MADISON, Wis. — A decide is about to determine Friday whether or not a Milwaukee man accused of plowing his SUV by way of a Christmas parade, killing six folks and injuring dozens extra, will stand trial for homicide.
Darrell Brooks Jr. is about to look in Waukesha County courtroom earlier than Judge Michael Bohren for a preliminary listening to. Such hearings, when the decide decides whether or not there’s sufficient proof to carry a defendant for trial, are normally a formality however can make clear protection and prosecution methods.
According to the felony criticism, Brooks drove his mom’s maroon Ford Escape into the parade in downtown Waukesha on Nov. 21. He saved going regardless of cops’ calls for to cease, with some officers telling investigators it appeared the driving force was attempting to deliberately hit folks and “citizen witnesses” telling detectives the SUV by no means slowed down.
Some of the folks he hit flew up onto the hood of the Escape; at one level Brooks needed to lean out the driving force’s window to steer as a result of an individual had landed on the windshield, in line with the criticism.
Six folks have been killed and dozens extra injured. District Attorney Susan Opper charged Brooks with six counts of first-degree intentional murder a couple of days later. He would face life in jail if he’s convicted on even one depend. Opper this week added scores of further expenses, together with reckless endangerment, hit-and-run involving demise, bail leaping and battery.
Any attainable motives stay unknown. Court paperwork filed Wednesday allege Brooks beat the mom of his baby minutes earlier than driving into the parade as a result of she refused to bail him out of jail after he was arrested for allegedly working her over with the identical automobile earlier in November.
Brooks had been arrested in neighboring Milwaukee County in that alleged earlier incident. He walked out of jail on Nov. 19, two days earlier than the parade, after posting $1,000 bail.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, has taken intense criticism for his workplace recommending bail be set so low for Brooks.
Chisholm instructed county officers in December that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a backlog of instances in his workplace. An analysis of the chance Brooks posed to the neighborhood by no means made into his workplace’s laptop system and went unseen, Chisholm mentioned, and a younger, overworked assistant prosecutor really useful $1,000 bail for him so she may transfer on to different instances.
A gaggle of Milwaukee County taxpayers filed a criticism with Gov. Tony Evers in December demanding he take away Chisholm from workplace. An lawyer the Evers administration employed to evaluate the criticism concluded Tuesday that the criticism suffers from technical authorized deficiencies and isn’t legitimate. Evers refused to take any motion in opposition to Chisholm, a fellow Democrat.
Chisholm has pushed for ending money bail, saying it’s not honest to poor defendants. He desires a brand new system during which solely violent offenders are jailed till trial.
Brooks’ case has pushed Republicans legislators to introduce payments that will require a $10,000 minimal bond for individuals who have beforehand dedicated a felony or violent misdemeanor. They would additionally require the Wisconsin Department of Justice to create a “bond transparency report” detailing crime and bond circumstances.
Evers and Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul have mentioned they’d assist stricter bail insurance policies.
Bohren isn’t any stranger to high-profile instances. He presided over proceedings in opposition to two Waukesha ladies accused of stabbing their classmate in 2014 to please a fictional horror character, Slender Man.