New Hampshire authorities have charged John A. Brooks, 54, founder and former president of Poly Vac Inc., with first-degree murder in a 2005 beating death.
Along with three other men, Brooks also is accused of conspiring to kill the victim, Jack Reid Sr., 57, a trash hauler, handyman and several-time contestant on the television game show ``Powerball.''
In a Dec. 21 ruling, a judge in the Auburn, N.H., district court maintained a seal on police affidavits detailing the evidence. Judge David LeFrancois said the investigation remains in a pre-indictment stage and involves multiple witnesses and two crime scenes.
Police believe that Reid was killed around June 27, 2005, on a Deerfield, N.H., horse farm. His body was found July 5, 2005, in the bed of his dump truck, which was parked in Saugus, Mass.
Upon his November arrest, Brooks voluntarily returned to New Hampshire from his Las Vegas home. He was being held in the Strafford County jail in Dover, N.H.
Brooks was named the 1997 New Hampshire Small Business Person of the Year and, at that time, was being mentioned for high political office in the state.
Brooks established Poly Vac in 1985 to manufacture plastic orthopedic braces. He also had a private orthotics practice.
Separately, he experimented with polymers that could withstand temperatures for sterilizing reusable delivery trays holding surgical instruments for operating-room procedures. In 1989, he sold the orthotics practice, incorporated Poly Vac and focused on the tray business.
Poly Vac vacuum formed the trays and, in 1994, began injection molding them in longer runs, initially with five Nissei presses of 55-500 tons, using polyetheretherketone and polysulfone.
In 1996, Poly Vac constructed a Manchester, N.H., plant with 94,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 18,500 square feet of office space. Also in 1996, Poly Vac and surgical instrument maker Othy Inc. of Warsaw, Ind., decided to merge, with Brooks becoming chairman and executive vice president for business development for newly formed parent firm Othex Holding Inc. At that time, Poly Vac employed 170 and Othy 250.
Now, publicly traded implant-instrument case maker Symmetry Medical Inc. of Warsaw owns the business, including Poly Vac SA, a subsidiary that designs and assembles cases in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France. The Manchester operation continues to design and produce plastic and metal cases.