MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin man accused of killing six individuals and injuring many others by driving an SUV right into a Christmas parade final yr clearly meant to kill individuals, prosecutors informed jurors Tuesday.
Darrell Brooks faces 76 prices in reference to the mayhem final November in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb, together with six counts of first-degree intentional murder. He would face necessary life in jail if convicted of any of the murder counts.
Waukesha County District Lawyer Susan Opper targeted on Brooks’ intent throughout her closing arguments as Brooks’ monthlong trial wound down. His failure to cease after hitting the primary particular person within the parade reveals he meant to kill individuals, she mentioned.
“Simply cease driving. That’s it. It’s actually that easy. Not one particular person needed to be damage that day if he would have simply stopped driving,” Opper mentioned. “He plowed via 68 completely different individuals. Sixty-eight. How will you hit one and maintain going? How will you hit two and maintain going? How will you hit three and maintain going? It didn’t faze him a bit. He stored going till he acquired to the top and there have been no extra our bodies to hit.”
She concluded her remarks by enjoying a video of what she mentioned was “the carnage” Brooks induced within the parade.
The livestream The Related Press has been utilizing to view the trial proceedings didn’t pan to the video, however Choose Jennifer Dorow appeared to wince at one level whereas viewing it, and Deputy District Lawyer Lesli Boese appeared to choke again tears.
Brooks initially pleaded not responsible by motive of psychological illness however withdrew the plea in September with out rationalization. Simply days earlier than his trial started Oct. 3, he dismissed his public defenders and elected to signify himself.
He has spent day-after-day of the trial arguing with Dorow, refusing to acknowledge his personal identify and insisting the state has no jurisdiction over him. A number of instances, the decide has had bailiffs transfer him to a different courtroom the place he may watch the proceedings by way of video however she may mute his microphone when he grew to become disruptive.
The decide allowed him to provide his closing arguments to the jury in particular person on Tuesday. He tried to argue that the SUV had been recalled because of a throttle malfunction. After Opper objected — a Wisconsin State Patrol automobile inspector testified earlier within the trial that the automobile was in good working order, together with the brakes — he instructed the motive force may need panicked. He famous that some witnesses testified they heard the SUV’s horn honking.
He didn’t fairly acknowledge he was the motive force however mentioned that at evening when he’s alone in his cell he usually asks questions how “this” occurred. However he has by no means requested himself if “this” was intentional as a result of he is aware of it wasn’t. He didn’t clarify what he was referring to with the phrase “this.”
“All through this yr I’ve been referred to as lots of issues,” Brooks mentioned. “And to be honest I’m lots of issues. A assassin shouldn’t be considered one of them.”
“You’ll want to look within the mirror, Mr. Brooks,” Opper mentioned throughout her rebuttal. “Your actions are that of a assassin.”
Prosecutors allege Brooks acquired right into a struggle along with his ex-girlfriend on the streets of Waukesha because the parade was beginning Nov. 21, fled in his SUV and drove it into the parade. Opper informed the jury that she doesn’t know why Brooks entered the parade aside from he was enraged.
Along with the murder counts, he faces 61 counts of reckless endangerment. Every murder depend carries a compulsory life sentence. Every reckless endangerment depend carries a most sentence of 17 1/2 years in jail.