Darrell Brooks Jr. was found guilty of killing six people in Wisconsin last year when he drove his red Ford SUV through a Christmas parade. On Wednesday, he was given six consecutive life sentences without parole for each count of first-degree intentional homicide.
Brooks, who was 41 at the time, stared, glared, and talked over Waukesha County Judge Jennifer R. Dorow as she spoke for over an hour about how she felt. He was kicked out of the courtroom after that. Brooks returned to the main courtroom about an hour later and started yelling at the judge. He was sent back to a room next door to find out what would happen to him.
“There is nothing, no other word, that can best describe what happened on Nov. 21 of 2021 other than the word ‘attack,’” Dorrow said in response to an argument Brooks had made earlier that day. “I searched for a mitigating factor in this case. I waited patiently for an apology, a true apology. I didn’t get it, and not for my benefit. But for the victims.”
Dorow said, “There is no medication or treatment for a heart that is bent on evil. Child trauma, bipolar, indifference, physical abuse of a child or even childhood trauma did not cause Darrell Brooks to commit the acts for which he will be sentenced here today. It is very clear to this court that he understands the difference between right and wrong, and that he simply chooses to ignore his conscience. He is fueled by anger and rage.”
Dorow added: “Some people, unfortunately, choose a path of evil. And I think, Mr. Brooks, you are one of those such persons. As a mom, my heart breaks for your family.”
Earlier in the day, Brooks apologized and talked for more than two hours about his childhood, his mental health, and his new faith. He told the Waukesha County court in Wisconsin, “This needs to be said: what happened on November 21, 2021, was not, not, not an attack. It was not planned, plotted”
Six counts of first-degree intentional homicide gave him six mandatory life sentences.
"It's not your fault, Tucker. It's Mr. Brooks' fault."
Judge Dorow addresses Jackson Sparks' mother's comments on how his brother Tucker blames himself for his brother's death. pic.twitter.com/B75fobcNMZ
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) November 16, 2022
“I want each and every victim in this incident, family members, those who lost loved ones, those who are still healing, I want you to know that no matter how you felt during this year, no matter how you felt yesterday I want everyone to know also the community of Waukesha, I want you to know that not only am I sorry for what happened, I am sorry that you could not see what’s truly in my heart, that you cannot see the remorse that I have,” he stated. “That you cannot listen to all the phone calls that I have made to my family. That you cannot count all the tears that I have dropped.”
When asked what he thought the court should do about his sentence, he said it was hard for him to answer and that he was “still confused” about the “nature and cause” of the charges. He said that he thought the decision had already been “made before we even got here,” but he asked her to explain how much time he had already spent in jail.
He said that he had “become frustrated at times” during the trial. He said that no matter how the court and people in the trial felt about how he behaved, “they were not personal.” He talked for a few minutes about how upset he was with the Waukesha County District Attorney, Susan L. Opper, and said he was “angry.”
Opper, who successfully prosecuted Brooks on 76 counts, just looked at him while he talked about her for a few minutes.
Waukesha Christmas parade killer receives life sentence
The driver responsible for the tragic events during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin was handed his sentence….https://t.co/XXD1qW2eaI pic.twitter.com/vmAXLxFjdF
— Down Right News (@real_DRN) November 17, 2022
Brooks sometimes cried when he talked about his family and kids. He told the judge and everyone else there that he was sorry for his outbursts during the trial “There was a part of me that felt that I haven’t been able to defend myself. I think it was just the pot boiling over. I was wrong for not being able to control myself the times that I wasn’t me.”
He said that he doesn’t think of himself as “a man of God” yet, but that “with time, with faith, with study,” he will.
Featured Image screengrab from embedded Tweet.
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