Darrell Brooks, the man who intentionally crashed his car into a crowd of people at a Wisconsin Christmas parade last year, was found guilty today of killing six people.
As many as 40 others were hurt, some seriously, when Brooks, who is Black, rammed his SUV into a packed crowd last December. The 40-year-old hasn’t been sentenced but under Wisconsin law he faces a mandatory life bid.
It’s never been established why Brooks did what he did. He defended himself at his trial on counts ranging from first-degree recklessly endangering safety to fatal hit-and-run, because his public defenders asked to be recused from the case over his non-cooperation. During that trial, he made many bizarre arguments, blaming some of the people he hit and denying he intended to run his car into the crowd, but never explaining how he managed to hit so many people and why he didn’t stop afterward.
At one point last week, the judge in the case had Brooks taken out of the courtroom by deputies because he wouldn’t stop interrupting prosecutors, witnesses and even the judge. At another point he took off his shirt during an argument with the judge. He also refused to acknowledge his given name.
Dorow had deputies remove Brooks from the courtroom several times last week and placed him in a nearby courtroom where he communicated via a monitor and microphone, at times muted due to his repeated outbursts.
“I would like to issue the court an apology from me in regards to my actions last week during the trial. I just want the court to understand it’s very emotional right now,” he said.
However, within minutes Brooks began displaying much of the same behavior he has shown throughout the trial, speaking over prosecutors when they would object, repeating vague questions and repeatedly declaring Darrell Brooks is not his name.
“I do not identify by that name nor do I recognize it,” Brooks repeatedly said.
In an odd connection to the case, Peyton Gendron, the man accused of killing 10 people in a racist mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket in May, allegedly had the names of some of Brooks’ victims written on the assault rifle he used.