Christmas parade killer found guilty

Darrell Brooks was convicted of six murder charges for plowing his SUV through a packed street in Wisconsin last NovemberChristmas parade killer found guilty

Christmas parade killer found guilty

Darrell Brooks looks to the prosecution during his trial in Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 26, 2022 ©  AP / Mike De Sisti

A Wisconsin jury has found Darrell Brooks guilty of six counts of first-degree homicide for driving his SUV through a crowded Christmas parade in the city of Waukesha last November. Brooks mounted a bizarre defense of himself in court, shouting at the judge and hiding behind a cardboard box at one point.

After three hours of deliberation, the jury found Brooks guilty of the six homicide charges, as well as 61 counts of reckless endangerment, six counts of fatal hit and run, two bail jumping charges and a domestic abuse misdemeanor. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Brooks – who was out on bail on the day of the massacre for hitting his girlfriend with the same vehicle – drove through a barricade and swerved through the crowd for several blocks, killing six people and injuring 62. Brooks pleaded not guilty to all charges, and chose to defend himself as a “sovereign citizen,” or someone who refuses to acknowledge the authority of the legal system.

Christmas parade massacre suspect pleads not guilty

Christmas parade massacre suspect pleads not guilty

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Christmas parade massacre suspect pleads not guilty

When the judge ruled that Brooks could not use such tactics, he switched to a more conventional defense, albeit one in which he was repeatedly incriminated by his own witnesses and engaged in outlandish courtroom behavior. Brooks was removed from the chamber on several occasions for shouting and glaring at the judge, refusing to acknowledge his own name, and at one point constructing a “box fort” to hide behind.

Brooks rested his case by claiming that his vehicle had malfunctioned, although prosecutors countered that he could have easily pulled over when police officers at the parade ordered him to.

Brooks’ rampage took place just two days after a jury in nearby Kenosha acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges in the shooting of three men during August 2020 Black Lives Matter protests that turned into riots. Conservative pundits speculated that the attack could have been in response to the Rittenhouse verdict, especially after it came to light that Brooks had a history of Black nationalist and anti-white social media posts.

As Brooks’ sentence was read out on Wednesday, a spectator was removed from the courtroom for shouting “burn in hell you piece of s**t.”


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