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Jury questionnaires returned in Waukesha Christmas parade case

Darrell Brooks
Posted at 12:06 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 19:34:25-04

The man accused of killing six and injuring dozens more in the Waukesha Christmas parade last year will return to court Monday to again ask the court to move the trial to another county.

Darrell Brooks faces 83 charges in Waukesha County court. His trial is set for October.

Court documents filed last week show jury questionnaires have been returned, and Brooks' attorneys will ask the judge for a change of venue based on the responses.

The judge sent the jury questionnaires out in April to gauge whether an impartial jury could be seated in Waukesha County.

According to the documents, more than 2,000 questionnaires were sent out. Each of them listed 115 questions about a potential juror's familiarity with the case.

In their June 10 motion, Brooks' attorneys state 1,557 jury questionnaires were returned as of June 10. Of those, 720 indicated they attended or knew someone who attended the parade. 45 percent of all potential jurors answered yes to at least one of the questions about the trauma impact of this case.

Brooks' defense attorneys point out 188 potential jurors reported they donated to a fundraiser. Others reported they knew someone who was hurt or impacted in the parade, watched previous court hearings, followed news on the case, have students in the Waukesha School District or couldn't serve as a juror for that period of time. The judge has indicated she expects the case to last about a month.

In response, prosecutors filed documents asking the judge to deny a change of motion. They state they will further question potential jurors in person in a process called voir dire, which takes place right at the start of trial. They cite the Boston Bomber case, in which the Supreme Court ruled a fair trial was to be held in Massachusetts.

Following Monday's hearing, Brooks will return to court in August for a questionnaire conference, in which the attorneys will decide which jurors to excuse from trial based on their responses.

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