The man accused of driving his SUV into a parade of Christmas marchers had the option to turn down a side street, but did not. According to a criminal complaint, he drove through the intersection and left bodies behind.
Although no motive has been revealed for Darrell Brooks Jr. in the suburban Milwaukee car crash that left six people dead and more than 60 injured, it could not be a problem if he is brought to trial. Experts in legal analysis say that the evidence strongly supports the intent homicide charge, which would lead to life imprisonment.
Paul Bucher, former Waukesha County District attorney, stated that it may be difficult to prove intent when Brooks strikes first. “But when he kept going, knowing what he had done and didn’t stop,” it was evident that it was all intentional.
Brooks, 39, has been charged with five counts first-degree intentional murder. A sixth count is likely to be brought against Brooks after an 8 year-old boy’s death Tuesday. Susan Opper, Waukesha County District attorney, also stated that additional charges were likely.
Brooks’ lawyers, Jeremy Perri, and Anna Kees, warned people not to make judgments about the case until all facts have been established.
They stated in a statement that “it’s important not to rush to judgement and instead treat this proceeding and all those involved with dignity, respect”
“That includes Mr. Brooks who has the right to vigorous defense and protection of his Constitutional rights. Our client is presumed innocent, regardless of how serious or emotional the charges.
Opper stated Wednesday that her office would not comment about a pending case.
Brooks is accused in refusing to stop when an officer banged on his SUV’s hood. The vehicle continued to move despite three more shots being fired by another officer.
Five people aged 52-81 were declared dead in less than an hour. Jackson Sparks (8 years old), was one of the many children who were injured and died Tuesday. Representatives from area hospitals stated Wednesday that at most 16 people are being treated.
Brooks has not spoken publicly, and investigators aren’t sure what he said to them.
Experts said that even though Brooks may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, it cannot be used in Wisconsin as a defense.
Brookfield defense lawyer Tom Grieve and former Waukesha County Prosecutor said that Brooks could be defended by the claim that he was suffering from a mental disorder or defect. The jury would decide whether Brooks was guilty or not. He would most likely be sent to a mental institution instead of prison if such a verdict is reached.
Brooks could have been charged by Opper with first-degree reckless murder. This would have been a “slam dab” conviction that, considering Brooks’ age would have been a life sentence. Bucher stated. Experts and he both said that extensive video and other evidence support the more serious charge.
“The fact that he didn’t touch the brakes was intentional. His foot was on the accelerator: This was intentional. Grieve stated that he could have stopped.
The criminal complaint includes statements by police officers and witnesses. They stated that the vehicle appeared to be deliberately moving side-to-side, with no effort to slow down or stop it from striking multiple people.
Brooks looked directly at the officer who attempted to stop him. It appeared that he was not feeling emotion, according to the complaint.
Experts said that Brooks’ intentions or state of mind would not be discussed by the prosecution.
Bucher stated that prosecutors would not be allowed to present social media posts by Brooks, an aspirant rapper, or any lyrics from Brooks songs suggesting an interest violence. This became the subject of much speculation on social media, which suggested that Brooks’ actions had been intentional.
Brooks also included social media links to his songs. Many of his songs seem to celebrate violence and call police “pigs”. Brooks wrote a biography on SoundCloud about his childhood in Milwaukee’s “dangerous westside neighborhood of Washington Park”, his multiple legal battles, and his desire to make music from the “life he lived in the streets”.
Brooks has been accused of crimes more than a dozen time since 1999. He had two cases against him at that time. One earlier in November, in which he was accused of intentionally striking an elderly woman in Milwaukee County. Brooks was released on $1,000 bail in that case, which the prosecutors now claim was too low.
According to Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson, Brooks was driving away from the scene of a domestic conflict that occurred just minutes prior to he entered the parade route.
Many experts predicted that a plea bargain would be reached.
Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor, said that if he were involved in the case, what he would be doing is to find a way to put out the fire as quickly and efficiently as possible. He now practices in private practice in Chicago. It’s only going get worse if you allow it to linger.”
Webber reported from Fenton in Michigan, Richmond from Madison, Wisconsin, and Condon, New York.