Darrell Brooks (C) appears at Waukesha County Court on November 23, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Brooks is charged with killing five people and injuring nearly 50 after driving through a Christmas parade with his sport utility vehicle on November 21. (Photo by Mark Hoffman-Pool/Getty Images)
UPDATED 10:23 AM PT – Thursday, November 17, 2022
The driver responsible for the tragic events during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin was handed his sentence.
On Wednesday, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced Darrell Brooks Jr. to six consecutive life sentences. He also received an additional 1,200 years with extended supervision.
“Frankly, Mr. Brooks, no one is safe from you. This community can only be safe if you are behind bars for the rest of your life,” Judge Dorow said. “You left a path of destruction, chaos, death, injury, confusion, and panicked as you drove seven or so blocks through the Christmas parade.”
Before the proceedings were convened, Dorow gave the convicted murderer a chance to make a final statement. However, Brooks was forced into another courtroom after he became disruptive during the pre-sentencing remarks.
“I want you to know that not only am I sorry for what happened,” Brooks said. “I’m sorry that you could not see what’s truly in my heart, that you cannot see the remorse that I have. I feel like I’m a human being. I’m not a monster.”
Additionally, his relatives, including his grandmother Mary Edwards, were given an opportunity to speak to the victim’s families via Zoom. There, they asked the families for a bit of sympathy for the defendant, claiming he has suffered from bipolar disorder since he was 12 years old
“Darrell has suffered from bipolar since the age of 12, and it was that disorder that caused him to drive through that crowd,” Edwards said. “It is my prayer that he will be treated for this illness and managed in a facility that addresses mental health concerns.”
Dorow dismissed his family’s statements saying it was a feeble attempt to blame mental health for the tragedy. She also called their attempts at sympathy a “disservice to those who truly suffer from mental illness.”
In 2021, Brooks’ drove his SUV through a crowd of parade goers killing six people and injuring 62 others.
“We may never know the true ‘why’, but we were provided with nothing here today other than a feeble attempt to blame mental health, which, frankly, does a disservice to those who truly suffer from mental health issues,” Dorow concluded.