Waukesha parade killing: Brooks guilty on 6 homicide counts


(NewsNation) — The jury has arrived at a verdict in the trial for the Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade killings. Darrell Brooks, Jr. has been found guilty on all six homicide charges.

Six people died and more than 60 were injured after an SUV was driven into a Christmas parade in Waukesha.

Brooks was charged with six counts of homicide and 61 accounts of reckless endangerment. Each homicide count carries a mandatory life sentence. Each reckless endangerment count carries a maximum sentence of 17 1/2 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Brooks acted with intent when he committed the crime.

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper focused on Brooks’ intent during her closing arguments as Brooks’ monthlong trial wound down. His failure to stop after hitting the first person in the parade shows he intended to kill people, she said.

Brooks initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease but withdrew the plea in September without explanation. Instead, he chose to represent himself.

Brooks’ actions during the trial were erratic. He stripped off his shirt, refused to answer to his name, and argued with the judge. Multiple times, the judge had bailiffs move him to another courtroom where he could watch the proceedings via video but she could mute his microphone when he became disruptive.

During his closing arguments, Brooks tried to argue the SUV had been recalled. When the prosecutor objected, he suggested the driver might have panicked.

He didn’t quite acknowledge he was the driver but said that at night when he’s alone in his cell he often asks questions how “this” happened. But he has never asked himself if “this” was intentional because he knows it wasn’t. He didn’t explain what he was referring to with the word “this.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

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