Judge in deadly Wisconsin parade trial says she’s frightened by Darrell Brooks’ actions in court 

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The judge in the case of a man accused of driving his car through a Wisconsin parade has admitted being ‘scared’ of his outbursts of sobbing, stripping, sleeping, and even staring her down during the trial.

Darrell Brooks, 40, allegedly plowed through the crowd at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin on November 21, 2021, killing six people between the ages of eight and 81, and injuring more than 60 people.

Though Brooks elected to represent himself in his trial, his repeated interruptions, outbursts, and erratic behavior have led to him being removed from the courtroom and led to Judge Jennifer Dorow admitting she’s frightened of him.

Dorow said Friday that Brooks was giving her a ‘stare-down’ which she called disrespectful and ‘frankly, makes me scared.’ Brooks continued to stare at the judge while banging his fists on the table.

Brooks had just finished accusing the prosecution of coaching Brooks’ own witnesses, an allegation Dorow said ‘has no basis in fact,’ USA Today reported. 

Judge in deadly Wisconsin parade trial says she’s frightened by Darrell Brooks’ actions in court 

Darrell Brooks (pictured), 40, allegedly plowed through the crowd at a Christmas parade in Waukesha , Wisconsin on November 21, 2021, killing six people between the ages of eight and 81, and injuring more than 60 people

Though Brooks elected to represent himself in his trial, his repeated interruptions, outbursts, and erratic behavior have led to him being removed from the courtroom and has led to Judge Jennifer Dorow (pictured) admitting she's frightened of him

Though Brooks elected to represent himself in his trial, his repeated interruptions, outbursts, and erratic behavior have led to him being removed from the courtroom and has led to Judge Jennifer Dorow (pictured) admitting she’s frightened of him

Dorow said Friday that Brooks was giving her a 'stare-down' which she called disrespectful and 'frankly, makes me scared.' Brooks continued to stare at the judge while banging his fists on the table

Dorow said Friday that Brooks was giving her a ‘stare-down’ which she called disrespectful and ‘frankly, makes me scared.’ Brooks continued to stare at the judge while banging his fists on the table

Brooks had just finished accusing the prosecution of coaching Brooks' own witnesses, an allegation Dorow said 'has no basis in fact'

Brooks had just finished accusing the prosecution of coaching Brooks’ own witnesses, an allegation Dorow said ‘has no basis in fact’

The trial became a bit of a sideshow at multiple stages, as Brooks was removed to participate virtually in a separate courtroom multiple times and yelled that the court had ‘no integrity’ after the jury had been excused for the day.  

At times, Brooks has refused to recognize his own name and frequently has muttered under his breath about the trial not being fair and objected to almost every question prosecutors have asked of witnesses, usually to no avail.

At one point, he stuffed a laminated sign reading ‘objection’ into the waistband of his orange prison attire after the judge muted his microphone so she could read off his 77 charges without interruption 

Brooks earlier this week told the jury to remember that there were two sides to every story, while repeatedly mentioning the amount of ‘suffering’ the parade incident had created – his own included.

He insisted that nothing that happened during the parade attack last November was intentional, and tearfully bemoaned the names – such as ‘monster’ and ‘demon’ –  he had been called in the press since his arrest.

Brooks finally told the jury that he wanted them to see him for who he truly was, and told them the power was in their hands to determine what was truth and what wasn’t.

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He is charged with murdering six people by plowing an SUV through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last year.

Darrell Brooks, 40, is accused of killing six people by ploughing an SUV through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin November last year

Darrell Brooks, 40, is accused of killing six people by ploughing an SUV through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin November last year

Darrell Brooks broke down in tears during his opening statement to the Jury in court today

Darrell Brooks broke down in tears during his opening statement to the Jury in court today

Judge Jennifer Dorow noted that she had provided him with excerpts from a judicial book on opening statements that she felt ‘would be helpful to provide to Mr. Brooks as he puts together his opening statement.’ 

She added that his remarks needed to be ‘based on the law and evidence you believe is properly admissible.’ 

Brooks started by talking about how there are ‘two sides to every story.’

‘I would just like to first say that, I want to bring to remembering something that I think everyone in this room has been taught, pretty much as far back as we can remember, is that there’s always two sides to every story,’ he said.

Brooks has called what happened at the parade ‘a tragedy’ while reminding jurors that there’s two sides to every story.

‘It’s easy to look at the magnitude of something like this and form opinions,’ he said. ‘I think it’s easy to disregard a lot of factors. … It’s easy to forget the other side of the coin.’

He then started choking back tears and dabbing his eyes with a tissue. He said the entire community is suffering, including his family.

‘There’s been a lot of words thrown out there about the alleged, lot of speculation, lot of ridicule. Words like `demon.´ Words like `molester,´’ he said.

He had tried to get the case against him thrown out on grounds of insanity, but he withdrew the plea early last month without explaining why. 

At one point, he began interrupting the judge within a minute of the proceedings beginning, and was ejected soon after when he got into a spat with the judge over his decision to wear prison attire in the courtroom.

Brooks was thrown from the courtroom on Thursday after repeated interruptions, outbursts, and a spat with the judge - only to appear shirtless while livestreaming in from a sperate room

Once in another courtroom, Darrel Brooks, 40, appeared without his shirt off, and repeatedly kept his back to the camera

Brooks also stuffed a laminated sign reading 'objection' into the waistband of his orange prison attire after the judge muted his microphone so she could read off his charges

Brooks also stuffed a laminated sign reading ‘objection’ into the waistband of his orange prison attire after the judge muted his microphone so she could read off his 77 charges without interruption

At one point, Brooks even began sobbing during the trial proceedings

At one point, Brooks even began sobbing during the trial proceedings

Dorow has continually refused to back down, and after sending Brooks off to another courtroom explained that she would not back down despite his attempts to make a ‘mockery’ of the proceedings.  

‘It’s very clear to this court that everything that he has done as outlined by the state and as made evident the court of this proceeding that it is the sole intent of Mr. Brooks to make mockery of this process,’ she said, as Brooks could be seen on a video feed with his shirtless back to the camera.

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‘It’s important for the justice system to go forward with this proceeding. We are at the stage where we are at with Mr. Brooks muted in another courtroom because of his defiant actions, no one else,’ she added.

With his microphone muted at all times except when called on to speak or answer questions, Brooks could be seen wildly gesticulating in the other courtroom, arguing with court police, and holding up his objection sign to everything Judge Dorow said.

Though opening statements were scheduled to begin on Thursday, by midday they had gone unspoken due to delays caused by Brooks's incessant outbursts

Though opening statements were scheduled to begin on Thursday, by midday they had gone unspoken due to delays caused by Brooks’s incessant outbursts

With his microphone muted at all times except when called on to speak or answer questions, Brooks could be seen wildly gesticulating in the other courtroom, arguing with court police, and holding up his objection sign to everything Judge Dorow said

With his microphone muted at all times except when called on to speak or answer questions, Brooks could be seen wildly gesticulating in the other courtroom, arguing with court police, and holding up his objection sign to everything Judge Dorow said

Despite his outbursts, Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper insisted Brooks was competent to stand trial.

‘At no time as has anyone in this case had a competency concern,’ she said, ‘I’m thoroughly convinced he is 100 percent competent to proceed trial. We are 100 percent convinced that his conduct [is]… deliberate and intentional. He is attempting to derail these proceedings.’

Judge Dorow agreed with Opper’s assessment. 

‘I share your observations,’ the judge said, adding she felt his behavior was merely an act of ‘defiance’ instead of a sign of poor mental health. 

Brooks, a Milwaukee resident, was arrested near the scene of the attack on November 21 and has been in custody ever since.

Prosecutors say Brooks deliberately drove his car through police barricades and into the crowds participating in the annual parade in the city of Waukesha, about 15 miles west of downtown Milwaukee.

Brooks rammed through the crowd after allegedly confronting a woman outside of a motel before the parade.

Law enforcement officials said that the accused returned and punched that woman in the face and ran her over, as well.

A first responder was seen examining the crime scene after Brooks allegedly drove through a crowd of people at high speeds during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin

A first responder was seen examining the crime scene after Brooks allegedly drove through a crowd of people at high speeds during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin

People gathered in Waukesha in 2021 following the deadly incident which claimed the lives of six people and injured dozens of others

People gathered in Waukesha following the deadly incident which claimed the lives of six people and injured dozens of others 

A stroller was left at the scene where more than 60 people were injured and six were left dead

A stroller was left at the scene where more than 60 people were injured and six were left dead

The ages of the people killed ranged from 8 to 81 years old, and more than 60 other people were injured, including at least 18 children.

Brooks, who was out on bail from a domestic abuse charge at the time of the attack, faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.

The man has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 1999 when he was first arrested for aggravated battery and carrying a concealed weapon.

Since then, he’s had at least 15 other run ins with the law.

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Brooks has been charged with obstructing an officer multiple times, possession of a controlled substance, paternity warrants, failure to appear in court, and other charges.

One of his most aggressive charges came in 2010 when he was accused of strangulation and suffocation, as well as domestic battery.

Hundreds of people witnessed the attack, several recording cellphone videos, some of whom are expected to be called to testify by prosecutors from the Waukesha County district attorney’s office.

The trial had been scheduled to last about a month, but Brooks’ decision to represent himself may prolong the process even as Dorow has warned him that the court will not tolerate deliberate acts of obstruction, the Journal Sentinel reported.

This week’s issues in court were not the first in this trial, however.

During an August 26 appearance, Brooks fell asleep several times, and then ranted at Dorow, WISN reported.

‘You sit up here and act like you know me,’ he said, as she stood with her arms folded.

‘People like you don’t know nothing about where I come from,’ he continued.

Brooks was also heard to say that he was ‘bored’ by proceedings, and raged at sheriff’s deputies as they led him out of court at Judge Dorow’s instructions.

The accused called the trial ‘political’ and continued to verbally batter the judge.

At one point, Brooks told Dorow that he didn’t want to be there and wanted to return to his cell.

Brooks pleaded not guilty in February.

In April, his attorneys, public defenders Anna Kees and Jeremy Perri, filed a motion seeking to push the proceedings back until at least March 2023.

The attorneys argued in the motion they need at least six months to study more than 300 videos of the parade, break down the SUV’s speed throughout the incident, review the police interrogation of Brooks and reach out to potential expert witnesses.

During a hearing in June, Brooks requested the changing his plea to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

The six fatal victims of the Waukesha Christmas Parade killer 

Darrell Brooks, 39, now faces 61 counts of recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon for each person injured at the November 21 incident, along with the six homicide charges, according to court records filed on Wednesday.

He is accused of plowing through the crowd at the parade on November 21, killing six and injuring dozen others.  

The fatal victims were Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, Wilhelm Hospel, 81, and Jackson Sparks, 8.

Four of the five people who were killed were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. 

Brooks’ motive remains unknown.  

Jane Kulich was a Citizen Bank employee who was walking with a parade float before she was fatally struck

The sixth victim of the tragedy was Jackson Sparks, 8

Jane Kulich, left, was a Citizen Bank employee who was walking with a parade float before she was fatally struck. The sixth victim of the tragedy was Jackson Sparks, 8

Tamara Durand, 52

LeAnna 'Lee' Owen, 71

Tamara Durand (left), 52, and Leana ‘Lee’ Owen (right), 71, were two members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies

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