Man found guilty in deadly Wisconsin Christmas parade attack

Darrell Brooks was found guilty of killing 6, injuring dozens more when he allegedly drove into Waukesha Christmas parade

ByLiz Nagy, Rob Elgas WLS logo
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Latest coverage from the Waukesha parade attack trial
Latest coverage from the Waukesha parade attack trial

WAUKESHA, Wis. -- Waukesha parade trial suspect Darrel Brooks was found guilty of intentional homicide by a jury Wednesday morning.

Suspect Darrell Brooks was found guilty on six counts of first degree intentional homicide. Brooks was found guilty on all 76 counts he faced.

Brooks was accused of killing six people and injuring dozens of others when driving through that Waukesha Christmas parade crowd.

Prosecutors said that his failure to stop after hitting the first person shows his actions were intentional. She added that he tried to elude police by abandoning the SUV and shedding his sweatshirt as he ran away.

Brooks told jurors that he's a lot of things but he's not a murderer and even got emotional during closing arguments as he asked the jury to "do the right thing."

He now faces mandatory life in prison. A hearing will be held on Monday for further scheduling in the case.

The jury was sequestered after deliberating for just under two hours on Tuesday night. They then resumed their work Wednesday morning.

In a trial full of ups and downs, as Brooks represents himself, word of a social media post made by someone claiming to be a juror reached the courtroom.

The judge directly addressed jurors about the post, now believed to be a prank by an online impersonator.

"After this trial is completed you are free to communicate with anyone in any manner. These rules are intended to ensure that jurors remain impartial during the trial. If any juror believes that another juror has violated these rules you should report that to me," said Judge Jennifer Dorow.

The since-removed post, which was visible under a subReddit entitled "Justice4Darrell," accused Dorow of being biased against Brooks. It said, in part, "clearly she is not an impartial judge and has been trying to belittle, demean, bully and pull procedural tricks on him fairly frequently."

Dorow said there is no credible information supporting the user's claim to be a juror, adding that she handed the issue off to law enforcement.

"At this time, it is simply being investigated," Dorow said.

The post was later updated with a note, saying, "this was all a prank, I didn't think this would blow up like this. We are sorry."

Closing arguments also happened Tuesday as prosecutors presented to the jury evidence they believe shows Brooks is guilty of killing six people and injuring dozens more at the Waukesha holiday parade last November.

The prosecutor apologized to the jury for the graphic nature of the video, but said they felt like it was important to show.

Prosecutors said Brooks sped through the crowded parade route for several blocks in a fit of rage after an argument and then fled from police and tried to hide. They ended closing arguments with a video that they said shows all the carnage he caused.

A prosecutor apologized to the jury for the graphic nature of the video, but said they felt like it was important to show.

Waukesha County DA Susan Opper gives the prosecution's closing argument in the parade attack trial of Darrell Brooks.

In his own closing argument, Brooks broke down and asked the jury to "do what's right."

"Anyone who's really had conversations with me, spent time around me, wouldn't think for one second that this is an intentional act," he said.

Waukesha parade attack suspect Darrell Brooks broke down during closing arguments.

Brooks is acting as his own attorney, and as has happened numerous times over the course of the extended trial, the judge removed Brooks from the courtroom again on Tuesday just before closing arguments began because of frequent outbursts.

Brooks is facing 76 felony counts, including intentional first degree homicide and hit and run causing death.

Throughout the trial, Brooks has sparred with the judge, at one point removed his own shirt, and aggressively cross examined witnesses who prosecutors said are victims of the crimes he committed.

Judge Dorow determined Monday that Brooks would rest his defense, after he was unable to produce a witness to testify.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.