Prosecutors: Wisconsin parade suspect meant to hurt people

Oct 25, 2022, 2:18 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm
Darrell Brooks attempts to get the court's attention as he appears via video from an adjacent court...

Darrell Brooks attempts to get the court's attention as he appears via video from an adjacent courtroom due to his continuous interruptions of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow during his trial Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

(Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man accused of killing six people and injuring many others by driving an SUV into a Christmas parade last year clearly intended to kill people, prosecutors told jurors Tuesday.

Darrell Brooks faces 76 charges in connection with the mayhem last November in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He would face mandatory life in prison if convicted of any of the homicide counts.

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper focused on Brooks’ intent during her closing arguments as Brooks’ monthlong trial wound down. His failure to stop after hitting the first person in the parade shows he intended to kill people, she said.

“Just stop driving. That’s it. It’s really that simple. Not one person had to be hurt that day if he would have just stopped driving,” Opper said. “He plowed through 68 different people. Sixty-eight. How can you hit one and keep going? How can you hit two and keep going? How can you hit three and keep going? It didn’t faze him a bit. He kept going until he got to the end and there were no more bodies to hit.”

She concluded her remarks by playing a video of what she said was “the carnage” Brooks caused in the parade.

The livestream The Associated Press has been using to view the trial proceedings did not pan to the video, but Judge Jennifer Dorow appeared to wince at one point while viewing it, and Deputy District Attorney Lesli Boese appeared to choke back tears.

Brooks initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease but withdrew the plea in September without explanation. Just days before his trial began Oct. 3, he dismissed his public defenders and elected to represent himself.

He has spent every day of the trial arguing with Dorow, refusing to recognize his own name and insisting the state has no jurisdiction over him. Multiple times, the judge has had bailiffs move him to another courtroom where he could watch the proceedings via video but she could mute his microphone when he became disruptive.

The judge allowed him to give his closing arguments to the jury in person on Tuesday. He tried to argue that the SUV had been recalled due to a throttle malfunction. After Opper objected — a Wisconsin State Patrol vehicle inspector testified earlier in the trial that the vehicle was in good working order, including the brakes — he suggested the driver might have panicked. He noted that some witnesses testified they heard the SUV’s horn honking.

He didn’t quite acknowledge he was the driver but said that at night when he’s alone in his cell he often asks questions how “this” happened. But he has never asked himself if “this” was intentional because he knows it wasn’t. He didn’t explain what he was referring to with the word “this.”

“Throughout this year I’ve been called a lot of things,” Brooks said. “And to be fair I am a lot of things. A murderer is not one of them.”

“You need to look in the mirror, Mr. Brooks,” Opper said during her rebuttal. “Your actions are that of a murderer. “

Prosecutors allege Brooks got into a fight with his ex-girlfriend on the streets of Waukesha as the parade was starting Nov. 21, fled in his SUV and drove it into the parade. Opper told the jury that she doesn’t know why Brooks entered the parade other than he was enraged.

In addition to the homicide counts, he faces 61 counts of reckless endangerment. Each homicide count carries a mandatory life sentence. Each reckless endangerment count carries a maximum sentence of 17 1/2 years in prison.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Darrell Brooks attempts to get the court's attention as he appears via video from an adjacent courtroom due to his continuous interruptions of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow during his trial Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
            
              Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow addresses Darrell Brooks during his trial in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Waukesha, Wis. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
            
              Darrell Brooks appears on a video screen in an adjacent courtroom as he hides his face behind a Holy Bible after being removed from the court after repeated interruptions during his trial in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
            
              Darrell Brooks, appearing on video from an adjacent courtroom after being removed for being disruptive, sits behind his boxes of court documents as the court was reviewing jury instructions during his trial in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
            
              Darrell Brooks attempts to get the court's attention as he appears via video from an adjacent courtroom due to his continuous interruptions of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow during his trial Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
            
              Darrell Brooks appears via video from an adjacent courtroom due to his continuous interruptions during his trial in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Waukesha, Wis. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
            Darrll Brooks addresses the court during his trial in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Waukesha, Wis. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool) Darrell Brooks attempts to get the court's attention as he appears via video from an adjacent courtroom due to his continuous interruptions of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow during his trial in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Waukesha, Wis. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool) Zack Tremaine, the Waukesha County Circuit Court principal IT professional testifies as to the audio levels in the adjacent courtroom where Darrell Brooks was moved to due to his disruptive behavior where he claimed he wasn't able to hear the proceedings during his trial in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool) Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow addresses Darrell Brooks during his trial in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool) Darrell Brooks appears via video from an adjacent courtroom due to his continuous interruptions during his trial in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Brooks, who is representing himself during the trial, is charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

AP

Lauren Gilbert, a senior manager at the Center for Jewish History (CJH), participate in a global on...
Associated Press

Holocaust survivors offered DNA tests to help find family

NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, Jackie Young had been searching. Orphaned as an infant, he spent the first few years of his life in a Nazi internment camp in what is now the Czech Republic. After World War II he was taken to England, adopted and given a new name. As an adult, he […]
23 hours ago
John Kraft sits next to his yawning cat, Tux, at his hilltop farmhouse in Clear Lake, Wis., Wednesd...
Associated Press

No longer fringe, small-town voters fear democracy’s demise

HUDSON, Wis. (AP) — A word — “Hope” — is stitched onto a throw pillow in the little hilltop farmhouse. Photographs of children and grandchildren speckle the walls. In the kitchen, an envelope is decorated with a hand-drawn heart. “Happy Birthday, My Love,” it reads. Out front, past a pair of century-old cottonwoods, the neighbors’ […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, listens as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi o...
Associated Press

Congress prepares to take up bill preventing rail strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is moving swiftly to prevent a looming U.S. rail workers strike, reluctantly intervening in a labor dispute to stop what would surely be a devastating blow to the nation’s economy if the transportation of fuel, food and other critical goods were disrupted. The House was expected to act first on Wednesday […]
23 hours ago
FILE - A man protests outside the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors auditorium prior to the boar...
Associated Press

Election certification delays few, but a ‘test run’ for 2024

Before November, election officials prepared for the possibility that Republicans who embraced former President Donald Trump’s lies about voter fraud would challenge the verdict of voters by refusing to certify the results. Three weeks after the end of voting, such challenges are playing out in just two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania, where Democrats won the […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: November 30, birth of Winston Churchill

Today in History Today is Wednesday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2022. There are 31 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 30, 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris for ending the Revolutionary War; the Treaty of Paris was signed in September 1783. On […]
23 hours ago
A man prepares materials for a protest gathering at the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Tuesd...
Associated Press

China vows crackdown on ‘hostile forces’ as public tests Xi

BEIJING (AP) — China’s ruling Communist Party has vowed to “resolutely crack down on infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces,” following the largest street demonstrations in decades staged by citizens fed up with strict anti-virus restrictions. The statement from the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission released late Tuesday comes amid a massive show […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Prosecutors: Wisconsin parade suspect meant to hurt people