December 6, 2022


A decide sentenced a person who killed six individuals and injured many extra as he drove his SUV by way of a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee to life in jail with no likelihood of launch on Wednesday, dismissing his and his household’s arguments about what made him do it. psychological sickness. It.

Wokesha County District Decide Jennifer Dorough sentenced 40-year-old Darrell Brooks Jr. on 76 counts, together with six counts of first-degree homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment.

Every homicide carried a compulsory life sentence, and the one uncertainty Wednesday was whether or not Dorough Brooks can be allowed to serve any a part of these sentences beneath prolonged neighborhood supervision, which is the state’s present model of parole. She does not. Wisconsin doesn’t have the dying penalty.

The gallery applauded when Dorough introduced a life sentence. Moments later, she sentenced him to 762 years in jail on expenses of endangerment.

“Actually, Mr. Brooks, nobody is secure from you,” Dorough mentioned. “This neighborhood can solely be secure in the event you keep behind bars for the remainder of your life. … You left a path of destruction, chaos, dying, damage and panic by driving seven or so blocks by way of the Christmas parade.”

Dorough ordered the bailiffs to maneuver Brooks to a different courtroom the place he may take part by way of video after he turned disruptive throughout her pre-sentencing remarks. He stood immobile in his jail garments and handcuffs whereas the decide learn out the verdicts.

Brooks’ victims demanded throughout Tuesday’s listening to that Dorough give him the harshest doable sentence. Chris Owens, whose mom was amongst these killed, informed Brooks, “All I ask is that you simply rot, and decay slowly.”

Brooks drove his crimson Ford Escape by way of a parade in downtown Waukesha on November 21, 2021, after he bought right into a struggle together with his ex-girlfriend. Six individuals have been killed, together with 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was marching together with his baseball staff, and three members of a gaggle often known as the Dancing Grannies. Dozens of others have been wounded.

On Wednesday, earlier than the decide handed down her verdict, Brooks informed the court docket that he had suffered from a psychological sickness since his youth and didn’t plan to journey to the parade route. He additionally provided his first apologies to the handfuls of people that have been harm or misplaced family members through the incident.

Brooks, representing himself on the trial, informed Dorough in a rambling speech over the previous two hours that he grew up with no father, poor and hungry in tenements infested with rats and bugs. Brooks has mentioned that he has handled psychological well being points for so long as he can bear in mind and that he has been bodily abused, though he didn’t say by whom. In line with him, at instances he took remedy and was briefly handled in psychiatric hospitals, after which life was higher.

“Individuals will, like I mentioned, imagine what they need, and that is okay. This must be mentioned: what occurred on November 21, 2021 was not, no, not an assault. It was not deliberate, deliberate,” Brooks mentioned, including later: “It was not a deliberate act. Irrespective of what number of instances you say it again and again, it is not.”

Brooks additionally issued his first apology to the victims and their households.

“I would like you to know that not solely am I sorry for what occurred, I am sorry that you simply could not see what’s actually in my coronary heart,” he mentioned. “That you just don’t see my regret.

However Brooks did not clarify his motives or supply every other perception into what he was considering when he turned the SUV right into a parade. When Dorough requested him what sentence he thought he ought to obtain, he did not reply immediately, however mentioned, “I simply need assist.”

Brooks’ mom and grandmother tried to persuade Dorough to commit Brooks to a psychiatric hospital reasonably than jail. His grandmother, Mary Edwards, mentioned that Brooks had been affected by bipolar dysfunction because the age of 12, and this dysfunction triggered him to take part within the parade. His mom, Daybreak Woods, pushed Dorough to have Brooks obtain therapy in jail.

“In the event that they need to keep away from society for the remainder of their lives, a minimum of they get the assistance they should turn into mentally wholesome,” Woods mentioned.

Brooks appeared to cry when his mom spoke.

Previous to sentencing, Dorough mentioned she didn’t imagine Brooks was mentally ailing, noting that 4 psychologists who evaluated him earlier this 12 months discovered that he suffered from delinquent character dysfunction however not psychological sickness.

“I imagine that psychological well being points didn’t make him do what he did on November 21, 2021 and, frankly, didn’t play a task,” the decide mentioned on Wednesday. “It’s fairly clear to me that he understands the distinction between proper and fallacious and simply chooses to disregard his conscience. It feeds on anger and rage.”

Dorough spent most of Tuesday listening to dozens of victims demanding that Brooks get the utmost doable sentence. One after the other, they described the frantic seek for their youngsters within the instant aftermath, the ache their youngsters went by way of whereas they have been nonetheless attempting to recuperate from their traumas, and the vacancy they felt whereas dealing with the lack of their useless family members.

District Lawyer Susan Opper on Tuesday requested Dorough to make the sentences sequential in order that they add up “identical to he added up the victims when he was driving down the highway,” with no chance of launch beneath prolonged supervision.

Brooks selected to symbolize himself throughout his month-long trial, which was marked by his erratic outbursts. He refused to reply to his title, incessantly interrupted Dorough, and sometimes refused to close up. On a number of events, the decide ordered bailiffs to maneuver Brooks to a different courtroom the place he may take part by way of video, however she may flip off his microphone when he interfered, as she did on Wednesday.


Richmond reported from Madison, Wisconsin.

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