Darrell Brooks, the man with a lengthy criminal record who was also accused of plowing his red Ford Escape through the Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, has been found guilty on all charges. Including six counts of intentional first-degree homicide and dozens of other charges.
The verdict came Wednesday after a 23-day trial. Darrell Brooks decided to represent himself during his trial. Brooks was removed from the courtroom throughout the trial for various outbursts, interruptions, and disturbances. Brooks raised frivolous objections, attacked the credibility of witnesses, and also went on a 50-minute rant complaining about the court having a conflict of interest and not being able to “face his accuser.”
Those killed while attending the parade on November 21, 2021, included Jason Sparks, 8; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 51; LeAnna Owen, 71; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
It took about 30 minutes to read through the jury’s decisions. Afterward, Dorow hanked and dismissed the jurors and continued to enter judgments of conviction on all 76 counts. Judge Dorow set a scheduling hearing for 1 p.m. CT Monday, and she asked both sides to estimate how long they would need to present their sentencing remarks. Dorow stated that sentencing would come at a later date. Darrell Brooks faces a sentence of mandatory life in prison.
California defense attorney Lara Yeretsian spoke with Fox News Digital after the hearing. “No surprise here. Unless Brooks was delusional, he must have known this trial would not end well for him.”
Jurors entered deliberations Tuesday evening and requested multiple exhibits. They included the map that displays the location of victims and police during the attack, a photo of Erika Patterson (Brooks’ ex-girlfriend), and surveillance footage that shows members of the Dancing Grannies being hit by the red SUV. Brooks objected, but Dorow overruled. The court wrapped up around 8 p.m. Tuesday, and jurors resumed Wednesday morning.
On Monday, during closing arguments, Waukesha District Attorney Sue Opper said that Brooks expressed an “utter disregard for human life.” In addition, she added that overwhelming evidence was introduced at trial in favor of convicting Brooks. “Not one person had to be hurt that day if he had just stopped driving,” she stated.
During his closing statement, Brooks attempted to sway the jury’s decision. Brooks stated, “One thing that I believe that you have not been privy to is the truth of your rights and your duties being the jury. The fact that you and you alone have the power, not well-prepared DAs with well-prepared and clearly rehearsed speeches, exhibits, and a lot of theatrics. Frankly, not the judge. You and you alone have the power. You and you alone decide what is truth and what isn’t truth.” Dorow quickly sustained an objection to this comment and told jurors to disregard his statement. He was then allowed to continue with his closing statement.
Brooks said, “I’ve sat and gone through this feeling so powerless. Let other people run with the narratives… Sit back helpless while other people paint a picture that has zero truth. Zero.”
Toward the end of his statement, Brooks began to cry. Then, he said, “My conscience is clear,” pointing to his faith in God. But, he added, “Look inside yourself to make the right decision; whatever you decide, make sure you can live with it.”
During DA Opper’s rebuttal, she dismissed Brooks’ emotions. She noted that never once during his closing statement did he address the feelings of families who lost loved ones. She said, “When you ride through a parade route and roll over children… your intent is known, Mr. Brooks.” She told the jurors, “You don’t have to stand and wonder, ” he claims. There are 68 victims in this case. That’s not an accident.”
Someone yelled out from the gallery before Dorow got to the jury’s decision on the third murder charge; they said, “Burn in hell you piece of s—!” Judge Dorow ordered him to be removed from the courtroom.
Brooks ultimately expressed concern about immediate sentencing pending his conviction on the charges. He stated that he would need some time to make arrangements under those circumstances and asked for a separate hearing, which Dorow granted.