Prosecution in Waukesha parade attack trial rests; suspect Darrell Brooks cries during opening

Darrell Brooks is accused of killing 6, injuring dozens more when he allegedly drove into Waukesha Christmas parade

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Latest coverage from the Waukesha parade attack trial
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Latest coverage from the Waukesha parade attack trial

WAUKESHA, Wis. (WLS) -- The Waukesha Christmas parade attack trial continued Thursday as the prosecution rested its case.

Defendant Darrell Brooks gave his opening statement and has begun calling witnesses in his defense.

WATCH | Waukesha parade attack suspect gives opening statement

Waukesha parade attack suspect Darrell Brooks delivers his own opening statement to the jury. Brooks is representing himself in the trial.

Darrell Brooks faces 76 charges, including six homicide counts, in connection with the Nov. 21 incident in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb.

Things broke down Thursday morning just before prosecutors rested their case. Brooks became agitated when District Attorney Susan Opper introduced a rap video that Brooks starred in that shows him standing in front of the SUV in an attempt to link him to the vehicle.

Brooks argued that Opper sprung the video on him without notifying him that it could be part of the evidence.

"This is mind-boggling," he said.

He also complained that Opper and other prosecutors have been laughing at him under their breath since the trial began.

Opper told Dorow that she laughed Thursday because the video had been mislabeled and nothing prohibits her from pulling anything out of her briefcase and offering it as evidence. She said she was tired of Brooks questioning the ethics of both the judge and the prosecution team.

"He continues to suggest and impugn the integrity of this court without a basis. He doesn't like it because the evidence is stacking up and stacking up (against him)," Opper said. "I do not appreciate his impugning the integrity of these proceedings, your honor's efforts to run a fair trial and our efforts to run a fair trial."

Dorow said she was tired of Brooks rolling his eyes at her, gesturing at her and fighting with her.

"I don't like your tone and the way you're talking to me," Brooks said.

Dorow responded by telling him to sit down and stop talking.

"What you mean, stop talking?" Brooks said.

Dorow then called a recess. In the past she has ordered Brooks removed to an alternative courtroom where he can watch the proceedings via video but she can cut off his microphone to prevent him from disrupting court. She stopped short of that on Thursday but told Brooks that she was looking forward to the lunch break.

"Did I raise my voice?" the judge told Brooks as he paged through a book without looking at her. "I absolutely did. Was I frustrated? I absolutely was."

WATCH | Darrell Brooks' heated exchange with judge in Waukesha parade attack trial

A judge removed Waukesha parade attack suspect Darrell Brooks and the jury because of comments he made during witness testimony.

There were fireworks in the courtroom Wednesday, too. It all started when Judge Jennifer Dorow asked Brooks if he wanted to be present when the jury views a key piece of evidence: the red SUV allegedly used during the 2021 rampage.

Jurors were taken to a secure location within the courthouse complex to view the SUV.

Prosecutors plan to call their final witness Thursday.

On Tuesday, Judge Dorow had Brooks and the jury removed from the courtroom because of statements he made during the prosecution's cross-examination of a witness called to testify.

The judge later allowed him to return.

Brooks, who is representing himself, then had a combative exchange with Waukesha Police Detective Jay Carpenter over why the parade incident wasn't brought up during his initial 5-hour interrogation.

In testimony Monday, witnesses recounted the aftermath of the tragedy.

Brooks, who is representing himself, repeatedly objected to anyone in court calling him "Mr. Brooks," despite body cam video showing him identifying himself by that name.

The suspect, who is representing himself, has been questioning some of the Waukesha parade victims.

On day 10 of the trial on Friday, Dorow also dismissed the jury after continuous interruptions from defendant Darrell Brooks.

After continuing back and forth, Dorow left the courtroom, saying, "I am going to step off and give Mr. Brooks five minutes to cool off."

When testimony resumed, a Waukesha police officer testified about shooting at the suspect's vehicle, as it approached parade-goers.

RELATED: Waukesha parade attack trial continues after Darrell Brooks calls for case to be dismissed

"Well, my intention was to shoot you in the upper portion of the body. However, my intention was not to kill you. My intention was to stop the threat, the threat that you were posing to everyone in the downtown area at the Christmas parade," Bryce Scholten said.

Brooks is accused of driving into the Waukesha Christmas parade route last year, killing six people and injuring more than 60 others.

Brooks, who has no legal training, is representing himself at the trial. He has repeatedly disrupted the court proceedings with defiant and outlandish behavior.

WATCH | Darrell Brooks rants that case should be dismissed

Waukesha parade attack suspect Darrell Brooks went on a tirade for 50 minutes Thursday morning, arguing that the case should be dismissed.

Brooks went on a tirade for 50 minutes Thursday morning, arguing that the case should be dismissed. He told Judge Dorow that his right to a speedy trial was violated and that the trial shouldn't be taking place in Waukesha County due to bias. He also told the judge it was "treason" not to uphold her oath of office to honor his constitutional rights.

Jurors were not present for his speech.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.