NewsDarrell Brooks Trial


Final motions in Brooks trial ahead of opening statements Thursday

Prosecutors allege Darrell Brooks drove his vehicle into the Nov. 21 parade in downtown Waukesha despite police warnings to stop and officers opening fire on him.
Posted at 9:29 AM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 07:28:23-04

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A jury has been seated in the trial for Darrell Brooks, the man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more in the Waukesha Christmas parade.

Opening statements in the trial will begin Thursday at 8:30 a.m. TMJ4 will live stream the trial gavel-to-gavel.

10 male jurors and 6 female jurors were selected. All of the jurors are white.

The more than 10-hour day, nearly identical to Monday with numerous disruptions from Brooks, leading to his removal from the courtroom to another room on multiple occasions.

"But you have yet to answer one question that I’ve asked you. You have yet to verify anything," Brooks said.

Much of the jury selection was done with Brooks in another room.

Despite his heated back-and forth with the judge at times, Brooks had been participating more in jury selection.

That is, until both parties were given 10 peremptory strikes each to narrow down the 36 jurors to the 16 needed. 12 on the panel and four alternates.

Almost all of Brooks' strikes were chosen randomly by the clerk. Due to Brooks crossing out every juror on the list or choosing not to strike anyone at all.

Judge Dorow reminded Brooks several times that if he continued to do so, he would be declining his right to choose who to strike.

Jury selection took two full days after numerous interruptions from Brooks, who was repeatedly removed from court and forced to watch the proceedings in another courtroom via video link.

Jury selection moved along more smoothly Tuesday compared to Monday. Out of more than 80 prospective jurors questioned in court, 36 were seated Tuesday evening for peremptory challenges by the prosecution and defense.

WATCH: TMJ4's Bruce Harrison reports from court

WATCH: TMJ4's Bruce Harrison reports from court

Yesterday, proceedings were delayed because of Brooks' interruptions. But the judge quickly again put him in a separate room just 30 minutes into court this morning, which sped things along.

Judge Jennifer claims Brooks is employing delay tactics. He denies this.

Here are some of the things Brooks has said in court:

  • "May I move to stay these proceedings ... to a court of competent jurisdiction."
  • "I move the court to dismiss based on the grounds of judicial misconduct."
  • "May I have your name (judge) please?"
  • "Do you have a claim against me?"
  • "Do you know anyone who has a claim against me?"

He's also repeatedly asked the judge to state her name and questioned the jurisdiction of the court.

First day of trial: Monday, Oct. 3, 2022:

Darrell Brooks delayed the start of jury selection on Monday by becoming so disruptive the judge had to take multiple breaks before forcing him to participate from another room.

Brooks is accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more when he allegedly drove his SUV through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last November.

Prosecutors allege Darrell Brooks drove his vehicle into the Nov. 21 parade in downtown Waukesha despite police warnings to stop and officers opening fire on him. He faces 77 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment. Each homicide charge carries a mandatory life sentence.

Court convened at 8:30 a.m. sharp, with Judge Jennifer Dorow on the bench. But just seven minutes later, before jurors had even entered the courtroom, Judge Dorow called for recess as Brooks continued to interrupt her.

“Mr. Brooks, stop. We’re going to have a really long day if you keep doing this," said Dorow.

Brooks is serving as his own defense after waiving his rights to an attorney last week. He's now arguing that he hasn't had time to prepare his defense since firing his lawyers. He called court on Monday the "equivalent of going into a gunfight with a butterknife."

Judge Dorow said Brooks is making "silly, non-sensical arguments claiming to be sovereign citizen" and refusing to recognize the jurisdiction of the court.

The potential jurors later entered the courtroom, but Brooks continued to object to proceedings, calling them unconstitutional and biased. Within minutes, the jurors were led back out of court.

Judge Dorow eventually sent Brooks to a separate courtroom where he can view proceedings but not interrupt. The judge has the ability to unmute his microphone for questions.

Dorow warned Brooks that if he continues to be disruptive she could appoint an attorney to the case. She ultimately called 10 recesses before ordering him to participate via video from another room. He was unmuted and allowed to ask questions of a jail administrator about when he received discovery documents after Dorow allowed him to act as his own attorney.

By lunch break at 12:35 p.m., not a single juror had been questioned.

When questioning did begin, 41 were questioned out of over 100 prospective jurors brought in.

Judge Dorow asked Brooks if he had any questions for the group of jurors, to which he replied, "I just want to strike everybody, strike them all."

By the end of the day's proceedings, seven out of that group of 41 were released.

According to the judge, Brooks will be allowed back in the main courtroom for day two of selection.

Dorow said in court documents that she anticipates calling 340 prospective jurors. The selection process could last three or four days, she said, before 16 jurors are finally selected. Twelve will decide the case; the other four will serve as alternates.

The long-awaited trial comes almost one year since the tragedy, and just days after Dorow ruled Brooks would be allowed to represent himself, a decision Brooks' mother had hoped would not be made.

Bruce jury recap

Prior to the decision, Brooks' mother sent a letter to Judge Dorow pleading that she not allow Brooks to defend himself.

"He is not stable mentally enough to fully understand the big mistake he is making by wanting to represent himself... he doesn't understand. That alone should be enough to see he's not capable of being his own attorney," Brooks' mother wrote.

Now Brooks, who has no legal training, will be on his own to defend himself in front of a judge and jury.

Previous coverage:

Up until now, his court hearings have been nothing but busy, with many motions filed. Most recently, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper sent a letter to Dorow requesting to drop count 77 against Darrell Brooks.

In recent hearings, there have been instances where the court had to end for the day due to issues in the courtroom. One instance involved Brooks falling asleep in court followed by him having an outburstand being escorted out.

Another instance came after Brooks withdrew his not guilty by insanity plea. Court ended early that day becauseBrooks was in pain due to a tooth abscess.

Following jury selection, TMJ4 News will live stream the trial in its entirety on our website, the TMJ4 news app, smart TV apps, and social media.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip