Waukesha Parade trial day 16: Brooks banned from calling witnesses

Crime

(NewsNation) — Darrell Brooks’ right to call any more witnesses — including himself — was forfeited after Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow determined he was displaying unacceptable behavior in what was slated to be the last day of testimony Monday.

Brooks was dismissed into a neighboring courtroom and had his microphone muted after getting in an argument with Dorow when she did not acknowledge his objection to her denial to his request to recall a witness.

“For the record, this court is acting in contempt of the law, your honor,” Brooks said.

Brooks was trying to cross-examine a mechanic in an attempt to throw out his case, citing a vehicle recall on his red Ford Escape SUV and the class-action lawsuit that came with it.

“It’s speculative on your part,” Dorow said. “You had a full opportunity to cross-examine this witness.”

When Dorow asked Brooks if he were going to call any other witnesses, his response was, “Not today, your honor.” However, knowing Brooks’ mother was due to testify Monday morning at 9 a.m. local time, Dorow asked him again.

This time Brooks claimed he could not hear Dorow in the other courtroom, despite a bailiff’s confirmation that the feed was working. The back and forth led to Dorow taking away his right to call witnesses altogether.

“I believe he is feigning (problems) with his hearing. … He is choosing to willfully not answer this court,” Dorow said, before ultimately determining his refusal to answer the question meant a forfeited right to testify.

At the end of the day, Dorow declared the evidentiary stage of the trial over. The case is expected to be in the hands of the jury later this week.

Criminal defense attorney Rachel Fiset joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Monday to discuss whether she thinks the trial will be delayed.

To that, Fiset said no, recalling Judge Dorow’s strong stance.

“I don’t think so. The judge is really standing strong that this is her courtroom and whether he’s ready or not — and he has said ‘I’m not ready. I do not understand the jury instructions’ — she is continuing to go forward in commanding that the courtroom acts like she instructs it,” Fiset said.

Brooks, who is representing himself, is accused of killing six people by driving his car into a Christmas parade in Waulkesha, Wisconsin, last year. He faces 77 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment.

Fiset predicts the jury will not believe his story.

“It’s almost a bit of a joke at this point. I have to believe that the jury can’t actually believe what they are witnessing. This is so antithetical to what you think of an organized court proceeding. I think the jury cannot be registering what he’s actually defending because they’re now going to be so boggled down in process,” Fiset said.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.

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