WAUKESHA, Wis. — Darrell Brooks' grandmother plans to speak in favor of him during his sentencing on Wednesday.
After numerous victims read their impact statements on Tuesday, Mary Darlene Edwards has updated the statement she will read in court.
On Monday, 80-year-old Edwards shared her remarks for the court with TMJ4 News, which focused on raising awareness for mental health issues. On the first day of sentencing Tuesday, dozens of victims and family members spoke to the courtroom and Brooks directly about their pain nearly a year after Brooks drove his SUV through Waukesha's Christmas Parade, killing six people and hurting more than 60 others.
Brooks' mother also released a victim impact statement to be read Wednesday. You can read a PDF of her letter at the bottom of this article.
As victims and family members spoke, Brooks could be seen rolling his eyes, smacking his chest, and slowly clapping.
Court will resume for day two of sentencing on Wednesday, and Brooks' family and supporters will have a chance to speak. Edwards has requested to speak remotely over Zoom.
We're wrapped for the day. Court resumes tomorrow at noon. #DarrellBrooks' family and supporters have chance to speak from that time. His grandmother, who previously released this statement, now says she's not sure if she can speak on Darrell's behalf tomorrow. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/24a2I2fW87— Bruce Harrison (@HarrisonMKE) November 15, 2022
Edwards says Brooks has lived with bipolar disorder since he was 12 years old. She emphasized he needs "help and not punishment."
"Please know that it is my prayer that my grandson will humbly apologize and ask all of you and God for forgiveness for this horrible deed," Edwards said in her updated statement.
According to her statement, Edwards became a certified mental health coach following the parade tragedy.
Brooks was convicted on six counts of intentional homicide. Each carries a mandatory life sentence. Judge Jennifer Dorow has the discretion to allow eligibility for parole. She must also rule on 70 other counts after the victims have their say in court.
Tuesday evening, she shared her updated statement that she plans to share in court on Wednesday.
Read the full updated statement below:
"My name is Dr. Mary Darlene Edwards. I am the grandmother of Darrell Edward Brooks, Jr. I asked to be here today for two reasons.
First, from the bottom of my heart, I want to offer my sincere apology to the families of those who have lost their precious grandmothers, the family of the little boy, and to all whose lives have been damaged by this overwhelming tragedy, a tragedy caused by my grandson.
As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I want to give you this promise from the scriptures, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
Please know that it is my prayer that my grandson will humbly apologize and ask all of you and God for forgiveness for this horrible deed.
I have heard that some of you have said that you will never forgive. Hopefully, you will not be like the man who drank poison and hoped his enemy would die. Unforgiveness is a horrible disease just like mental illness.
Truly, there have been many losses because of this tragedy. Darrell’s mother has lost a son. I have lost a grandson. Darrell’s children have lost a father. And Darrell has lost his mind and his life in the outside world.
Darrell’s behavior, including his voice, should get the attention of the powers that be, both near and far, to address mental health issues in ways that will make a critical difference. Truly, we must start with the younger generations. Darrell has lived with bipolar disorder since the age of 12 and that disorder drove his impulses. It is my prayer that he be treated for this illness and managed in a facility that addresses mental health concerns.
Finally, I am 80 years old and have been an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for 47 of those 80 years. If you look at my background, you will see that God has used my life to bring about positive change in multitudes of residents in the city of Detroit and beyond. I share this information, not to boast, but rather to let you know I care about people and their wellbeing. My work can be viewed in the Legacy Library at the University of Michigan.
Presently, there is a church in Detroit planning to establish a mental health clinic in the Ravendale Community on the eastside of Detroit. This is where I spent over 20 years of my life with my late husband, Rev. Eddie K. Edwards. Without hesitation, I will support this effort and do everything I can to help those struggling with mental health issues. I also have now become a certified mental health coach since this great tragedy.
I have faith to believe that God will hear the cries of all those impacted by this terrible tragedy, as well as the cries of the mentally ill.
Brooks' mother also released a victim impact statement. You can read that below: