The now-convicted Waukesha Christmas parade killer spoke for nearly an hour when giving his closing argument the day before being found guilty Wednesday and invoked God’s will, remarking after the deaths of six that his “conscience is clear.”
A roughly three-week trial entered jury deliberation Tuesday afternoon following closing arguments from Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper and killer Darrell Brooks, who represented himself. On Wednesday, he was found guilty of six intentional first-degree homicide counts and dozens of other charges, according to Fox News.
The defendant had been charged with the murders of Jackson Sparks, 8, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kullich, 52, Leanna Owen, 71, Virginia Sorenson, 79, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81 on Nov. 21, 2021, when he had driven his SUV through a crowd of parade-goers, injuring more than 60 others. And after acknowledging he was behind the wheel of the vehicle, he still declared, “I’m happy to say that my conscience is clear.”
Speaking for about 50 minutes routinely wiping tears from his eyes, Brooks’s appeal to the jury sought consideration of his family and the potential that the vehicle had malfunctioned but raised the most eyebrows when he suggested no one will ever, “know why it was His will for this to happen. A lot of lives were changed that day, mine included. God’s way is not our own and no matter how much sometimes we wanna question, you have to have faith.”
“For whatever mistakes that I myself have made in my life, I made peace with God,” Brooks said and repeated, “made peace. I’m happy to say that my conscience is clear. And because I believe, I trust Him with my life.”
So to recap his….lengthy closing arguments, #DarrellBrooks said it was God's will for the massacre to happen (6 killed, 61 injured, thousands present in the area), his conscience is clear, and he has no regrets. *checks notes* Why yes, that is the definition of a psychopath. pic.twitter.com/OFXmeQ1JMh
— Kristin (@itsmekrissy9) October 25, 2022
— punished spite, a wagie denied his tendies (@failinganon) October 25, 2022
Opper did not take kindly to Brooks’s portrayal of his faith throughout the trial and said in her closing argument, “You can stand with the Bible in your hands all day long and profess to be the finest man under God that you can be. But when you drive through a parade route and roll over children, children with band instruments to the extent that your vehicle heaves up and down, your intent is known, Mr. Brooks. It doesn’t have to be guessed.”
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) October 25, 2022
“How can you hit one and keep going?” she asked rhetorically. “How can you hit two and keep going? How can you hit three and keep going?”
Brooks had suggested, “What if the vehicle couldn’t stop because of malfunction? What if the driver of the vehicle was unable to stop the vehicle? Because of that fact, what if the driver may have panicked? Does that make the driver in a rage and intent on killing people? I’ve never heard of someone trying to intentionally hurt someone while attempting to blow their horn while attempting to alert people of their presence.”
Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow had his comments on the vehicle malfunction struck from the record after he had claimed there was a recall on his SUV.
Along with his record of battery, resisting or obstructing officers and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, even one conviction of first-degree homicide in the state of Wisconsin comes with a mandatory life sentence and each count of the 61 charges of reckless endangerment could see a maximum of 17 and a half years added on.
As the jury read out their decisions on Brooks’ murder charges, an attendee in the gallery reportedly shouted out, “Burn in hell you piece of sh*t.”
“Whatever you decide,” Brooks said addressing the jury in his closing argument, “make sure you yourself can live with it. That’s the magnitude of the power that you have. Be at peace with what you decide.”
Wednesday, he objected to the jury’s decision and Judge Dorow overruled.
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