A man who killed six people and injured several others during a Christmas parade in his car has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of release.
An eight-year-old marching with his baseball team and three members of the Dancing Grannies group were among the dead – and more than 60 people were injured – when Darrell Brooks drove his Ford through crowds near Milwaukee.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced the 40-year-old on 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 of reckless endangerment.
Each count of murder carried a mandatory life sentence, and the only uncertainty was whether Judge Dorow would allow Brooks to serve a portion of those sentences on extended community supervision, the state’s current version of parole.
Wisconsin has no death penalty.
Brooks’ victims made impactful statements to the court, and nearly all begged the judge to deliver the harshest sentence possible.
Chris Owens, whose mother was among the victims, told Brooks: “All I’m asking is that you rot, and rot slowly.”
Fight with ex girlfriend
Brooks drove his red Ford Escape through the parade in downtown Waukesha on Nov. 21, 2021, after he got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend.
He initially pleaded guilty to mental illness but withdrew that plea in September.
The following month, he fired his lawyers and began representing himself in court.
He claimed his car had a throttle malfunction, that he had no intention of hurting anyone, and had honked his horn to warn bystanders.
However, a vehicle inspector testified that the Ford Escape SUV ran fine.