Wisconsin parade attack suspect breaks down in court as interruption-filled trial moves forward
Darrell Brooks – who was charged with killing six people after running through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last November – gave a moving opening statement in court on Thursday afternoon, forcing an already bizarre trial to be suspended after two weeks of interruptions and other unusual outbursts of courtroom behavior.
Brooks, who is representing himself in the lawsuit, made his opening statement after prosecutors closed their case and admitted that the events of last year’s parade in the suburban town of Waukesha, Wisconsin, were ” tragedy” before bursting into tears, saying, “I feel like it’s time—it’s important that [members of the jury] see me for who I am” – although he added: “There are always two sides to every story.
Brooks, 40, has pleaded not guilty and faces life in prison if convicted, as he was charged with 6 counts of first-degree homicide, 61 counts of reckless endangerment of security, 6 counts of fatal hit-and-run, 2 counts of bail and a single count of misdemeanor assault.
In a bizarre move during the trial, which began earlier this month, Brooks declared himself a ‘sovereign citizen’, in an attempt to circumvent the court system and exempt himself from trial by suggesting he does not is not subject to US law, an idea that is part of a larger movement based on conspiracy theories.
As a result, Brooks refused to be called by name in court throughout the two-week trial, and he is repeatedly interrupted and argued with Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow, who threatens to drag him out of the courtroom when crime scene response chief Chris Johnson testified on a report he wrote regarding documents allegedly found inside the car of Brooks, which Brooks claimed he was not made aware of.
He also has interrogates whether the jury can examine the SUV he is supposed to have driven without first receiving his consent – a request which was not granted.
Brooks has made several unsuccessful attempts to delay his trial, launching into an hour-long speech last week calling for a mistrial and saying he doesn’t understand the charges against him.
The six people killed in the Waukesha parade last year included an 8-year-old child, and 62 other people have been hurt. local police said Brooks was the only suspect last November, quickly ruling out terrorism as a motive and alleging he didn’t know any of the people he drove his SUV into that horrific November. offensive. Prosecutors claim he drove through a barricade in the parade in a Ford Escort traveling at 40mph, spotting the event after assaulting his girlfriend and fled. At least one officer fired at the vehicle in an attempt to slow or stop it. He was later apprehended by police after fleeing the scene. He initially pleaded guilty by reason of insanity, but drawn his plea last month, firing his lawyers and changing his plea to simply “not guilty”.
The sovereign citizen movement has been criticized as “pseudo-legal nonsense” by prosecutors in several recent cases. Proponents of the movement often cite bizarre interpretations of the Constitution or legal precedent, and depending on the Southern Poverty Law Center, the belief is based on the conspiracy theory that the Constitution has been secretly replaced by the Admiralty Act, which governs international trade, while judges are secret foreign agents. Wisconsin attorney Julius Kim told local TV SCS 58 the argument is an attempt to completely ignore US laws in an effort to avoid being considered within the jurisdiction of a court. Sovereign citizens have drawn the attention of law enforcement in the past: A group of men who got into a confrontation with police on a Massachusetts highway last year declared themselves a sovereign nation. Freddy Cruz, a research analyst with the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Boston’s NPR station WBUR the statements attempt to deny the authority of the US government, as well as its licensing and tax requirements.
Fourteenth day of trial in Waukesha Christmas Parade attack: State closes case, Brooks presents defense (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)