WAUKESHA, WIs. — Darrell Brooks appeared in Waukesha County Municipal Court Friday, requesting a change of venue or jurors for his trial.
Brooks is accused of driving his vehicle through the Waukesha Christmas Parade, killing six people and injuring dozens more. He is facing 77 charges in Waukesha County and additional charges in Milwaukee for an unrelated incident.
Attorneys for Brooks had previously requested a change in judge which was granted. On Friday, they appeared back in court to request a change in venue or jurors.
In the request submitted in February, Brooks' attorneys said, "The effects of the parade incident on the Waukesha community have been profound and pervasive, evidenced by the sheer number of people directly affected... and all those who have directly contributed, financially and otherwise, to individually support the victims. The powerful and passionate community response and the intense media coverage of the tragedy and Mr. Brooks, require a change of venue in this case to ensure a fair trial."
Judge Jennifer Dorow decided Friday that questionnaires would be sent to potential Waukesha County jurors. District Attorney Susan Opper, representing the prosecution, proposed the method.
The questionnaires would need to be returned by June 1 for consideration. According to Opper, if 80-90% of them show impartiality then there could be a fair trial in Waukesha County.
“I think that's also a really good gauge," said Dorow. "Perhaps the best gauge to find out if a jury can be seated from Waukesha County. I do like that idea.”
Dorow said that the same method had been used in another high-profile Waukesha County case — the Slenderman stabbing trial.
The defense agreed to a hearing on March 29 to review the proposed questionnaire.
Dorow said there may be a hearing on the jury situation once the questionnaires are returned in June. However, she has tentatively set Brooks' next trial date for October 3.
Regarding change of venue: State proposes putting out a questionnaire to prospective jurors in Waukesha County. Questionnaires returned by June 1. State says if 80-90% of forms indicate impartiality, then there could be a fair trial in Waukesha County. Judge Dorow seems to agree— Bruce Harrison (@BruceHarrisonTV) March 11, 2022