Darrell Brooks Found Guilty of Murder in Wisconsin Parade Killings

Darrell Brooks Found Guilty of Murder in Wisconsin Parade Killings
Darrell Brooks appears in Waukesha County Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Nov. 23, 2021. (Mark Hoffman/Pool via Reuters)
Zachary Stieber
10/26/2022
Updated:
10/27/2022
0:00

A Wisconsin man was found guilty on Oct. 26 of murder and other charges for killing six people and injuring dozens of others when he drove his SUV into a Christmas parade near Milwaukee last year.

A 12-person jury in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, convicted Darrell Brooks, 40, of six counts of intentional homicide. He faces life in prison when sentenced.

Brooks rested his head in his hands as Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow read the verdict.

Tim Michels, a Republican challenging Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, was among those celebrating the verdict. Prosecutors “did fantastic jobs,” he said.

“My heart again goes out to the victims and their families,” Michels said. “Their pain isn’t erased, but this was a just verdict.”

Evers hasn’t yet commented on the verdict.

Brooks was accused of deliberately driving his sport utility vehicle through police barricades and into the crowds participating in the annual parade in the city of Waukesha, located about 15 miles west of downtown Milwaukee, on Nov. 21, 2021.

Brooks represented himself during the three-week trial, and was repeatedly admonished by Dorow for failing to follow court rules, including when he used file boxes to obstruct himself from view.

During his closing argument, Brooks told the jury that he had no intention of hurting anyone. He said he sounded the vehicle’s horn as he drove through the crowd, attempting to warn people to get out of the way.

Prosecutors said Brooks was guilty.

“When you ride through a parade route and roll over children ... your intent is known, Mr. Brooks,” Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper said during closing arguments. “That’s not an accident.”

Brooks killed Jackson Sparks, 8; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

More than 60 other people were injured, including at least 18 children.

Brooks, a Milwaukee resident, was out on bail from a domestic abuse charge at the time of the attack. He was arrested near the scene and has been in custody ever since.

In his opening argument, Brooks said he didn’t have a “well-prepared speech” but that jurors should remember that “there’s always two sides to every story.”

“I pray that your eyes and ears remain as open as possible. And understand that you alone decide this case, this matter. The power is in your hands, all of you, to determine for yourselves what truth is. Thank you,” he said.

Witnesses throughout the trial described what they saw.

Abel Lazcano, one of the witnesses, said he watched a red SUV “plow over a bunch of people.”

“Did you see the driver of this SUV you’re referring to?” Brooks asked.

Lazcano said, “Yes. You’re standing right there.”

Reuters contributed to this report.
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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