Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow ruled Darrel Brooks will be sentenced on Nov. 15 or Nov. 16.
Brooks was convicted on Oct. 26 of all 76 counts brought against him by the state of Wisconsin after a three-week trial where the defendant represented himself.
The jury ultimately found that on November 21, 2021 Brooks intentionally drove a red SUV into a Christmas Parade in downtown Waukesha. The car broke through a police barrier, killed six people, and injured more than 60 others. The vehicle never slowed down and Brooks was apprehended in the area after fleeing the vehicle.
Each of the six counts of first-degree homicide charges carried a max sentence of life in prison. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty. The judge will determine what the sentence is for each charge and if they will be served concurrently or consecutively.
“The maximum sentence is six consecutive life sentences, plus 859 years in confinement,” notes WISN Milwaukee.
In addition to setting a date for sentencing, Dorow ruled a number of warrants will be unsealed on Nov. 1.
Dorow also used the Oct. 31 hearing to clarify claims that Brooks made that a “shock device” was placed on him during the trial. The judge said she has asked for photographic evidence of the restraints used on Brooks to be submitted to the court as evidence although they will remain sealed at this time. The judge called a police officer who attended the trial every day and was responsible for placing the soft restrain system to the stand to confirm what type of restraints were used on Brooks.
Brooks protested this decision and insisted that he has been told a shock device had been placed on his ankle and covered with a black cloth.
“I know how a shock device looks because I’ve — I’ve been through this before,” Brooks told Dorow.
Brooks, 39, has been convicted in multiple states on drug and violence-related charges. He was required to register as a sex offender in Nevada as part of a plea deal after he impregnated a teenage girl around 2006. He has also been charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, strangulation and suffocation, recklessly endangering safety and use of a dangerous weapon, as well as battery relating to disputes with family members.
According to The New York Post, Brooks was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 11 while growing up in Milwaukee.
The prosecution told the court that 36 people want to make a statement ahead of sentencing while five to 10 others want to have their written statements read. The people are victims or families of victims. Additionally, District Attorney Sue Opper will speak for 30 or 45 minutes – bringing the prosecution’s total estimated time needed to about four and a half hours.
Opper also requested sentencing be completed before Nov. 21, the one-year anniversary of the parade.
Brooks told the court he believes 20 people will speak on his behalf ahead of sentencing. He is scheduled to appear in court in Milwaukee on Nov. 17 on other charges.
Some people may appear and make their statements via Zoom during sentencing.