Man accused of driving car into Waukesha Christmas parade gives tearful closing arguments


Brooks has been representing himself in this roughly three-week trial. She tearfully asked jurors during the 50-minute closing argument to consider whether the car might have malfunctioned in the incident last November and the effect the trial — along with negative press — has had on her family.

“What if the vehicle couldn’t stop because of a breakdown? What if the driver of the vehicle couldn’t stop the vehicle? Therefore, what if the driver panicked? Does that make the driver angry and intent on killing people?” Brooks asked, saying he remembered the vehicle he was driving that day. Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow expunged those comments from the record.

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

The defendant repeatedly complained that there were “misconceptions” and “lies” about him during the trial. After saying that his conscience was clear and that he had made peace with God, Brooks spent much of the final 10 minutes of the finale telling the jury repeatedly to be at peace with his verdict and have no regrets.

“Whatever you decide, make sure you can live with it yourself. That’s the magnitude of the power you have,” Brooks said. “Be calm with what you decide.”

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper dismissed Brooks’ claims, saying she wants jurors to care about his family when other families involved in this tragedy may never see their loved ones again.

“There are 68 victims in this case, folks. That’s not an accident,” Opper said.

Although Brooks claims he did not intentionally run over people with an SUV, Opper repeatedly told the jury there is overwhelming evidence showing Brooks was aware of his actions as he drove his SUV through a crowd of hundreds of people.

“He hit about 30 mph. That’s intentional. He ran over 68 different people, 68. How can you hit one and keep going? How can you hit two and keep going?” Opper asked.

Opper also told jurors not to let Brooks’ demeanor distract them from their deliberations during the trial.

“You have no consideration of Darrell Brooks other than his conduct on the evening of November 21, 2021 in downtown Waukesha,” Opper told the jury. “There was nothing he did before that, nothing he hasn’t done since. When you return to that deliberation room, please obey Judge Dorow. Move your comments to his conduct on November 21st.”

Accused Waukesha Christmas parade killer questions victims as he defends himself at trial
Jurors will now decide whether to convict Brooks. He pleaded not guilty to more than 70 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but his public defenders withdrew the insanity charge in September. The attorneys later filed a motion to withdraw from the case, and the judge allowed Brooks to represent himself at trial.
Brooks’ unusual decision to represent himself in court and his constant bouts of strange behavior caused constant disruptions throughout the trial. He has talked over the prosecutors and the judge, asked vague questions, challenged the jurisdiction of the court and stated that “Darrell Brooks” is not his name.

Judge 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.

CNN’s Eric Levenson contributed to this report.