Sentencing in Darrell Brooks trial to begin Tuesday, November 15

Sentencing is scheduled for November 15 and 16. That's nearly one year after the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack on November 21, 2021.
Posted at 6:02 AM, Oct 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 08:26:15-04

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A jury found Darrell Brooks guilty on all counts in the Waukesha Parade attack. After his nearly four-week trial, Brooks faces a mandatory life sentence. But, he has yet to be sentenced.

A hearing was held Monday to discuss the logistics of sentencing and set a date for it. The proceedings were overshadowed by Brooks yelling in the court room that shock devices were put on his ankles during the trial.

“It was a shock device,” Brooks yelled. “My legs were covered by a black cloth over the table, so the jury and the public could not see it. That’s not right. They need to be made aware. I had a shock device on my ankles.”

“There were no shock devices, Mr. Brooks,” said Judge Jennifer Dorow.

Within just 15 minutes of the hearing starting, Judge Dorow ordered Brooks be removed from the hearing for constantly interrupting. He was taken to another room to watch the hearing virtually and speak when applicable.

Judge Dorow called up a Waukesha County Sheriff’s Deputy to set the record straight under oath, about on the constraints used during trial.

“It was not any type of electronic device.” said Deputy Nicholas Kibler. “It was just a soft restraint that we applied to Mr. Brooks prior to coming into court every day. There is no ability to shock, or anything of that nature. Soft restraints are protocol.”

The deputy said soft restraints were attached to Brooks’ ankles and connected to the table where he sat during the trial. Brooks could still stand and walk within about four feet.

Judge Dorow says sharing photos of those soft restraints and making more details of safety measures used in the courtroom would jeopardize courthouse security.

Judge Dorow set Brooks’ sentencing for November 15th and 16th, which is a week before the one-year anniversary of the parade attack (November 21, 2021).

The state says 36 parade attack survivors, and family members of victims, want to speak at Brooks’ sentencing. Nearly 10 more would like to submit written impact statements.

The state argued that that it's imperative for victims to have the sentencing before the anniversary of tragedy.

“There are a lot of families who are leaving town the week of the parade, and it would be nice for them to have some finality to this before they leave, so they are not around here at the time a loved one was injured or killed,” said an attorney.

Brooks requested more time to prepare, saying he has people who want to speak on his behalf. Some, he said, are from out of state.

“I don’t have an exact number, but I’m expecting at least 20 people,” Brooks said. “Because of my situation, I could benefit from a little more time. Please provide some time for me to iron some things out.”

Court records show Brooks has already told Judge Dorow and the court that he plans to appeal. He’ll have 20 days after sentencing to file an appeal.

The 12-person jury deliberated for about three hours and 15 minutes before telling the court they found Brooks guilty on all 76 counts, including six counts of 1st-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of felony reckless endangerment. Each homicide count carries a mandatory life sentence. Even if Brooks wasn't found guilty on the homicide counts, the lesser charges could still have led to a life sentence.
It's important to note Wisconsin does not have the death penalty so the sentence won't include that. Brooks does have the opportunity to appeal the convictions, and if he were to try, the average time for the appeal process from start to finish is about 10 months.

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