The Darrel Brooks Trial

The ruling on Brooks’ 76 charges.

Daniel Lee

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The trial of Darrell Brooks has seen coverage on major news outlets and social media.

On Nov. 21, 2021 in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, Brooks drove his red SUV through a Christmas parade, killing 6 people and injuring 61 others. He was charged two days later.

Brooks’ 76 charges consist of six counts of first-degree homicide, 61 counts of reckless endangerment, six counts of hit-and-run, two counts of felony bail jumping, and one count of battery. The first day of his trial began on Oct. 3, in which he was removed from the courtroom four times after numerous disruptions in the proceedings.

Throughout the trial Brooks displayed more outlandish behavior, such as concealing himself using a wall of boxes and appearing shirtless after being removed from the courtroom. These behaviors were spread across social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter, bringing more attention to the case.

Brooks, who chose to represent himself despite having no prior legal experience, gave his opening statement on Oct. 20. The prosecution rested their case on the same day after over a week of witness testimonies from those who were at the parade.

Brooks’ main defense was his self proclaimed sovereign citizenship, a far-right extremist concept in which certain people who reside in the United States believe that they are separate from it and therefore are unaffected by government authority. The defense was dismissed by Judge Jennifer Dorow as it lacked merit.

Dorow and Brooks came in conflict with each other multiple times during the trial, which was a major factor in Brooks’ removals from the courtroom. When questioned about documentation for one of his witnesses, Brooks lashed out at Dorow and would later have a staredown with her after another argument.

After failing to produce a witness on Oct. 24, Dorow determined that Brooks would rest his case. Closing arguments were made the following day, and a verdict was given by the jury on Wednesday.

Brooks has been found guilty on all charges, facing six life sentences for each count of homicide. In addition, a potential 17 and a half years could be given for each count of reckless endangerment.