Wisconsin Christmas parade suspect will go to trial, judge decides

A judge has determined that Darrell Brooks, the man accused of careening his SUV into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on November 21, 2021, killing six people and injuring more than 60 others, should face trial at a preliminary hearing Friday.

There is “ample evidence on all fronts” that the state showed sufficient evidence that Brooks probably committed a felony, said Waukesha Circuit Court Commissioner Kevin Costello after hearing testimony from Waukesha Police Detective Thomas Casey.

Casey, the lead investigator in the case, said he was doing traffic control at the parade and that he also reviewed video footage of the incident.

The vehicle zigzagged through the crowd and “it appears that the vehicle’s intentionally aiming for people,” Casey told Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper during direct questioning.

“At one point in the video, you can see the vehicle running over people. At one point there’s someone on the hood of the car where the vehicle jams on its brakes, appears to have the person come off the hood of the car and then continues driving and drives over that person. As it gets to the 400 block it hits another group of people and then continues driving westbound,” Casey said.

During cross-examination, Casey told defense attorney Anna Kees that there were times when Brooks avoided hitting people.

Kees said during the preliminary hearing that an officer reported Brooks had “red, bloodshot, and glassy eyes” and smelled of marijuana.

Casey said that was correct.

Brooks also turned away from the photos and videos of the parade incident when officers tried to show them to him, Kees said.

“And at one point, he even begged the law enforcement officer to stop showing them to him, correct?” Kees asked.

“I believe so,” Casey answered.

Kees also said that Brooks told a detective that “quote, ‘I didn’t mean to kill nobody,’ end quote.”

“I believe that’s the quote,” Casey said.

Brooks faces 77 charges. He remained silent during the hearing and wore a red jail jumpsuit with his hair in a bun.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on February 11 at 10:15 a.m. CT.

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