Darrell Brooks should have been the top story across the news networks over the last few months as his case has pressed on. Unfortunately, a black man plowing through a crowd of people at a Christmas parade with no guns or dead cops doesn’t interest the mainstream media. So his story quickly faded from the headlines.
Brooks was facing 76 total charges for his 2021 Christmas parade attack, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide with the use of a dangerous weapon. Originally when the trial began back in June, Brooks attempted to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but his public defenders withdrew it in September. Not long after, they then removed themselves from the case, with Judge Jennifer Dorow allowing him to present himself.
Following their discharge of duties, Brooks became a menace to the court. Becoming increasingly belligerent and unruly during the trial, Brooks found himself isolated in a separate room at times. While there he could monitor his trial via a TV screen, and unless it was his turn to speak it remained muted. Even on his sentencing day, he found himself in the room twice for trying to speak over the judge as she demanded he stops.
The WI attorneys successfully proved that Brooks not only made the decision to use a vehicle for this mass murder but that he was in a proper state of mind when he chose to plow through the parade attendees in Waukesha, WI in November of 2021. Rightfully so, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper requested back-to-back sentences, saying that Brooks has an extensive criminal history and there was nothing to mitigate that sentence.
In addition to the six homicide charges, Brooks faced 61 counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon. Plus, six counts of hit-and-run causing death, two counts of bail jumping, and one count of misdemeanor battery.
Proving what Brooks did was not very difficult for prosecutors. There were hundreds of eyewitnesses if not thousands. Then there were plenty of people taking video of the parade when he plowed through, or people who stayed filming him when the attack started, and for two days many of those witnesses as well as family members who weren’t there were sharing their impact statements. Their words reached out and touched the hearts of people across the courtrooms.
For his part, Brooks spoke for two hours trying to explain himself but just rambled more than anything. Meanwhile, DA Opper laid it all out for the judge.
“He deserves the absolute maximum sentence on all counts, consecutive. You saw the videos. This wasn’t him plowing into one large group of fifty people at one time and hitting them. It was linear. He hit one, kept going. Hit two, kept going. Hit three, kept going. All the way down the street. That’s consecutive sentences, your honor. That’s intentional, willful, volitional conduct that warrants consecutive sentences stacked one on top of the other just as he stacked victims up as he drove down the road in complete disregard for any other person whatsoever.”
Brooks doomed himself with this decision and destroyed countless lives in the process. For what it’s worth, the state of Wisconsin also has some culpability in this as well. Less than two weeks before this case, Brooks was charged during a domestic abuse case and was released from jail on a $1,000 bail. In that case, Brooks was accused of running over a woman who was claiming to be the mother of his kid. Even prosecutors later admitted the bail was criminally low for such a charge.