Darrell Brooks, the 40-year-old Milwaukee man accused of plowing a Ford Escape SUV through a Christmas parade in nearby Waukesha last year, has been found guilty of six intentional first-degree homicide counts and dozens of other charges – Wisconsin’s equivalent of murder – in a trial over the deaths of six and injuries to dozens more.
Brooks made several objections over “subject matter jurisdiction” before the jury returned. Judge Jennifer Dorow invited the jurors back. Brooks made a series of requests for documents, Dorow said they were noted and denied.
The decision came after a 23-day trial which saw the defendant, who was representing himself, ejected from the courtroom multiple times for disruptive behavior.
He attacked the credibility of witnesses on the stand, raised frivolous objections and at one point went on a 50-minut rant asserting that the court had a conflict of interest, and he had not been able to “face his accuser.”
The paradegoers who Brooks killed on Nov. 21, 2021 were Jackson Sparks, 8, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, LeAnna Owen, 71, Virginia Sorenson, 79, and Wilhelm, 81.
“Burn in hell you piece of s—,” someone yelled from the gallery before Dorow got to the jury’s decision on the third murder charge. The judge ordered him out of the room.
Jurors entered deliberations Tuesday evening and requested several exhibits: the map that lays out the location of victims and police officers were during the attack, a picture of Erika Patterson, Brooks’ ex-girlfriend, and surveillance video which shows members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies members hit with the SUV in the attack.
Brooks, in his closing, asked the jury to disagree and let him off the hook.
“One thing that I believe that you have not been privy to is the truth of your rights and your duties being the jury,” he said. “The fact that you and you alone, have the power, not well-prepared DAs with well-prepared and clearly rehearsed speeches, exhibits, a lot of theatrics. Frankly, not the judge. You and you alone have the power. You and you alone decide what is truth and what isn’t truth.”
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