Man convicted in Wisconsin parade attack to be sentenced

FILE PHOTO: Darrell Brooks, charged with killing five people and injuring nearly 50 after plowing through a Christmas parade with his sport utility vehicle on November 21, appears in Waukesha County Court in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S. November 23, 2021. M

By Brendan O’Brien

(Reuters) – Grieving relatives of those injured and killed when a man drove through a Christmas parade near Milwaukee last year will have a chance to confront the driver during a two-day sentencing hearing beginning on Tuesday.

The driver, Darrell Brooks, 40, faces life in prison after a circuit court jury in Waukesha, Wisconsin, found him guilty on Oct. 26 of 76 criminal charges, including six counts of intentional homicide.

The sentencing hearing will begin on Tuesday morning when at least 36 relatives of those injured and killed, along with victims who survived the incident, are expected to confront Brooks and talk about their loved ones, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reported.

Brooks, a Milwaukee resident who represented himself during the three-week trial, told the court last month that he expected about 20 people to speak on his behalf, the newspaper reported.

The sentencing hearing will conclude on Wednesday when Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow is expected to sentence Brooks to a mandatory term of life in a prison for each count of homicide.

Brooks was accused of deliberately driving his sport utility vehicle through police barricades last November and plowing into crowds of people participating in the annual parade in Waukesha, about 15 miles (25 km) west of downtown Milwaukee.

The dead ranged in age from 8 to 81, and more than 60 others were injured, including at least 18 children. Among the casualties were members of a dance troupe known as the Dancing Grannies.

On numerous occasions during the proceedings, Dorow admonished Brooks for failing to follow court rules and arguing with her. She removed Brooks from the courtroom several times, sending him to another room where he watched the proceedings.


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