Waukesha parade suspect to face trial for murder

Darrell Brooks faces more than 70 charges and is accused of killing six and injuring dozens in December

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A Wisconsin man will stand trial for murder after he allegedly ploughed through a Christmas parade in December that killed six and injured dozens of others, a court commissioner determined on Friday.

Darrell Brooks faces 77 charges in total, including six counts of homicide, multiple counts of reckless endangerment and more. He would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted of even one charge of homicide.

District Attorney Susan Opper called just one witness, police detective Thomas Casey. He testified that he and other officers yelled at Mr Brooks to stop as he drove an SUV through the parade in downtown Waukesha on November 21.

He described how the vehicle zig-zagged across the street for blocks, smashing into marchers from behind and running them over. He said Mr Brooks injured 61 people, including the six people he killed.

Darrell Brooks is accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more when he drove an SUV through a suburban Christmas parade must stand trial, a court commissioner ordered. AP

Mr Brooks’ attorney, public defender Anna Kees, argued he was high during the incident, noting that officers who arrested him noticed he smelled of marijuana and his eyes were red and glassy.

She maintained that he couldn’t turn off the parade route because the side streets were barricaded and full of spectators. She noted, too, that he told detectives that he didn’t mean to kill anyone and couldn’t bring himself to look when detectives showed him photos of the carnage.

Ms Opper countered that all Mr Brooks had to do was stop the vehicle and even if he was high on marijuana he still committed multiple crimes.

Mr Brooks sat quietly at the defence table in a red jail jumpsuit and surgical mask. He will appear for an arraignment on February 11 where he will enter a plea. He remains jailed on a $5 million cash bond.

Any possible motives remain unclear.

Updated: January 15, 2022, 5:03 AM
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