Brooks Found Guilty in Wisconsin Parade Massacre Trial
Darrell Brooks drove a car into a Christmas parade last year.
Six people died and more than 60 suffered injuries.
Brooks represented himself at his trial.
The jury took roughly three hours to convict.
(NewsReady.com) – Families in Waukesha, Wisconsin, got together for the town’s annual Christmas parade in November 2021. The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were dancing their way down the road on the brisk fall morning. Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks was marching with his baseball team. Suddenly, a vehicle ran through barricades set up by police, killing multiple people.
Police arrested the driver of the vehicle, Darrell Brooks, and charged him with six counts of murder. Almost a year after the accident, he was found guilty.
Brooks killed six people that day. Sparks — the 8-year-old baseball player — and three of the Dancing Grannies — Tamara Durand, LeAnna Owen, and Virginia Sorenson — lost their lives. So did two other innocent people: Wilhelm Hospel and Jane Kulich.
Police accused Brooks of intentionally hitting people. After ramming the barricades, he didn’t slow down and zig-zagged in an attempt to hit as many people as possible.
After the crime was committed, Brooks left his SUV on the road and walked away from the scene. He knocked on Daniel Rider’s door and was let into his home. Rider told CBS News later that he made the killer a sandwich and let him sit on his sofa while he waited for an Uber. He said, “[Brooks] was so polite. He was nice to me.”
Police arrested Brooks after Rider asked him to leave.
Brooks’ trial could be summed up in one word: wild.
The defendant originally pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to more than 70 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He withdrew that plea without any explanation just days before the trial was set to start and fired his attorneys. The defendant opted to represent himself instead, at some points declaring he was a “sovereign citizen,” meaning he didn’t think the state could try him.
Throughout the trial, Brooks clashed with Judge Jennifer R. Dorow. At one point, he stripped his clothes off and began ranting. The judge kicked him out of the courtroom multiple times. She even put him in another room, so he had to attend the hearing virtually, which allowed her to mute his mic when he became belligerent. In the end, the jury deliberated for a short period of time before finding him guilty of all charges. He faces an automatic life sentence for each of the murder charges.
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