Judge allows Waukesha Parade ‘killer’ Darrell Brooks, 40, to represent HIMSELF at murder trial as he’s willing to kill six and injure dozens more
- Brooks was charged after driving his SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade on November 21, 2021.
- Judge Jennifer Dorow ruled that Brooks could represent himself in the trial that is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection.
- It has been found that while he suffers from a personality disorder and could face challenges against an experienced prosecutorial team, he is mentally fit.
- Judge Dorow’s decision leaves Brooks in the unusual position of defending himself against twenty counts, including six counts of intentional homicide.
A judge has allowed a Wisconsin man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more while allegedly driving his SUV through a Christmas parade to represent himself at trial.
Darrell Brooks, 40, was found to suffer from a personality disorder and while he might face an uphill battle against an experienced team of prosecutors, he is mentally fit.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow’s decision leaves Brooks in the unusual position of defending himself against twenty counts, including six counts of intentional homicide.
His trial is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection.
The 40-year-old man has a high school equivalency diploma but did not attend college. Dorow said that he has a constitutional right to act as his own attorney if he is mentally competent.
Dorow said he reviewed four psychologists’ evaluations of Brooks and agreed with their findings that while he has a personality disorder and is disruptive, he is intelligent and eloquent enough to defend himself.
A judge has allowed a Wisconsin man, Darrell Brooks, accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more while driving his truck through a Christmas parade, to represent himself at trial.
Judge Jennifer Dorow (right) decided that Brooks (left) could represent himself in the trial that is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection.
It has been found that while he suffers from a personality disorder and could face challenges against an experienced prosecutorial team, he is mentally fit to represent himself.
Judge Dorow’s decision leaves Brooks in the unusual position of defending himself against twenty counts, including six counts of intentional homicide.
She warned him that he’ll have trouble understanding the rules of evidence, when to challenge rulings, and how to cross-examine witnesses without any training, but she can’t stand in his way.
“This court has warned Mr. Brooks what he is getting himself into,” Dorow said.
According to prosecutors and investigators, Brooks drove his SUV during a Christmas parade in downtown Waukesha on November 21, 2021.
He allegedly refused orders to stop and kept driving, running over people, even as police officers fired on his vehicle, according to a criminal complaint.
He would face life in prison if convicted of any of the murder charges.
He faces an additional 71 charges, including 61 felony counts of reckless endangerment. Each of those charges carries a maximum sentence of 12 1/2 years in prison.
Brooks was charged after driving his SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade (pictured) on Nov. 21, 2021
Those charges also carry a penalty increase for use of a dangerous weapon, which would add another five years to each count.
He initially pleaded not guilty on the grounds of mental illness, but withdrew that plea earlier this month and filed a motion seeking to represent himself.
He told Dorow in court Tuesday that his public defenders, Jeremy Perri and Anna Kees, have not explained the nature of the charges to him.
Dorow repeatedly asked him if he understood what he was doing, to which Brooks insisted that he was aware but did not understand.
Dorow was so frustrated with him that she called off the hearing and continued it on Wednesday.
Their exchanges were just as combative on Wednesday, with Brooks constantly interrupting Dorow as he tried to explain the ramifications of his decision again, warning him that he probably won’t assign a lawyer to the case if he asks for one as the trial progresses.
The judge warned him that if he continues to interrupt during the trial, she will reprimand him in front of the jury.
“Okay,” Brooks replied.
What it looked like when Brooks drove his SUV into a crowd of people at the Christmas parade
Candles are lit at a memorial in Veterans Park for the victims of a deadly accident at a Christmas parade in Waukesha on November 23, 2021.
The six fatalities of the Waukesha Christmas Parade killer
Darrell Brooks, 40, faces 61 counts of recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon for each person injured in the Nov. 21 incident, along with six counts of manslaughter, according to court records filed Wednesday. .
He is accused of pushing his way through the crowd at the Nov. 21 parade, killing six and wounding a dozen more.
The fatal victims were Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, Wilhelm Hospel, 81, and Jackson Sparks, 8.
Four of the five people who died were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
Brooks’ motive remains unknown.
Jane Kulich was a Citizen Bank employee who was walking with a parade float before she was fatally struck. The sixth victim of the tragedy was 8-year-old Jackson Sparks.
Tamara Durand (left), 52, and Leana ‘Lee’ Owen (right), 71, were two members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
Virginia Sorenson (left), 79, was a nurse and a member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a group of elderly women who marched in the parade. Wilhelm Hospel (right), 82, husband of one of the grandmothers, died of internal bleeding