Waukesha Christmas Parade Attacker Found Guilty of Murdering 6 People

Darrell Brooks, the man accused of killing six people and injuring 62 others at the Waukesha Christmas Parade in Wisconsin, has been found guilty. 
Defendant Darrell Brooks wipes away tears as he makes his opening statement to the jury during his trial in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. Scott Ash/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

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Darrell Brooks, the man accused of killing six people and injuring 62 others after intentionally driving his car into the Waukesha Christmas Parade in Wisconsin, has been found guilty. 


At the holiday parade last November, Brooks plowed his red SUV into the large crowd and was said to be swerving into people, sending victims flying into the air as well as crushing them underneath the vehicle. By the end of the mayhem, six people, including an 8-year-old boy and an 81-year-old woman, had been killed.

After deliberating for less than a full day, the jury declared Brooks guilty of all 76 counts against him, including six first-degree murder charges, on Wednesday morning. He now faces multiple life terms in prison and will be sentenced at a later date.

Dressed in a suit, Brooks looked at the ground as the judge read out the verdicts one by one. 

“Burn in hell, you piece of shit,” one person sitting in the crowd said as the judge read the second guilty verdict. The man was ordered out of the room.

The trial was a fairly short but dramatic affair during which Brooks fired his lawyer, declared himself to be a sovereign citizen, and represented himself in court. The sovereign citizen ideology rests on a faulty reading of the legal system where people believe the law doesn’t apply to them.

As is often the case when defendants represent themselves, it didn’t go well for Brooks.

During the two-and-a-half-week trial, Brooks was frequently combative with the judge, and she removed him from the courtroom several times. He was also aggressive with witnesses, whom he questioned himself, and was accused of trying to intimidate them. Routinely he would bring up debunked sovereign citizen ideas. Even as the jury filed into the room to read their verdict, Brooks pestered the judge with objections and questions. 


Brooks initially pleaded not guilty by means of insanity but changed to a full not-guilty plea shortly before the trial began. His defense initially focused on arguing that the witnesses couldn’t tell who was driving the vehicle. During his closing statements, however, he admitted to being behind the wheel but said the prosecution couldn't prove his intent. He also said the situation was God’s will.  

“Nobody will ever know why it was his will for this to happen,” said Brooks in his closing statement. “Many lives were changed that day, including my own. No matter how much we want to question, we have to have faith.”

Police gave no motive but said that Brooks drove into the crowd shortly after physically abusing his girlfriend at her house nearby. And prosecutors said the fact that Brooks didn’t stop after hitting the first person shows his intent to continue to kill and maim people. 

“You can stand with a Bible in your hand all day long and profess to be the finest man under God, but when you drive through a parade route and roll over children with band instruments to the extent that your vehicle heaves up and down, your intent is known, Mr. Brooks,” Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper said in court Monday. 

The case was livestreamed and routinely drew hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Far-right extremists have followed the case especially closely as Brooks made several anti-white and antisemitic comments on social media. Many on the far-right seized upon the allegations as an anti-white terror attack.