A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a Wisconsin man accused of killing six people after plowing his SUV through a Christmas parade.
The verdict in the trial of Darrell Brooks Jr. is expected to be read at 10:45 a.m. CT.
Brooks was charged with 76 counts, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment, after authorities said he drove his vehicle into the Nov. 21 parade in downtown Waukesha despite police warnings to stop and officers opening fire on him, a criminal complaint stated.
Police said that they had been called to an earlier domestic disturbance involving Brooks and an ex-girlfriend. They said he fled that scene and drove into the parade, intentionally targeting participants and parade-goers.
Six people, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed and more than 40 others were injured.
Brooks, 40, initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease, a move that could have resulted in him being sentenced to a mental institution rather than prison. But he withdrew that plea in September, dismissed his public defenders and told Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow that he wanted to represent himself.
The trial began on Oct. 3 but had constant disruptions. On Monday, he was removed from the courtroom after he got into an argument with the judge.
Brooks had tried unsuccessfully to have his case dismissed, citing a vehicle recall and implying that mechanical issues could be to blame for what happened, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Dorow said that earlier testimony showed no vehicle issues that would have contributed to the incident and denied his request to dismiss the case.
Earlier in the trial, he became so disruptive that Dorow had to call 10 recesses before ultimately forcing him to watch the proceedings via video in another room.
At another point, Brooks was removed from the courtroom after he interrupted the judge about a dozen times. While in the room, he took off his jail uniform shirt, sat on the defense table with his back to the camera and stuck a sign that read “objection” down his pants.
He then demanded medical attention for a cut on his finger, a request Dorow said would have to wait until a lunch break because there was no blood.
At other times, Brooks demanded Dorow show him proof that the state had jurisdiction over him, which resulted in the judge and Brooks shouting at each other. Whenever someone addressed him by name, Brooks would say that he did not recognize “Darrell Brooks.”
Almost every question prosecutors asked witnesses was met with an objection from Books. Frequently, he was heard muttering under his breath about the trial being unfair and “mind-boggling.” At one point he asked to have the case dismissed, saying that the state of Wisconsin could not physically testify and that only “a living human brain” can bring a lawsuit.