Brooks sentenced to life without parole for Waukesha Parade attack

WAUKESHA, Wis. –Darrell Brooks, the man a jury found guilty of murdering six people after driving an SUV in the Waukesha Christmas Parade, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Wednesday.

Brooks was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences for each first-degree intentional homicide charge.

WATCH: Judge Dorow hands down Brooks’ sentence

Darrell Brooks sentenced to life without parole for attack on Waukesha Christmas parade

A jury convicted Brooks, 40, of 76 counts, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of recklessly endangering security. Each count of homicide carries a mandatory life sentence in Wisconsin, while each count of endangerment carries a maximum sentence of 17.5 years.

Jeffrey Phelps/AP

Christmas decorations frame a police officer in downtown Waukesha, Wis., after a vehicle drove into a parade of Christmas walkers, killing several people Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

There was a chance that Brooks could have been released on extended supervision at some point, but that appeal was Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow’s only appeal.

Sentencing was scheduled for November 15 and 16 so that the dozens of people who wanted to speak at the hearing could do so. Brooks previously said he expected 20 people to speak on his behalf at sentencing.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Brooks turned his red SUV into a parade on November 21, 2021 after fleeing a fight with his ex-girlfriend. This was despite police warnings to pull over and officers opening fire on him, although no patrol cars were pursuing him at the time.

Christmas Parade SUV

Scott Ash/AP

Darrell Brooks objects to testimony as he appears via video from an adjacent courtroom after being removed by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow for repeated interruptions in court Waukesha County Circuit Board during the third day of his trial in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. Brooks, who is representing himself at trial, is charged with killing six people and d injured dozens of others when he allegedly drove his SUV in a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last year. (Scott Ash/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

Watch: Brooks breaks down in tears during opening statement

Waukesha parade trial: Darrell Brooks breaks down in tears during opening statement

Six people were killed in the parade attack. The victims are Jackson Sparks, an 8-year-old boy, who marched with his baseball team in the parade; Leanna Owen, Virginia Sorenson and Tamara Durand, who were members of the Dancing Grannies in the parade; Wilhelm Hospel, husband of a surviving member of the Dancing Grannies; and Jane Kulich, who attended the parade.

Dozens of others suffered injuries, some of them serious.

Attack on Waukesha Pass

ATM4

These are the 6 people Brooks killed in last year’s Christmas parade.

The attack hit the town of 70,000 just west of Milwaukee. Residents built memorials for those who had died in the attack. The community rallied around the slogan “Waukesha Strong”. A local fundraiser has meanwhile raised millions of dollars for the victims and their families.

Christmas Parade SUV

Jeffrey Phelps/AP

FILE – A family visits a memorial at Veteran’s Park for the victims of the fatal Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 Christmas Parade crash in Waukesha, Wisconsin November 23, 2021. A Wisconsin judge is set to decide on Friday whether Darrell Brooks, Jr., a Milwaukee man accused of plowing his SUV through a suburban Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring dozens more, will stand trial. (AP Photo/File Jeffrey Phelps)

Brooks, 40, initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness, which would have resulted in a sentence in a mental institution instead of prison. Just before the trial began, however, Brooks withdrew his plea, fired his public defenders and urged Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow to let him represent himself in his own trial, which she authorized.

During closing arguments, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper argued that the fact that Brooks did not stop before hitting people at the parade shows he intended to kill them. .

After about three hours of deliberation, the jury returned the sentences on October 26 after a trial that lasted about two weeks.

Tyler Pudleiner, who played with the Waukesha South High School band when he was hit by Brooks’ SUV, had previously told reporters that sentencing would help all victims heal, The Associated Press reported at the time. . “One of the things I’ve said throughout is that we’re stronger than (Brooks), and that was proven today,” Pudleiner said.

This is breaking news. TMJ4 News will update this report with the latest information.

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