Ns News Online Desk: The ex-con charged with killing five people at a Wisconsin Christmas parade was ordered held on $5 million at his first court appearance Tuesday — with prosecutors revealing that he’ll be hit with a sixth homicide count after a child struck in the Sunday attack has died.
Darrell Brooks, 39, who was only free because he was cut loose on “inappropriately low” bail in an unrelated case, now faces little chance of making bail and will spend the rest of his life behind bars if he’s convicted.
“There are not words to describe the risk that this defendant presents to our community,” prosecutor Susan Opper told Waukesha County Court Commissioner Kevin Costello in court.“Not only flight risk but the dangerous that he presents, his history of violence and the allegations in this complaint where it is stated plainly that on several occasions he was told to stop by police officers,” she said. “They risked their own safety to try and step in front of the car to stop him.”“Everything was done to get him to stop, and he just simply continued down the roadway causing death and destruction in his path.”
Brooks is charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the attack Sunday at the Waukesha Christmas parade, but Opper said he will be hit with a sixth charge following the death Tuesday of Jackson Sparks, 8, who had been in critical condition after the attack. Each homicide count carries a potential sentence of life without parole. Wisconsin does not have a death penalty statute.
“I wish to notify the court sadly that today we learned of another death of a child related to this case,” Opper said. “We do expect a sixth count for first-degree intentional homicide to be issued, or added, excuse me, to this case.”“I can advise the court that I am aware … that there are other individuals in critical condition,” she added.
Brooks bowed his head during the proceedings and at one point appeared to weep as Costello detailed his lengthy criminal record. Darrell BrooksA criminal complaint in the case reveals chilling details of the deadly vehicular attack, with cops reporting that Brooks “had no emotion on his face” as he drove through the crowded parade route.
Two officers tried to stop the SUV, yelling and in one instance banging on the hood, only to be thrown aside by the vehicle, the complaint said.
One cop said he “heard tires squeal” as the vehicle turned into the crowd.“At this point, it was clear to Officer (Bryce) Butryn that this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible,” the complaint said. Cops caught up with Brooks nearby, initially identifying him as a person of interest in the case before filing the homicide charges.
Compounding the tragedy, prosecutors admitted this week that Brooks should have already been in jail — he was released on “inappropriately low” bail just days earlier. Brooks was charged in that case with allegedly punching and running over the mother of his child at a local gas station on Nov. 2, but was released on a $1,000 bond.