The man accused of driving through a Wisconsin parade route, killing 6 people and injuring 62 in November 2021 continued to disrupt his court proceedings by throwing a tantrum, taking off his clothes, and threatening to break items in the courtroom.
Darrell Brooks is facing 76 charges charges of first degree intentional homicide and reckless endangerment for a brutal vehicular attack on a Waukesha Christmas parade last year.
Brooks, who dismissed his public defenders and is representing himself,
On the first day of his criminal trial, Judge Jennifer Dorow kicked Brooks out of her courtroom only 7 minutes into proceedings.
Brooks continued to disrupt the trial on Thursday, when opening statements began. He was removed again after interrupting the judge nearly a dozen times, before the jury was lead.
As bailiffs removed Brooks from the courtroom, he took off his shoe and threatened to throw it at them.
Dorow sent Brooks to another courtroom, where he could watch the proceedings on a live feed and speak when the judge activated his microphone.
Brooks proceeded to throw a tantrum in the other room, then take his shirt off and sit on the table with his arms crossed and back turned to the camera.
Dorow said that she previously chose not to bind and gag Brooks to make him sit through the trial, even though that is a constitutionally viable option. She also chose not cite Brooks for contempt of court.
Brooks showed up to court in his orange jail uniform. Dorow said he has been given the option to change into street clothes for each hearing but has consistently turned it down.
When asked again, Brooks responded: ‘My position has not changed, and it will not change whatsoever as it is my right to come into court how I would like to.’
Brooks was also given a laminated paper sign with the word ‘OBJECTION’ to use when his microphone was turned off. As Dorow read the charges to jurors, Brooks held the sign up to the camera and pointed to it. When the judge ignored him, he shoved the sign down his pants.
As the trial progressed, Dorow asked the sheriff’s department to let Brooks back into the courtroom as he calmed down.
‘You have demonstrated that you can make cogent, coherent, articulate arguments on the record. You’ve been respectful for the time being. I will ask you sir, do you want to come back into this courtroom?’
Brooks shook his head no. ‘Not until I can receive medical treatment for the bruise that I have on my arm and the cut,’ he said, pointing to his finger.
Dorow said she could could not see a cut or blood, and said he could wait until the court recessed to see a nurse.
Prosecutors believe Brooks’ actions are a deliberate attempt to delay the proceedings or force a mistrial. They say jail phone records show he has spoken to many other people about the trial.
District Attorney Susan Opper said Brooks has ‘escalated’ his outbursts in recent days. ‘He’s attempting to derail these proceedings and delay the inevitable,’ she said.
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