Darrell Brooks Jr. was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences for the murder of six people last Christmas when his red Ford SUV plowed through the Christmas parade in Wisconsin.
Brooks, 41, stared at, glared and disrupted Waukesha county Judge Jennifer R. Dorow, who gave over an hour worth of emotional remarks, before she kicked him out of courtroom. Brooks, 41, returned to the main courtroom almost an hour later and began fighting with the jurist before he was sent back into an adjacent room where he learned his fate.
“There’s nothing that can describe what happened on Nov. 21, 2021 better than the word “attack,” Dorrow stated, disputing Brooks’ earlier argument. “I tried to find a mitigating factor in the case. I waited patiently for an actual apology. It didn’t come to my benefit. “But for the victims.”
Dorow stated that there is no treatment or medication for those with evil hearts. “Child trauma and bipolar disorder, indifference to a child, or childhood trauma didn’t cause Darrell Brooks the acts for which they will be sentenced today.” This court is clear that Darrell Brooks understands the distinction between right and wrong and that he chooses not to listen to his conscience. He is driven by anger and rage.”
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Dorow said, “Unfortunately, some people choose the path of evil.” I believe Mr. Brooks that you are one such person. My heart breaks for you and your family as a mom.”
Brooks had apologized earlier in the day and spoke for more than two hours about his childhood, his mental health, and his renewed faith. He told Wisconsin’s Waukesha county court that “What happened on Nov. 21, 2021 wasn’t, not, and not an attack.” It was not planned or plotted.
Six mandatory life sentences had been served on him for six counts of first-degree intentional murder.
“I want all victims in this incident, families, and those who have lost loved ones, to know that I’m sorry for what happened. I also want you to understand that the community of Waukesha is sorry that you couldn’t see the truth of my heart and that I feel the pain that I feel,” he stated. He said, “That you can’t listen to all the phone conversations that I have made with my family. You cannot count the number of tears I’ve shed.”
When asked what he thinks the court should do regarding his sentencing, the defendant replied that there were “issues” with him trying to answer those questions and that he was still confused about the “nature” and “cause” of the charges. He stated that he believed that the decision was made long before we arrived, but asked for her to account for his time.
He admitted that he was frustrated at times during trial. He stated that no matter what court or trial attendees thought about his trial behavior, it was not personal. He talked for several minutes about his frustrations with Waukesha County district attorney Susan L. Opper. He said that she was frustrated by him and that he was “angry.”
Brooks was convicted of 76 charges against Opper. Brooks stared at Opper as he spoke for several minutes about Brooks.
Brooks wept at times when he spoke about his family and children. Brooks apologized to the judge, as well as those present, for his outbursts. He said that there was a part in him that didn’t feel able to defend himself. It was the pot boiling over. It was a mistake that I couldn’t control my emotions at times when I wasn’t myself.
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Although he said that he doesn’t consider himself “a man God”, he said that he is still learning about it “with time, faith, and study.”
Brooks was sentenced only hours after Brooks’ loved ones, including his grandmother and mother, made statements for him. One day later, over 40 victims, including family members who were hurt, gave statements to a packed court.
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As Dawn Woods, his mother addressed the court via video conference, he seemed to get emotional. Woods made her first statement, where she discussed the difficulties of families and those with mental illness. She requested that her son be shown compassion, empathy, and understanding.
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Mary Edwards, Brooks’ grandmother, said to the court that her grandson was suffering from bipolar disorder. She added, “Darrell has lost both his mind and his life outside the world.”
She ended by saying to the victims and their families, “I understand their pain, and my prayer is that the Lord will continue comforting and healing each one.”
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Sheri Sparks, whose 8 year-old son Jackson was killed in the massacre, said Tuesday to the court that Brooks had “violently ripped Jackson out of our lives.”
“I feel broken and gutted. She said that sometimes it hurts to breathe. “My mama heart aches for him.”
Jane Kulich’s mother, Aliesha Kulich, passed away. Aliesha cried because she had “never felt so alone.”
She said, “I never imagined I’d feel this much pain in life.”
Brooks, 41 years old, drove his Ford Escape through a parade of people, including elderly and children, during a Nov. 21, 2021 Christmas celebration. Brooks was fleeing from the scene of an altercation with his ex.
Six counts of first-degree intentional murder were brought against him. Prosecutors soon added many more. Brooks initially pleaded guilty but then changed to not guilty by mental illness.
The victims of the accident were Jackson Sparks (8; Tamara Durand 52; Jane Kulich 52; LeAnna Owen 71; Virginia Sorenson 79; Wilhelm Hospel 81.
Brooks was erratic and argumentative during the trial with the judge, prosecutors, and even witnesses.
Dorow repeatedly dismissed him from the courtroom after he raised numerous unfounded objections during the proceedings. He also behaved so outrageously that he was relegated to another courtroom for the trial-equivalent “time-out.”
Brooks stated to Fox News Digital in December that felt “dehumanized”, and was feeling “demonized.”
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A jury took only three hours to deliberate. On Oct. 26, a witness shouted from the gallery, “Burnin hell, you piece s —.”!”
This report was contributed by Paul Best, Mills Hayes and Michael Ruiz, Fox News.