Accused Waukesha parade killer Darrell Brooks Jr. has pleaded not guilty
The Wisconsin man accused of fatally plowing his SUV through a crowd at the Waukesha Christmas parade pleaded not guilty to dozens of criminal charges on Friday.
Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, faces 77 charges in the Nov. 21 vehicle shooting spree that killed six and injured dozens more.
Brooks had his head freshly shaved and wore a mask in a brief court appearance Friday that lasted less than five minutes. He is being held on $5 million bail.
Police had said Brooks was involved in an unrelated “domestic incident” prior to the attack.
At around 4:40 p.m. during the parade, a red Ford SUV sped past barriers into crowds of protesters and parade-goers, killing victims ranging in age from 8 to 81. The dead included several members of an older women’s dance group called the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. About 61 people were also injured in the carnage.
Brooks’ attorney, Public Defender Anna Kees, said at a preliminary hearing last month that the accused killer could not leave the parade route because of barricades. Brooks told police he didn’t want to kill anyone, the attorney said.
However, a police officer said officers shouted at the driver to stop when the vehicle struck several people in the crowd, to no avail. Brooks even leaned out of his window at one point to better aim at his victims because a dead body on his windshield was blocking his view, prosecutors said.
Brooks’ attorneys have requested a change of venue, but the judge has yet to rule on the request.
Five days before the parade massacre, Brooks posted bail for an arrest for allegedly hitting his child’s mother and running her over with a car at a gas station on Nov. 2, court documents say.
The Milwaukee County Attorney later admitted that his office set bail “unreasonably low” in the case.
With postal wires