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Darrell Brooks trial: Mother of his child takes the stand

Brooks is the man accused of driving an SUV into the Waukesha Christmas parade last November, killing six people and injuring dozens of others.
Posted at 6:10 AM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 23:42:20-04

WAUKESHA, Wis. — The state continued to call key witnesses on Friday in the homicide trial of Darrell Brooks.

Brooks is the man accused of driving an SUV into the Waukesha Christmas parade last November, killing six people and injuring dozens of others. He faces 76 charges, including six of first-degree intentional homicide. Each carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

Brooks' behavior was drastically different than that of Thursday. He appeared to be calm, and unlike previous days, he did not interrupt Judge Jennifer Dorow within the first few minutes of court. Brooks did, however, show up in his jail attire again.

At 9 a.m., the state began calling witnesses to the stand. The mother of one of Darrell Brooks' children took the stand first.

She claims she got into an argument with Brooks on the day of the Waukesha Christmas Parade last November. Shortly after, he's alleged of driving his car into the parade route. 

"We got into an altercation in the car, and I jumped out," she said. "He hit me and I jumped out of the car." 

TMJ4 News has chosen not to name this witness due to safety concerns, as she has pending domestic abuse charges filed against Brooks.

Attorney gives key takeaways from Darrell Brooks trial

During the witness testimony and questioning, Brooks has been referring to an "alleged defendant." He's previously stated he doesn't recognize the name the court uses for him. And that he, in fact, is representing the defendant named by the court.

Brooks cross-examined the first witness for about 40 minutes before the judge called it off saying, "You've asked multiple [same] questions multiple times."

The state moved on to its next witness. That cross-examination was cut short as well. Judge Dorow cited Wis. Stat. § 906.11, which includes the judge's power to "avoid needless consumption of time."

Watch: Brooks broke down into tears during Friday's proceedings

Darrell Brooks breaks down into tears during Friday proceedings

The court had to take a brief recess Friday morning after Brooks received his COVID-19 test results and refused to hand them to Judge Dorow. Inevitably, Brooks was removed from the courtroom and placed in a separate courtroom. There, it appears Brooks broke down into tears and Judge Dorow called for a lunch break.

His COVID-19 test result was negative.

From Friday afternoon, the state called its next witness, Waukesha Police Officer Jeremy Philipps. The state questioned Philips about the alleged altercation between Brooks and his former partner on the day of the parade attack.

Philipps investigation of that altercation, he said, was cut short, however, because all police units were called in an incident on Main Street.

"At that point, I was just trying to assist any officer, EMS, civilian, individual that was around," said Philipps. "It was just mass chaos, carnage everywhere."

Video, from Philipps squad car, was struck from evidence after Brooks, correctly, heard comments on the tape that refer to previous incidents outside Waukesha County.

Another witness, Holy Berg, said she was standing six to seven feet from a group of people struck by the SUV.

"Originally, we heard sounds, like thuds. And then it [people] was in the air. Like bowling pins," said Berg.

She told the state that she saw Brooks behind the wheel of the SUV, and he was "focused on the group ahead of him."

Brooks challenged the witness testimony. He asked Berg how she could know the speed of the vehicle, which she suggested was about 20 mph. And he questioned how she could've identified the driver at a gas station prior to the attack, saying the vehicle had tinted windows.

Waukesha Police Det. Tom Casey was the final witness to take the stand on Friday. He spent much of his time describing the crime scene along Main Street.

When asked by the D.A. if he saw the driver of the car he pointed to Brooks saying it was him. The D.A. asked if Casey was 100% sure. Casey said he was "1,000%" sure.

The judge wrapped court for the day after the state's examination of Casey. Brooks will have a chance to cross-examine Casey on Monday, when court resumes at 8:30 a.m.

Brooks' list of witness is also due on Monday morning.

Previous coverage:

Thursday's hearing consisted of jury instructions, opening statements, of which Brooks opted out, and the state calling its first witnesses.

The first witnesses called to the stand were Waukesha Police Sgt. David Wanner and the friend of a woman Brooks allegedly got into a dispute with on the day of the parade.

Brooks cross-examined both witnesses remotely from the courtroom next door after he was removed for disrupting proceedings, which is becoming a common occurrence. However, Judge Jennifer Dorow did compliment Brooks at the end of the dayThursday, saying there was a big change in his behavior from the morning to the afternoon.

Other notable moments from Thursday's hearing include Brooks removing his shirt while in the separate courtroom, Brooks appearing once again in jail attire, and him requesting a nurse to look at a cut on his finger.

You can watch Friday's proceedings live above when they begin at 8:30 a.m. This article will also be updated with the latest developments from the courtroom.

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