Darrell Brooks found guilty of killing six in Christmas parade
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The man who drove his car into a crowd of people at a Christmas parade has been found guilty of six counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
A jury in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, delivered its verdict for Darrell Brooks today (26 October), almost a year after six people were killed and dozens more were wounded when he directed his SUV towards the attendees on 21 November, 2021.
Brooks, 40, represented himself in the case and repeatedly spoke over the judge in an attempt to make arguments during the three-week trial, but he remained quiet as the guilty verdicts were read out.
As well as the six counts of homicide, Brooks has been convicted of 61 counts of recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon, six counts of fatal hit and run, two counts of felony bail jumping and one count of misdemeanor domestic battery.
During their closing arguments, prosecutors in the case said Brooks intentionally 'reached speeds of approximately 30 mph' before ploughing 'through 68 different people'
"68. How can you hit one and keep going? How can you hit two and keep going?” Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper asked.
“His intent I do have to prove, and I submit without any doubt there’s overwhelming evidence that this was an intentional act by Darrell Brooks and an act of utter disregard for human life," she continued.
"You must not, not, not consider anything about Darrell Brooks other than his conduct in downtown Waukesha on the evening of November 21, 2021. Nothing he’s done before that, nothing he’s done since that. When you go back to that deliberation room, please obey Judge Dorow. Confine your comments to his conduct on November 21.”
Meanwhile, Brooks claimed there had been 'lies' told about him during the trial, saying: “I’ve never heard of someone trying to intentionally hurt someone while attempting to blow their horn while attempting to alert people of their presence."
The attack took place in downtown Waukesha and included floats and dancers who paraded along the town's Main Street. Brooks drove through barriers and hit spectators, dancers and marching band musicians.
He then fled the scene, but was later arrested in a residential neighbourhood in Waukesha. Footage of the events were shown to the jury during the trial.
The jury began their deliberations last night before resuming discussions this morning. Following the verdict, Brooks faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.