Darrell Brooks: Jury wins trial for man accused of killing six at Waukesha Christmas parade



CNN

A jury returned a verdict Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of Darrell Brooks, the man accused of walking into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last November, killing six and injuring dozens.

The verdict will be read in court soon.

Brooks, 40, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree murder with a dangerous weapon and more than 60 counts of first-degree criminal endangerment.

Prosecutors said in closing arguments on Tuesday that he deliberately drove through the crowd at high speed and hit 68 individual marchers, turning the joyous evening into a nightmare.

“He reached a speed of about 30 mph. That’s on purpose. He worked with 68 different people. 68. How can you hit one and move on? How can you double click and move on?” Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper said.

“I have to prove his intent, and I submit without a doubt that there is overwhelming evidence of Darrell Brooks’ deliberate actions and complete disregard for human life.”

In his closing arguments, Brooks tried to raise questions about the vehicle and its intent. He repeatedly said there were “misconceptions” and “lies” about him during the trial.

“I’ve never heard of someone intentionally trying to hurt themselves while trying to blow the horn to alert people to their presence,” Brooks said.

The jury members deliberated for just under two hours on Tuesday night.

The trial comes less than a year after a red SUV plowed into the crowd at Waukesha’s Christmas parade on Nov. 21, killing an 8-year-old boy and several members of the Dancing Grannies.

Brooks had been released from jail less than two weeks earlier in a domestic abuse case on $1,000 bail that prosecutors later acknowledged was “inappropriately low.” In that case, he captured a woman who allegedly claimed to be the mother of his children, according to court documents.

His trial has been marked by unusual decisions to represent himself in court and constant interruptions and strange behavior. During the trial, he has talked about the prosecutor and the judge, asked vague questions, challenged the court’s jurisdiction and stated that “Darrell Brooks” is not his name.

Judge Jennifer Dorow has repeatedly removed Brooks from the courtroom for his outbursts and placed him in a nearby courtroom, where he is mostly silenced to communicate through a monitor and microphone.

On Tuesday, after he was removed for the prosecution’s closing arguments due to interruptions, he called it a “stubborn defiance”.

“He continues to respect the fact that the verdict was given, and he wants to argue the points that this court has already gone over and reverse and reverse,” he said.

Brooks previously pleaded guilty by reason of insanity, but his public defenders withdrew the insanity plea in September. The attorneys later filed a motion to withdraw from the case, and the judge allowed Brooks to represent himself at trial.

Opper, the prosecutor, told jurors not to be swayed by Brooks’ behavior during the trial in their deliberations.

“You don’t, don’t, don’t have to consider anything about Darrell Brooks’ behavior in downtown Waukesha on the evening of November 21, 2021,” Opper told the jury. “He hasn’t done anything before that, since then. When you return to that deliberation room, please obey Judge Dorow. Move your comments to his behavior on November 21.’