Múltiple Fatalities in possible terrorist attack

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Suspect in deadly Wisconsin parade attack pleads not guilty
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Kanishka Singh
Publishing date:Feb 11, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Darrell Brooks poses for a booking photograph at the Milwaukee County Jail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 3, 2021.

THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Darrell Brooks poses for a booking photograph at the Milwaukee County Jail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 3, 2021. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. PHOTO BY MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE /Handout via REUTERS
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A man accused of driving his vehicle into a traditional Christmas parade near Milwaukee late last year, killing six people and injuring dozens others, pleaded not guilty on Friday to multiple criminal charges.

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Darrell Brooks, 39, entered the pleas to 77 charges, including six counts of homicide and several counts of reckless endangerment, in a court appearance.

“Not guilty plea entered. Bail remains as fixed,” court records showed after Friday’s proceedings.

Brooks will remain jailed on a $5 million bail and a hearing is scheduled for March 11, according to the website of a Wisconsin Circuit Court.

Brooks, a Milwaukee resident, was arrested near the scene of the carnage in November. Authorities said Brooks deliberately drove an SUV through police barricades and into the annual parade in the city of Waukesha, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Milwaukee.

The victims killed ranged in age from 8 to 81, and included some members of the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies” parade group. In addition to those killed, more than 60 people were injured.

Video of the incident showed a red SUV racing alongside the parade route and then into the procession, appearing to run over many people before bystanders raced from sidewalks to help.

At the time of the incident, Brooks was out on bail from a domestic abuse case and was suspected in another violent altercation.

The incident drew the attention of both President Joe Biden, who called the attack “horrific,” and Pope Francis.
 

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Man wants to defend himself in fatal Wisconsin parade attack
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Gretchen Ehlke
Publishing date:Sep 23, 2022 • 22 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
A handout picture provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office shows Darrell Brooks, identified as the alleged driver of the vehicle that plowed into a Christmas parade on November 21, 2021.
A handout picture provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office shows Darrell Brooks, identified as the alleged driver of the vehicle that plowed into a Christmas parade on November 21, 2021. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /AFP via Getty Images
A man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens of others by driving an SUV through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last year wants to represent himself in a trial that is scheduled to begin in a little more than a week.


Darrell Brooks Jr.’s public defender, Jeremy Perri, filed a motion in Waukesha County Circuit Court Thursday requesting that he and assistant public defender Anna Kees be taken off the case because Brooks wants to represent himself.


A hearing on the motion has not yet been scheduled. But, if granted by Judge Jennifer Dorow, it could affect the Oct. 3 start date for Brooks’ trial on six homicide counts and about 70 other charges. Four weeks has been set aside for the trial, according to the court calendar.

The motion is the latest development in a case that has seen some twists and turns. Brooks changed his not guilty plea last June to not guilty by reason of mental disease and defect, but two weeks ago withdrew the insanity defense.


Brooks offered little explanation for his decision when questioned by Dorow, saying, “I have my own reasons why.” He confirmed he had discussed the change with his attorneys.

According to a criminal complaint, Brooks drove his SUV into the parade in Waukesha on Nov. 21. Witnesses said he was swerving and appeared to be intentionally trying to hit people. He was arrested minutes later as he stood on the porch of a nearby house asking the homeowner to help him call a ride.

Police said he had fled the scene of a domestic disturbance when he turned into the parade, although officers were not pursuing him at the time.

Last month, Dorow refused a defense motion to have the case against Brooks dismissed because of a July search of the defendant’s jail cell. Investigators and prosecutors were looking for information related to Brooks’ recent decision to change his plea.


His attorneys say the warrant for the search was deficient and that the action violated Brooks’ attorney-client privilege.

In denying the motion, Dorow said the paperwork seized, photocopied and returned to the jail cell was not privileged material.

Dorow also rejected a motion to suppress some statements Brooks made to investigators after defense attorneys argued that he continued to be questioned after stating he wished to invoke his right to remain silent.

At one point during the motions hearing, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper asked the judge to note that Brooks appeared to have been sleeping during the proceeding. Dorow ordered a break and when the parties returned to the courtroom, Brooks lashed out and yelled at the judge before he was surrounded by three deputies and taken from the courtroom.
 

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Man charged in parade killings strips down before opening statements
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Todd Richmond
Publishing date:Oct 06, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 3 minute read • 5 Comments
A handout picture provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office shows Darrell Brooks, identified as the alleged driver of the vehicle that plowed into a Christmas parade on November 21, 2021.
A handout picture provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office shows Darrell Brooks, identified as the alleged driver of the vehicle that plowed into a Christmas parade on November 21, 2021. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /AFP via Getty
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin man defending himself against homicide charges for allegedly plowing his SUV through a Christmas parade stripped off his shirt, sat with his back to the camera and stuck a sign he’d been given to signal objections down his pants Thursday before opening statements began in his trial.


Prosecutors allege Darrell Brooks, 40, killed six people and injured scores of others on Nov. 21 in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha. Police said he turned into the parade after fleeing a domestic disturbance, though officers were not pursuing him at the time. The 76 charges he faces include six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Each of those counts carries a mandatory life sentence.


Brooks has been acting as his own attorney since last week, when he demanded Judge Jennifer Dorow dismiss his public defenders. His trial began Monday with jury selection. Brooks repeatedly interrupted Dorow before prospective jurors were brought in, leading the judge to move him to another courtroom where he could watch via video and speak when she activated his microphone.


Opening statements were expected Thursday. Brooks began the day by interrupting Dorow at least a dozen times before jurors were brought into the courtroom. Among other things, he told her doesn’t recognize his own name.

Dorow had bailiffs take him to the alternate courtroom. Once there, he took off his jail uniform shirt and sat on the defence table with his back to the camera. He could be seen gesturing and jabbing the table with his finger. Dorow said that while bailiffs were trying to move him he took off his shoe and threatened to throw it.

He was given a sign to hold up to the camera to signal objections, which he stuck down the front of his pants. He also claimed he needed medical help for a cut on his fingers. Dorow said there was no blood and he would have to wait until the lunch break.


District Attorney Susan Opper told Dorow that she believes Brooks is simply trying to delay the trial. She said recordings of his calls from jail show he discusses his case with multiple people every day.

“These actions are deliberate and intentional and they have escalated,” Opper said. “He’s attempting to derail these proceedings and delay the inevitable.”

Dorow agreed, noting four psychologists have examined Brooks.

“It’s very clear to this court that everything that he has done as outlined by the state and made evident on the record of these proceedings that it is the sole intent of Mr. Brooks to make a mockery of this process,” Dorow said. “I believe this trial needs to continue and should continue.”

After Dorow called the jurors into the courtroom, Brooks removed his objection sign from his pants and stood behind the table with his eyes closed as Dorow began reading each charge.


Following a lunch break, Dorow brought Brooks back into the main courtroom. Brooks said he didn’t understand what was going on. Dorow said that she believed that he does understand and that he shouldn’t interrupt her. He stood silently for close to an hour as Dorow finished reading the charges to the jury.

Later, Brooks told the judge that the Constitution’s free speech guarantee gives him the right to talk in court. Dorow responded that his free speech rights are limited in court by the rules of decorum and legal procedure.

“So you’re making a judicial determination to deprive me of my constitutional rights,” Brooks said.

“You have a right to present a defence, but your rights are not unfettered,” Dorow replied.

They talked over each other for several minutes before Dorow had Brooks taken back to the alternate courtroom.
 

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Wisconsin man convicted of killing 6 with SUV in Christmas parade
Took jury a little over three hours to find Darrell Brooks guilty of all 76 charges

Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Todd Richmond
Publishing date:Oct 26, 2022 • 8 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin man was convicted Wednesday of killing six people and injuring dozens of others when he drove his SUV through a Christmas parade, wrapping up a trial in which he defended himself with bizarre legal theories and erratic outbursts.


It took the jury a little over three hours to find Darrell Brooks guilty of all 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He faces a mandatory life sentence on each homicide count.


Brooks, dressed in a suit and tie, silently rested his head on folded hands as the verdicts were read. His subdued demeanor was a stark departure from previous days of the trial, when his sometimes-outrageous behaviour drew rebukes from the judge.

Judge Jennifer Dorow scheduled a hearing Monday to set a date for sentencing, when victims and their families will be able to make statements.

Tyler Pudleiner, who was performing with the Waukesha South High School band when he was hit by Brooks’ SUV, told reporters Wednesday that the convictions will help all the victims heal.


“One of the things that I’ve said throughout this is we’re stronger than (Brooks), and it’s been proven today,” Pudleiner said.

Brooks drove his Ford Escape into the Christmas parade in Waukesha in suburban Milwaukee on Nov. 21 moments after fleeing a domestic disturbance with his ex-girlfriend, prosecutors said.

Killed were 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was marching in the parade with his baseball team; Leanna Owen, Virginia Sorenson and Tamara Durand, members of the Dancing Grannies, a group of grandmothers that dances in parades; Wilhelm Hospel, husband to a surviving Dancing Grannies member; and Jane Kulich, described by her family as a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan. Scores of other people were hurt, some severely.


The incident left deep scars on the community of 70,000 people about 16 miles (25 kilometers) west of Milwaukee. Community members built memorials to the dead and held vigils.

The anger was still raw Wednesday; someone in the gallery yelled “burn in hell” as the verdicts were read. Vehicles passing the courthouse honked their horns in celebration, WITI-TV reported.

Brooks pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease earlier this year but withdrew the plea before his trial began with no explanation.

Days before the trial started, he dismissed his public defenders, electing to represent himself despite overwhelming evidence against him. Police officers and paradegoers testified they saw Brooks behind the wheel of the SUV. District Attorney Susan Opper presented several photos of Brooks driving the vehicle to the jury.


Brooks’ main defence theory appeared to be that he was a sovereign citizen, echoing a conspiracy theory that every person is a nation and isn’t subject to government restrictions. He refused to recognize the court’s jurisdiction over him, refused to answer to his own name, launched into meandering cross-examinations, and muttered under his breath that the trial wasn’t fair.

He got into daily arguments with the judge that often devolved into shouting matches. At one point he glared at Dorow so intensely she took a recess because she said she was scared of him.

Multiple times, she moved him into another courtroom where he could watch the proceedings via video and she could mute his microphone when he became disruptive.


One day, after he was moved to the other room, he stripped off his shirt and sat bare-chested on his table with his back to the camera. On another day, he built a barricade out of his boxes of legal documents and hid behind it. On yet another, he held up a Bible so no one could see his face on camera and tossed his copy of the jury instructions into the garbage.

“We felt very, very offended by his behaviour, his disrespect of the court, the decorum, the families, his insulting the judge, his challenging the judge,” Opper said at a news conference.

“That’s not the way our system is designed. That was intentional on his part. We truly believe that. He did everything he (could) except claim the dog ate his homework,” Opper said. “He tried to turn this into his story. Let’s talk about Mr. Brooks and his family. We just kept redirecting it back to the real focus here, our families, our victims, our community and his responsibility for this destruction.”
 

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Wisconsin Christmas parade attacker sentenced to life in prison without parole
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Brendan O'Brien
Publishing date:Nov 16, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 2 minute read

A Wisconsin man convicted of killing six people and injuring dozens more when he drove through a Christmas parade near Milwaukee last year was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Wednesday.


Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow handed down six consecutive life prison terms to Darrell Brooks, 40, who was found guilty on Oct. 26 of 76 criminal counts, including six counts of intentional homicide.


The judge symbolically added at least another 1,067 years to the life sentences to underscore the severity of the crimes for which she said Brooks showed “no remorse, no empathy.”

“Some people choose a path of evil. And I think, Mr. Brooks, you are one of those such persons,” Dorow said, adding that video evidence presented at trial “kept me up at night.”

Brooks deliberately drove a sport utility vehicle through police barricades last November and plowed into crowds of people participating in the annual parade in Waukesha, about 25 km west of downtown Milwaukee.


Brooks, shackled while wearing an orange jail uniform, acted as his own attorney and spoke for two hours before the sentencing. He briefly acknowledged the victims while mostly detailing his need for mental health treatment.

“I want you to know that not only I am sorry for what happened, I am sorry that you cannot see what is truly in my heart and the remorse in my heart,” Brooks said as he wept during his statement in a packed courtroom.

The judge previously found that four separate psychological and psychiatric evaluations determined he was competent to stand trial.

The two-day sentencing hearing began on Tuesday when dozens of relatives of those killed and injured along with victims who survived the incident told the court about their loved ones and confronted Brooks. Many spoke of suffering survivor’s guilt and post traumatic dress disorder that for some is triggered by the sound of a siren or screeching tires.

“Today is our day. Today is for us. Today is so we can take our handful of dirt, throw it on his grave and move on,” said Chris Owen, whose mother Leanna Owen, 71, died in the attack.

Leanna Owen was performing with her troupe known as the Dancing Grannies when she was struck and killed. Five others, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed in the incident while more than 60 others were injured, including at least 18 children.