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'Best we can do for victims': Waukesha County DA reacts to Brooks' life in prison sentence

Susan Opper led the prosecution through a lengthy trial that yielded guilty verdicts on all 76 counts against Darrell Brooks, including six counts of intentional homicide.
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Posted at 9:32 PM, Nov 16, 2022

WAUKESHA, Wis — Waukesha County's District Attorney Susan Opper said after the sentencing of Darrell Brooks that she's grateful he'll never be a free man.

"It's the best we can do for our victims, unfortunately, is to hold him accountable and have them know that he'll never walk free again," said Opper. "They have the whole community behind them, not only Waukesha County, the state of Wisconsin, really the whole nation."

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Darrell Brooks, appearing via video in an adjacent courtroom after being removed for continuous interruptions, is taken away by Waukesha County Sheriffs Deputies after he's is sentenced to 6 consecutive life sentences in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

Opper led the prosecution for nearly a year in case preparation and through a lengthy trial that yielded guilty verdicts on all 76 counts against Brooks, including six counts of intentional homicide.

WATCH: Waukesha County DA Susan Opper said Darrell Brooks' sentencing "felt right to everybody."

Waukesha County DA: 'Life in prison is best we can do for victims'

On Wednesday, Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced him to 762.5 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

“I thought it was very impactful that she [Judge Dorow] read a sentence for each victim by name. That was really tremendous. The victims are very grateful for that," said Opper.

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After Brooks' family members spoke on his behalf over Zoom, he spoke freely in court for two hours. He never once admitted guilt or apologized for having anything to do with the parade attack.

The judge, according to Opper, took that into account in her sentencing.

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Darrell Brooks makes comments regarding Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper as he gives his closing remarks during his sentencing in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

"The lack of remorse, the lack of responsibility are factors she can consider, and she did, and it’s something our victims noticed too," said Opper.

When Judge Dorow read each of the life sentences for the homicide counts, victims, family members and members of the public applauded.

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Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow wipes away tears while talking about victim statements during her closing remarks before sentencing Darrell Brooks to 6 consecutive life sentences in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

District Attorney Opper said she wasn't expecting that but it "felt right."

"It is very, very unusual. Typically, that’s not proper courtroom decorum. But I think it was appropriate under the circumstance because of the relief that everybody felt and the magnitude of the events," said Opper.

Brooks has 20 days to file an appeal.

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