Darrell Brooks was sentenced to life without parole for driving his SUV into a Christmas parade throng in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last year, killing six and hurting hundreds.
A jury convicted Brooks, 40, guilty on all 76 charges from the attack, including six counts of first-degree intentional murder with a deadly weapon.
Judge Jennifer Dorow ordered Brooks to serve a life sentence without the option of extended supervision for each first-degree murder offence. Her sentences will be consecutive.
Dorow imposed hundreds of years on the remaining 70 offences. Brooks was sentenced to 1712 years for each of 61 charges of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon.
“You have no regrets. Dorow responded, “You lack empathy.” “Mr. Brooks, you threaten everyone.”
Brooks told the court he tries to comprehend why this tragedy happened.
Brooks: “Why, how.” “How did things get so bad? I know who I am despite what others think of me, my family, or my values. God knows who I am, and I’m not angry.
He pledged not to “throw shots” because he wanted to take the “high road,” but then attacked Waukesha County DA Susan Opper’s integrity, stating he will never appreciate “how you performed your job” and claimed his offences were none of her responsibility.
Mary Edwards, Brooks’ grandmother, prayed he would “sincerely and humbly apologise” and apologised to “those who have been injured so profoundly by what has transpired, this catastrophe he has created.” Brooks apologised once, stating no one can perceive his sorrow.
“I’m sorry you couldn’t see what’s actually in my heart, my contrition,” he told the court. “You can’t count my tears this year.”
Wisconsin holiday parade hit by SUV
Brooks’ family highlighted his mental health at the court, but the judge concluded it didn’t force him to drive into a crowd. Dorow stated Brooks knew right from wrong based on four judgments. She stated he lacks guilt and sensitivity.
Mentally sick people perpetrate atrocities? Certainly. Dorow claimed this isn’t one of those cases. Good people do awful things often, but so do evil people. “An bad heart can’t be cured.”
Brooks has announced he’ll appeal.
Prosecution demanded heavy punishments
In the November 21, 2021 attack, prosecutors requested for Brooks’ maximum consecutive terms.
You watched videos. Opper maintained he wasn’t striking 50 people at once. “He hit, continued going. Two, go. Hit three, ran down the street. That’s consecutive phrases, sir. That’s purposeful, willful, volitional behaviour that demands consecutive sentences heaped one on top of the other, just as he stacked victims up as he drove without care for others.
Dorow added three years each for two bail-jumping convictions and nine months for domestic assault. She stated the long prison term keeps the neighbourhood secure. Doing less would “undervalue these offences,” she added.
“It’s required, but mostly symbolic, considering the length of years I’ve spent here,” Dorow remarked.
She claimed state corrections makes mental health care decisions.
Tuesday, victims and loved ones began speaking about their losses and suffering. Relatives of Virginia Sorenson, a member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies ensemble that lost three members, spoke, WTMJ reported.
David Sorenson’s husband: “I’ll continue to grieve” “I’m blessed to have a loving family to help me piece together my broken existence.”
Sorenson told the judge, “I want you to put this horrible monster to life without parole for the cruel murder of my wife,” WTMJ reported.
52-year-old Alisha Kulich’s Jane Kulich’s daughter grieved that her mother will miss many milestones in her, her siblings’, and Jane Kulich’s grandchildren’s life.
Alisha Kulich: “She won’t see me marry my love.” “She won’t see my future kids, so they’ll never have a spoiling grandma.”
How do you keep hitting?
Sorenson, Kulich, Jackson Sparks, Tamara Durand, Lee Owen, and Wilhelm Hospel were slain. Sparks marched with his baseball club. Durand, Owen, and Sorenson were Dancing Grannies, and Hospel was her spouse.
Prosecutors said Brooks purposely drove through the crowd. In a criminal complaint, an officer alleged Brooks looked “straight at him with no emotion on his face”
The SUV passed the officer, accelerated, halted at an intersection, then accelerated again, tyres screaming, and continued zigzagging as “bodies and things” flew, the lawsuit stated. Another witness said Brooks was attempting to dodge automobiles, not people, and made no move to slow down.
Brooks asked what would happen if a car malfunctioned and the driver panicked. Dorow stricken his assertion that his car was recalled.
Brooks’ public defenders withdrew his not guilty by reason of insanity plea in September. Dorow allowed Brooks to represent himself once they withdrew.
He was disruptive during trial, shouting over Dorow to make ridiculous points. Dorow sometimes put Brooks in a different room with a monitor and mute until his turn to speak. Brooks was taken to the room twice Wednesday for interrupting.
Dawn Woods, Brooks’ mother, requested the judge not to let him defend himself, WTMJ reported.
She stated he’s not psychologically stable enough to realise his error by representing himself. “That should show he can’t be his own lawyer.”
Brooks was accused with domestic abuse two weeks before the march and freed on $1,000 bond. Court filings say he ran over the mother of his kid. Prosecutors subsequently said bail was “too low.”