Man Accused of Hitting Wisconsin Christmas Parade Spectators With His Car Promises Better Courtroom Behavior
Darrell Brooks, the man accused of killing five people who were watching a Christmas parade last Nov. 21 in Waukesha, Wis., apologized to the court and everyone watching the proceedings for his actions last week. During the first week of trial, Brooks, who is representing himself, repeatedly interrupted the court and once took his shirt off and ripped up documents.
Ignoring the judge’s warnings, Brooks caused himself to be moved to a spare courtroom multiple times for his behavior.
But a more contrite Brooks told the court before jurors arrived Monday morning (Oct. 10), “I'm going to stand up as a man and tell the whole court and you, your honor, that I apologize to the bailiffs, that I apologize for my actions."
Judge Jennifer Dorow said she appreciated Brooks' apology, telling the defendant, “I appreciate that you, upon reflection, have realized that courtesy and decorum are an important part of the court proceedings."
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Brooks is accused of smashing through barricades and driving into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wis., killing five people and injuring 48 others.
Julius Kim is an attorney who is not associated with the case. He told Milwaukee local station WDJT that Brooks, who is representing himself, is faring respectably in that role.
"His cross examination is better than what I've seen some lawyers do in court over the years, in all honesty," Kim said.
He continued, "He's got a sharp mind, in terms of looking at the evidence." Kim explained. "He's picking up on relevant issues. I think he's kind of touching on this notion of intent, which I think is a very valid concern for the state and defense."
Brooks, 40, is charged with 76 criminal charges, including six counts of intentional homicide after allegedly driving his car directly into a crowd of parade spectators just before last Christmas, killing five and injuring 60 others.
Prosecutors say that the tragedy began with Brooks assaulting his girlfriend while they were driving in Waukesha. "He argued with her and he harassed her and he punched her in the face," said Assistant District Attorney Zach Wittchow in opening statements. "The thing about a swollen eye is it's tough to fake."
The state expects to wrap its case by Friday morning. Brooks is expected to present his opening statement and call his witnesses to the stand.