Darrell Brooks, who was convicted of killing six people and injuring dozens more when he drove his SUV through a Wisconsin Christmas parade in 2021, has been served a life sentence.
The 40-year-old was convicted in October of all 76 counts, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow said the seriousness of the offense can be summed up frankly in one word, "attack". She said Brooks used the vehicle as a battering ram and struck people over several blocks, hitting them as if they were nothing more than speed bumps. The judge highlighted that Brooks showed a complete and utter lack of remorse, barely apologizing and at times mocking victims with hand gestures or by rolling his eyes.
Brooks told the court that what happened at the Christmas parade was not an attack.
"I want each and every victim in this incident, family members, those who lost loved ones, those who are still healing...I want everyone to know that not only am I sorry for what happened, I'm sorry that you could not see what's truly in my heart, that you could not see the remorse that I have," he said. "That you could not hear all the prayers I've said in my cell, that you could not see all the tears that I have dropped."
However, Dorow said images of the crash kept her up at night and repeatedly described the events as horrific. The judge said that the only time the court heard about brake lights was when a victim was on that vehicle, and Brooks braked so he could get her off the top and run her over. He drove through the parade despite warnings from police to stop.
Brooks allegedly drove his Ford Escape for five blocks through the parade route in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha on November 21. The police record says that the SUV reached speeds of up to 25 mph and some people landed on the hood. It stated that all of the victims who were killed and most of the people that were injured were walking right down the middle of the road in plain view. The street was closed off to traffic. Moreover, there were barricades in place and police present to direct motorists for the entire length of the parade route.
The court heard that Brooks, before driving through the parade, had beat up the mother of his child because she had not bailed him out of jail several days earlier after he was arrested for running her over with the same SUV.
Brooks was arrested when he abandoned the vehicle after driving through a backyard and asked a homeowner to help him.