Man Who Killed 6 People And Injured More Sentence To 700+ Years Imprisonment And Additional 6 Life Imprisonment

A man who killed six people and injured many more when he drove his SUV through a Milwaukee Christmas parade has been sentenced.

Darrell Brooks Jr, 40, was sentenced by Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow on 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment.

After a fight with his ex-girlfriend, Brooks drove his red Ford Escape into the parade in downtown Waukesha on 21 November 2021. Six individuals were killed, including an eight-year-old boy marching with his baseball team and three members of the “Dancing Grannies” organisation.

According to the criminal complaint, 62 individuals were hurt, up from 48 originally disclosed by police, and the then 39-year-old steered side-to-side with the goal of striking marchers and spectators.

The incident left a severe scar in the 70,000-person community approximately 16 miles west of Milwaukee. Residents erected tributes to the deceased and held vigils.

Here is everything you need to know

Brooks was accused of fleeing police and entering the Waukesha Christmas parade, refusing to stop even when an officer hammered on the roof of his SUV. Another officer opened fire on the vehicle, but it did not stop.

Almost all of Brooks’ surviving victims implored the judge to impose the toughest sentence possible during their impact statements in court on Tuesday (15 November). Chris Owens, whose mother was among those killed, told Brooks: “All I ask is you rot, and you rot slow.”

The only question was whether Judge Dorow would allow Brooks to serve any portion of his sentences on extended supervision in the community, the state’s current form of parole.

She did not do so. Brooks has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on all six counts of intentional homicide, plus an extra 1,067 years in jail on endangerment charges, to be served concurrently.

The death penalty is not used in the state of Wisconsin.

What happened during Brooks’ trial?
In late-October, it took a jury a little over three hours to find Darrell Brooks guilty of all 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

As the verdicts were read, Brooks, dressed in a suit and tie, calmly leaned his bowed head on folded hands. His demeanour was a dramatic contrast to prior days of the trial, when the court had chastised him for his sometimes-outrageous behaviour.

Earlier in the year, before the trial had begun, Brooks pled not guilty on grounds of mental illness, but then withdrew his plea without explanation. He also dismissed his public defenders just days before the trial began, opting to represent himself.

Brooks struggled to construct a defence, launching into meandering cross-examinations, refusing to recognise his own name or the court’s power over him, and muttering to himself that the trial was unfair.

He got into such heated discussions with Judge Jennifer Dorow, that she moved him to another courtroom several times before jury selection where he could view the proceedings via video, and she could mute his microphone if and when he became disruptive.

On one occasion, he removed his shirt and sat bare-chested on the defence table with his back to the camera after being moved to the other courtroom. On another day, Brooks made a barricade out of his legal document boxes and hid behind it.

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