Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced the Waukesha, Wisconsin, parade massacre’s perpetrator Darrell Brooks to life in prison without the possibility of parole Wednesday, following weeks of trial proceedings marked by his repeated courtroom interruptions.
A jury convicted Brooks Oct. 26 of six counts of first-degree intentional homicide while using a dangerous weapon, necessitating a sentence of life imprisonment under Wisconsin law. He was found guilty of 70 other counts as well.
Judge Dorow was brought to tears as she recalled video and photographic evidence from the trial.
“It’s hard not to think about what I watched and not have this reaction. Those are images that frankly kept me up at night.” pic.twitter.com/bXX3uFwVTS
— John Curtis (@Johnmcurtis) November 17, 2022
Brooks killed six people and injured dozens more by driving an SUV through a crowd at Waukesha’s Christmas parade last November. He spent more than an hour and a half rambling in court Wednesday and subsequently argued with Dorow, saying he did not consent to the sentencing before she evicted him from the courtroom. (RELATED: Los Angeles Carjacking Victim Dies After Being Dragged Two Miles By Murder Suspect, Police Say)
Wisconsin does not permit capital punishment. Survivors and family members of victims delivered impact statements the previous day, some arguing that Brooks nonetheless warranted execution.
“I too regret Wisconsin does not have the death penalty because if someone ever deserved it the convicted most certainly does,” victim Virginia Sorensen’s husband David said. “Life in prison is too kind.”
Judge Jennifer Dorow breaks down in tears while talking about the victim statements.
She refers to a comment by Sheri Sparks about her older son Tucker feeling guilty for not protecting his little brother Jackson.
“It’s not your fault Tucker, it’s Mr. Brooks’ fault.”@CBS58 pic.twitter.com/R8YcrjYEbS
— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) November 16, 2022
Brooks represented himself at his October trial, and Dorow removed him from the courtroom many times over his frequent disruptions.
“In my almost 11 years on the bench, I’ve presided over dozens and dozens of cases that have gone to trial,” the judge said Oct. 21. “To say that this has been the most challenging of my career would be an understatement.”
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