During closing statements on Tuesday, Darrell Brooks told the jury that he did not deliberately drive his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin last year, killing six and injuring hundreds more.
During the course of this three-week trial, Brooks has been representing himself. During his 50-minute final statement, he sadly implored the jury to consider the impact of the trial and the negative news on his family, as well as the possibility that the car had malfunctioned during the incident last November.
Suppose there was a problem with the vehicle’s brakes and it couldn’t come to a halt. But what if the driver had no way to stop the car? As a result of this, what if the driver became frightened? What does that mean, that the driver is angry and planning to kill people? Brooks inquired, saying there had been a recall on the car he was driving at the time. Judge Jennifer Dorow of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, expunged the statements from the transcript.
“I’ve never heard of someone trying to purposefully hurt someone while blowing their horn in an attempt to inform people of their presence,” Brooks added.
The defendant then claimed over and over that witnesses had “misunderstood” him and told “lies” about him throughout the trial. After declaring that he has no guilt and that he has reconciled with God, Brooks spent the last 10 minutes of his closing argument assuring the jury that they need not feel guilty about their decision.
It’s important that you be happy with your choice, whatever it may be. That, Brooks emphasized, is the scope of your influence. Accept your choice and move forward.
In response to Brooks’s accusations, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper said, “He wants jurors to worry about his family when other families in this catastrophe will never see their loved ones again.”
There have been 68 fatalities in this incident. “That’s not a coincidence,” Opper said.
Opper told the jury over and over again that there was substantial evidence demonstrating that Brooks was fully aware of his actions when he drove his SUV through a crowd of hundreds of people, despite Brooks’ claims that he did not intend to strike anyone with the SUV.
He was traveling at around 30 miles per hour. Yes, that was done on purpose. The number of persons he ran over is in the high sixties. Exactly how do you hit a home run and keep on running? Why can’t you just stop at two? When questioned, Opper posed the question.
Opper also instructed the jury to put aside Brooks’ behavior during the trial as they deliberated.
Opper emphasized to the jury that they should not take into account any information about Darrell Brooks other than what they saw in downtown Waukesha on the evening of November 21, 2021. Nothing he did before or after that. Judge Dorow orders you back into the deciding room. Keep your criticisms focused on his actions from November 21.
At this time, the jury is deliberating whether or not to find Brooks guilty. Tuesday’s first day of jury deliberations ended with no judgment reached after the panel deliberated for an hour and 45 minutes. On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET, the jury will return to court to resume their deliberations.
Brooks faces over seventy accusations, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide, to which he has entered a not guilty plea. Initially, he claimed insanity as his defense, but in September, his lawyers changed their minds. At a later date, the attorneys asked to be removed from the case, and the judge granted their request so that Brooks could defend himself in court.
Unpredictable interruptions have occurred throughout the trial as a result of Brooks’ bizarre decision to represent himself in court and his frequent disruptions and absurd behavior. He has interrupted the prosecution and judge, asked evasive questions, questioned the court’s authority, and claimed “Darrell Brooks” is not his real name.
Whenever Brooks becomes disruptive in court, Judge Dorow takes him out of the room and puts him in another room with a monitor and a muffled microphone.