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Waukesha Christmas Parade Attacker Convicted On 76 Counts After Acting As Own Attorney

Waukesha, WI – The suspect accused of plowing his vehicle into a Christmas parade in 2021, killing six people and injuring at least 62 more, was convicted on six counts of first-degree intentional homicide on Wednesday.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning the guilty verdicts against 40-year-old Darrell Brooks on Oct. 26, WISN reported.

“Burn in hell, you piece of [expletive]!” a family member of one of the victims yelled out as the verdicts were being read.

Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow ordered that the family member be removed from the courtroom, but he was not ultimately arrested or cited for the outburst, WISN reported.

Brooks, who has been representing himself, was charged with 76 total counts in connection with the November 21, 2021 attack.

Each of the six first-degree intentional homicide counts against him carries a potential life sentence, KSAZ reported.

Brooks was also convicted of all remaining charges, which included 61 counts of recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon, six counts of fatal hit and run, one count of domestic battery, and two counts of felony bail jumping, according to CNN.

Brooks, a self-described “sovereign citizen,” has repeatedly clashed with Dorow since the case began.

He has also repeatedly spoken over the judge, interrupted courtroom proceedings, and launched into angry outbursts.

Brooks initially pleaded not guilty in February, then later entered an insanity plea in June, KSAZ reported.

He ultimately dropped the insanity plea in early September.

Jury selection began on Oct. 3 and the trial lasted more than three weeks, WISN reported.

Dorow removed Brooks from the courtroom on multiple occasions both before and during the trial due to his outbursts, and placed him in another room where he was able to communicate using a microphone that could be muted, according to CNN.

He ripped off his shirt at one point after being removed from the courtroom, and stuffed a sign down his pants that had been given to him to signal his objections, WITI reported.

“To say that this has been the most challenging of my career would be an understatement,” Dorow said at one point during the trial, according to WITI.

Despite his combative and disruptive behavior throughout prior hearings and during the trial, Brooks put his head in his hands and remained silent as the litany of verdicts were returned on Wednesday.

A brief hearing to schedule Brooks’ sentencing is expected to take place on Oct. 31, according to WITI.

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.

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.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John 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 last year.

On Nov. 5, 2021, 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 cases involved 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, 2021, 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, 2021, WISC reported.

According to the criminal complaint, multiple officers yelled at Brooks to stop before he crashed through barricades and drove into the parade route.

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.

Six victims – eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, 52-year-old Jane Kulich, 52-year-old Tamara Durand, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen, and 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson – died in the attack, KSAZ reported.

More than 60 other victims were injured.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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