Waukesha Parade Killing Suspect Found Guilty of All Charges

Last year, an SUV driver mowed his vehicle against people who gathered to enjoy the Christmas parade in a peaceful small town, Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing 6 people and injuring more than dozens. The suspect, Darrell Brooks (40) defended himself at the trial and received a verdict today. The jury found him guilty of 77 counts including six counts of first-degree intentional homicides and 61 counts of felony reckless endangerment. He faces a mandatory life sentence on each count.

After 3 hours and 15 minutes of the trial on Wednesday morning, the jury reached a verdict before announcing. He was found to have lied about the SUV’s throttle malfunction and panicking when he mowed the people. District Attorney Susan Opper countered during her rebuttal that a Wisconsin State Patrol vehicle inspector testified earlier that the SUV was in good working order. Opper warned jurors that Brooks was just trying to play on their sympathy.

District Attorney Susan Opper called to the stand police officers and paradegoers who testified they saw Brooks behind the wheel of the SUV. according to AP, Brooks pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease this September but withdrew the plea before his trial began with no explanation. Judge Dorow said in court last week that psychologists found Brooks has a personality disorder but was mentally competent to stand trial.

According to a criminal complaint, Brooks, 40, got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend on Nov. 21, then sped off and drove onto the parade route despite police shouting at him to stop and shooting guns at him. Police officers described the SUV as moving side to side and running over people. Opper showed more than 300 videos that directly pointed to the suspect’s intentional homicide.

The dead included 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was marching in the parade with his baseball team, and four members of a group calling itself the Dancing Grannies, a group of grandmothers who dance in parades. Police captured Brooks after he abandoned the SUV and tried to get into a nearby house, the complaint said.

His behavior was insane and eventually, Judge Dorow moved him to a separate room to watch the video through the proceedings at the court. Judge Dorow faced many difficulties due to the defendant’s terrible behavior. Nonetheless, the guilty man will be held behind bars, and the families can now mourn.

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