Man accused in Wisconsin parade deaths pleads not guilty

A Milwaukee man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more when he drove an SUV through a suburban Christmas parade is pleading not guilty to multiple criminal charges

ByThe Associated Press
February 11, 2022, 1:18 PM
FILE - This undated photo provided by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department shows Darrell Brooks, Jr., the suspect in a Christmas parade crash in suburban Milwaukee. A Wisconsin judge is poised to decide Friday, Jan 14, 2022, whether Brooks, accus
FILE - This undated photo provided by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department shows Darrell Brooks, Jr., the suspect in a Christmas parade crash in suburban Milwaukee. A Wisconsin judge is poised to decide Friday, Jan 14, 2022, whether Brooks, accused of plowing his SUV through a suburban Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring dozens more, will stand trial. (Waukesha County Sheriff's Department via AP, File)
The Associated Press

WAUKESHA, Wis. -- A Milwaukee man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more when he drove an SUV through a suburban Christmas parade pleaded not guilty Friday to scores of criminal charges.

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, entered the pleas to 77 charges, including six counts of homicide and multiple counts of reckless endangerment, during a court appearance that lasted less than five minutes. Brooks' attorneys filed for a change of venue in the case on Thursday, but it's not clear when that motion will be considered. He remains jailed on $5 million bail.

Last month, court Commissioner Kevin Costello said prosecutors had presented “ample” evidence to show Brooks probably committed felonies and ordered him to stand trial.

During the preliminary hearing, police detective Thomas Casey testified that he and other officers yelled at Brooks to stop as he drove the SUV through the parade in downtown Waukesha on Nov. 21.

He described how the vehicle zigzagged across the street for blocks, smashing into marchers from behind and running them over. He said Brooks injured 61 people, including the six people he killed.

Brooks’ attorney, public defender Anna Kees, maintained that he couldn’t turn off the parade route because the side streets were barricaded and full of spectators. She noted, too, that he told detectives that he didn’t mean to kill anyone and couldn’t bring himself to look when detectives showed him photos of the carnage.

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