Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County court commissioner who approved prosecutors’ stunningly-low bail request for the career criminal who later went out and mowed people down with a vehicle during a Christmas parade in Waukesha has been pulled from handling criminal cases.
Six people were killed and at least 62 were injured during the Nov. 21 attack, FOX News reported.
Some of the victims were children.
Darrell Brooks, 39, has been charged with six counts of intentional homicide and other related charges, FOX News.
Just days prior to the horrific attack, Brooks was released on $1,000 bond after allegedly running over his ex-girlfriend in the same vehicle.
He was out on a $500 bail at the time of that incident for yet another felony case involving shots being fired at two people, FOX News reported.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s office criticized the $1,000 bail recommendation in a press release in the wake of the parade, calling it “inappropriately low,” and said an internal review was underway.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Chief Judge Mary Triggiano confirmed on Dec. 3 that Milwaukee County Court Commissioner Cedric Cornwall, the commissioner who granted the prosecutor’s bond request, was reassigned shortly after the attack in Waukesha, Wisconsin Right Now reported.
Cornwall, 60, will be handling non-criminal proceedings in family or civil court, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Triggiano noted Cornwall should have reviewed Brooks’ 50-page criminal history and the nature of the pending charges before setting bail, regardless of the prosecutor’s recommendations, FOX News reported.
Triggiano said she has never had any prior complaints on Cornwall, who has been working as a court commissioner since long before she became chief judge, according to Wisconsin Right Now.
She described him as “pretty conscientious” and said he “does his job well.”
Cornwall has been in his position for the past 16 years, Wisconsin Right Now reported.
He has been the target of harassment and threats since the Waukesha Christmas parade and did not disagree with being reassigned, Triggiano told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Brooks, a rapper who goes by the name of “Mathboi Fly,” has racked up a slew of criminal offenses dating back to 1999, FOX News reported.
In addition to his lengthy criminal history, Brooks also has exhibited a pattern of sharing disturbing messages and memes on social media, according to the New York Post.
Several posts praised attacks on law enforcement officers, who Brooks referred to as “violent street gangs,” according to the news outlet.
Other posts called for people to carry out acts of violence against white people, the New York Post reported.
Investigators have not released a motive for the Christmas parade massacre, but all the victims who were killed were white.
Brooks also shared messages praising Adolf Hitler, who he claimed “did the world a favor by killing” Jewish people, the New York Post reported.
Brooks is currently a Tier 2 registered sex offender in Nevada, according to FOX News.
His first felony conviction in Wisconsin occurred in 1999, when he was convicted of taking part in an aggravated burglary, FOX News reported.
He was sentenced to three years on probation for that incident.
Brooks was convicted of a felony marijuana offense in 2002, and of obstructing an officer in both 2003 and 2005, according to FOX News.
He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor bail jumping and marijuana offenses in 2012, and to resisting arrest and felony marijuana offenses in 2013.
Chisholm’s office charged Brooks with felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety on July 27, 2020, Chisholm said in a press release on late last month.
On Nov. 5, he was charged with felony bail jumping, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, obstructing an officer, battery, and disorderly conduct in connection with a separate case.
“The State made a cash bail request in this case of $1,000, which was set by the court,” Chisolm wrote. “The defendant posted $1,000 cash bail on November 11, resulting in his release from custody.”
One of the recent cases involves allegations Brooks barged into a woman’s hotel room, stole her cell phone, and later punched her and ran her over with a vehicle when he saw her out walking to a nearby gas station, according to FOX News.
Another pending case involved allegations Brooks shot at his nephew.
The nephew was not hit by the gunfire, according to investigators.
Brooks remained in jail due to a warrant for failing to pay child support and skipping hearings pertaining to a 2003 paternity case, but was ultimately released Nov. 16, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Prosecutors said Brooks made no attempt to try to avoid running into participants and bystanders who were out enjoying the community Christmas parade on Nov. 21, WISC reported.
According to the criminal complaint, multiple officers yelled at Brooks to stop before he crashed through barricades and drove into the parade.
An officer radioed for an emergency response as the suspect sped past him and into the parade route, police said.
The officer then chased after the suspect’s vehicle on foot.
Brooks began plowing into people and running victims over seconds later, according to the complaint.
One officer said he “observed the driver looking straight ahead, directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face,” WISC reported.
Several officers noted Brooks had plenty of opportunities to exit the parade route without hitting anyone if he happened to have driven into the area by accident, but that he didn’t do that.
Police said he stomped on the accelerator as he approached the paradegoers, according to the complaint.
Multiple witnesses told investigators the suspect seemed to be trying to hit as many people as he could by driving in a zig-zag pattern, WISC reported.
“This was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible,” one officer said, according to court documents.
Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper asked Waukesha County Court Commissioner Kevin Costello to set Brooks’ bail at $5 million for the five first-degree intentional homicide charges, WISC reported.
“It’s extraordinarily high, but it’s an extraordinarily big case, it’s an extraordinarily serious case with an extraordinary history of this gentleman,” Costello said as he approved the request.
The judge further noted Brooks “does not follow rules very well…orders of the court, orders of society,” WISC reported.
Brooks’ preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 15, 2022.