A jury found Darrell Brooks guilty on six counts of intentional homicide and 70 other charges related to an attack on a Christmas parade near Milwaukee, Wisconsin last year. Brooks was accused of deliberately driving his sport utility vehicle through police barricades and into the crowds at the parade. Prosecutors said Brooks was fleeing a domestic disturbance with his ex-girlfriend at the time.
In addition to killing six, the attack injured dozens of others. With the guilty verdict, Brooks faces life in prison on each homicide count related to the Wisconsin Christmas parade attack at sentencing.
“It was a brief moment of relief,” Laurie Hogeland, a friend of some of the parade victims, told reporters outside the courthouse after the verdict. “But, then all the pain comes back. The pain comes back.”
Brooks represented himself at the three-week trial. On numerous occasions, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow admonished Brooks for failing to follow court rules.
“He doesn’t like it because the evidence is stacking up and stacking up,” Waukesha District Attorney Sue Opper said last week. “His response is to accuse you, the court or the prosecutors of being unethical in hiding things.”
During his closing argument on Monday, Brooks told the jury that he had no intention of hurting anyone. He said he sounded the vehicle’s horn as he drove through the crowd, attempting to warn people to get out of the way.
“I would just like to first say that I want to bring to remembrance something I think everyone in this room has been taught pretty much as far back as we can remember, is that there’s always two sides to every story,” Brooks said last week. “And for so long now, roughly a year, there’s only truly been one side told of this story.”
“When you ride through a parade route and roll over children … your intent is known, Mr. Brooks,” Opper said during closing arguments.