Wisconsin: Parade incident driver to face trial

·2-min read
Darrell Brooks being escorted by deputies at a court appearance following his arrest in November.
Darrell Brooks at a previous court appearance in November following the fatal incident.

A Milwaukee man accused of ploughing his car into a Christmas parade in November will face trial, a Wisconsin judge has ruled.

Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, 39, killed six people, aged between eight and 81, and injured over 60 others in Waukesha, Wisconsin on 21 November.

Earlier this week, prosecutors added 71 new charges against him.

Those are in addition to the six homicide charges he already faced.

Mr Brooks faces life in prison if convicted of even one of the murder charges.

The new charges against him included 61 counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, six counts of committing a hit-and-run, and two charges each of bail jumping and domestic abuse.

Following testimony from a police detective who was on traffic duty the day of the incident, Court Commissioner Kevin Costello determined that the case should go to trial. He set an arraignment date for 11 February where Mr Brooks will be expected to enter a plea.

In court, Mr Brooks did not visibly react to the commissioner's decision.

In a December interview with Fox News Digital, said he felt as if he's been "demonised" since the fatal incident. In a letter, his mother said that Mr Brook had suffered from mental health issues for years and claimed he had "fallen through the cracks of a broken system".

Police say that Mr Brooks was fleeing a domestic dispute when he mowed into the crowd at the Christmas parade. According to updated court documents filed earlier this week, Mr Brooks' girlfriend said he was "very upset and angry with her and accused her of talking to other guys on her phone" before the incident.

Earlier in November, Mr Brooks was charged with running the same woman over with his car.

The six people killed in the parade incident included an eight-year-boy and several members of a well-known local dance troupe, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.

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