Man accused of driving car in Waukesha Christmas parade delivers tearful closing arguments

Brooks represented himself during this roughly three-week trial. He tearfully asked jurors during his 50-minute closing argument to consider whether the car could have malfunctioned in the incident last November and the effects the lawsuit – as well as the negative press – had on his family .

“What if the vehicle couldn’t stop due to a malfunction? What if the driver of the vehicle was unable to stop the vehicle? So what if the driver panicked Does it make the driver angry and intentional to kill people? Brooks asked, saying there was a recall on the vehicle he was driving that day. Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow struck those comments from the record.

“I’ve never heard of anyone intentionally trying to hurt someone by trying to blow their horn while trying to alert people to their presence,” Brooks said.

The defendant went on to repeatedly allege that there were “misconceptions” and “lies” about him during the trial. After saying his conscience was clear and he had made peace with God, Brooks spent much of the last 10 minutes of his closing speech repeatedly telling the jury to be at peace with their verdict and to have no regrets.

“Whatever you decide, make sure you can live with it. That’s how much power you have,” Brooks said. “Be at peace with what you decide.”

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper refuted Brooks’ claims, saying he wanted jurors to care about his family when the other families involved in this tragedy will never be able to see their loved ones again.

“There are 68 victims in this case, folks. It’s not an accident,” Opper said.

Despite Brooks’ claims that he does not intentionally hit people with an SUV, Opper repeatedly told the jury that there is overwhelming evidence that Brooks was fully aware of his actions when he drove his SUV to through a crowd of hundreds of people.

“It hit a speed of about 30 mph. It’s intentional. It went through 68 different people, 68. How can you hit one and keep going? How can you hit two and keep going?” Opper asked.

Opper also told jurors not to be distracted in their deliberations by Brooks’ conduct during the trial.

“You must not, consider anything about Darrell Brooks other than his driving in downtown Waukesha on the evening of November 21, 2021,” Opper told the jury. “Nothing he has done before, nothing he has done since. When you return to this deliberation room, please obey Judge Dorow. Limit your comments to his conduct on November 21.”

Accused Waukesha Christmas Parade killer interviews victims while defending himself at trial
Jurors will now deliberate on whether to convict Brooks. He pleaded not guilty to more than 70 counts, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He previously pleaded not guilty to insanity, but his public defenders withdrew insanity plea in September. The attorneys then filed a motion to withdraw from the case, and the judge decided to allow Brooks to represent himself at trial.
Brooks’ unusual decision to to represent oneself in court and its persistent disturbances as well as outlandish behavior caused constant disruption throughout the trial. He spoke to prosecutors and the judge, asked vague questions, challenged the court’s jurisdiction and said “Darrell Brooks” was not his name.

Judge Dorow repeatedly removed Brooks from court for his outbursts and placed him in a nearby courtroom, where he can communicate via a monitor and microphone that are mostly muted.

CNN’s Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

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