Following a 3 ½ week trial, on October 26, 2022, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a jury returned 76 guilty verdicts against Darrell Brooks, Jr., who was charged and convicted of 76 criminal counts, including six first-degree intentional homicide charges for the deaths of six people.
The charges stemmed from the 2021 Waukesha Christmas Parade attack where a driver of a red Ford Escape, later confirmed to be Darrell Brooks, Jr., drove his vehicle through a crowd of parade-goers. Six people were killed and dozens of others were injured.
Defendant Brooks represented himself at trial, and over the past few weeks, myriad news articles, including courtroom footage, have detailed the dramatic exchanges between Brooks and the trial court; Brooks and the prosecutor; and in his closing argument, Brooks and the jury.
Brooks had to be escorted out of the courtroom multiple times for failure to adhere to courtroom etiquette and instructions explained to him by presiding Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow.
The State’s strategy was clear as it sought to establish intent by showing recorded video footage of the November 21, 2021 attack. The State emphasized that Brooks did not stop when he hit the parade goers—he didn’t even slow down.
Brooks countered that he honked multiple times and stressed to the jury that he was not the heartless individual the State was painting him as.
The jury was unconvinced by Brooks’ defense strategy and returned 76 guilty verdicts on October 26th. What remains is a sentencing hearing, where Judge Dorow will decide what punishment Brooks is to receive.
He faces mandatory life in prison for each of the six first-degree homicide convictions, but the judge must also determine his punishment for the other convictions, including reckless endangerment, bail jumping, hit-and-run involving injury, and battery.
Brooks’ legal journey is far from over.
Once he is sentenced, he will have the right to appeal his case to Wisconsin’s Second District Court of Appeals.
About The Attorney
Attorney Sarah Durham’s practice focuses on appellate advocacy. She is passionate about the research and writing intrinsic to appellate and post-conviction writ work.
She frequently uses her skills, including attention to detail and presenting the complex as comprehensible, when advocating for her clients.
On a given week, she may write a brief to one of the fourteen intermediate courts of appeals throughout Texas or submit a petition for discretionary review to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Sarah also focuses on and can often be found working on post-conviction writs of habeas corpus, including 11.07; new evidence; and other extraordinary writs for post-conviction relief.