as his victim's body lay slumped in a bathtub upstairs.

Looking exhausted, filthy and disheveled, Brooks, 24, hung his head and looked to be fighting tears as a prosecutor at his arraignment described "classic hallmarks of an intent to kill" found on Cachay's body.

They included bruises on her face, eyes, mouth and scalp.

"These injuries by their nature were neither self-inflicted or naturally caused," Assistant District Attorney Jordan Arnold said about the marks on Cachay.

Sylvie Cachay, 33, was found dead at SoHo House early Thursday.
Sylvie Cachay, 33, was found dead at SoHo House early Thursday.
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Brooks "tried to kill a young woman who absolutely had everything to live for," Arnold added.

Brooks was charged with attempted murder and strangulation and ordered held without bail. The Manhattan District Attorney expects to file more charges when results of Cachay's autopsy are known.

According to the DA, police found an apology note from Brooks in Cachay's purse when they searched the hotel room, apparently showing he wanted to patch things up.

"It's clear that he had not accepted that reality," said Arnold.

Cachay was found early Thursday by a manager at the exclusive club who entered the room because guests below reported water was leaking through the ceiling, according to the DA.

The employee discovered the faucet still running and the lifeless body of Cachay.

Brooks, a recent college graduate who is by all accounts an avid partier, was unshaven at Manhattan Criminal Court, dressed in a beige hooded sweatshirt and khakis.

Prosecutors said Cachay checked into Room 20 at about 12:30 a.m. on Thursday. They said surveillance footage shows Brooks was the only person other than an ice delivery person to enter before the body was discovered at 2:49 a.m.

Brooks allegedly left to have a shot and cocktails downstairs with a man he'd met earlier after choking Cachey. He was drinking until about 4 a.m. as authorities responded to the call that there was a corpse in a bathtub upstairs.

His attorney, Jeffrey Hoffman, also represents Brooks' dad, Joseph Brooks, a 72-year-old Grammy winning composer and songwriter who has an open sex abuse case involving 11 alleged victims.

The elder Brooks did not appear at his son's arraignment and is next scheduled to appear in court on his own charges on Dec. 21. 

Hoffman told DNAinfo that Nicholas Brooks was shocked when he was charged after about 16 hours in custody at the 6th Precinct.

"[Cachay's death] would not have to do with any wrong doing by [Brooks]," he said after a meeting with his client.

"The last time he was with Sylvie she was healthy and alive."

Hoffman suggested Cachay habitually took prescription pills and could have been high on drugs that night.

"I believe it will be determined that she used a significant amount of prescription drugs, in general and probably that night," he said.

Brooks is next scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. It is unclear whether he'll testify in his own defense before a grand jury this week.