Man found guilty of killing six in car attack on Christmas parade

US News

A man has been found guilty of killing six people by driving his car into a Christmas parade near Milwaukee last year.

Darrell Brooks was convicted of six counts of intentional homicide over the attack on 21 November in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

An eight-year-old marching with his baseball team and three members of the Dancing Grannies group were among the dead.

More than 60 people were also injured.

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Somebody in the court shouted “burn in hell you piece of s***” as the verdicts were read.

The 40-year-old initially pleaded guilty by reason of mental disease but withdrew that plea in September.

The following month he dismissed his lawyers and began representing himself.

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He mounted an erratic defence during a trial that included heated arguments with the judge, refusing to acknowledge his name and meandering cross-examinations.

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What happened at Waukesha Christmas parade?

On one occasion, after being moved to another courtroom, he removed his shirt and sat bare-chested on the table with his back to the camera.

Another day, he hid behind a barricade of boxes containing legal documents.

Brooks suggested his car had a throttle malfunction, that he had no intention of hurting anyone and had sounded the horn to warn bystanders.

However, a vehicle inspector testified that the Ford Escape SUV was in good working order.

Prosecutors said Brooks had fled after an argument with his girlfriend but didn’t know why he drove into the parade other than being enraged.

This Nov. 16, 2021, photo provided by the Waukesha County Sheriff Office in Waukesha, Wis., shows Darrell Brooks Jr. Brooks, the SUV driver who plowed into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, killing and injuring multiple people, was leaving the scene of a domestic dispute that had taken place just minutes earlier, Waukesha's police chief said Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. Police Chief Dan Thompson said that there was no evidence the bloodshed Sunday was a terrorist attack or that the suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr., knew anyone in the parade. Brooks acted alone, the chief said. (Waukesha County Sheriff Office via AP)
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Darrell Brooks faces life behind bars

He was out on bail from a domestic violence charge at the time.

“When you ride through a parade route and roll over children… your intent is known. That’s not an accident,” said Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper in closing arguments.

She said his refusal to stop showed he intended to kill people.

Brooks now faces a mandatory life sentence for each homicide conviction.

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