Christmas parade massacre suspect pleads not guilty

Darrell Brooks has rejected 77 charges, including six homicides, for driving into a Christmas parade in Waukesha

The man charged with killing six people and injuring 61 when he drove through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin last November, has pleaded not guilty on Friday to all 77 charges.

His lawyers also requested moving the trial to a different venue.

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, has been charged with 75 felonies, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. In a five-minute appearance in the Waukesha County Court, he pleaded not guilty to all of them. His attorneys have also filed a motion for change of venue, asking for a jury from another county. 

Brooks remains in jail on a $5 million bail, set after the court found out he had a troubling history and had been released on a bail of only $1,000 just days before the November 21 carnage on Waukesha’s main street. 

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Darrell Brooks appears in Waukesha County Court in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S. November 23, 2021. © Reuters / Mark Hoffman
The Waukesha massacre was not a ‘crash’, and there was nothing ‘accidental’ about it

Police and prosecutors have told the court that Brooks broke through a barricade in his SUV and drove down the parade route, zigzagging from side to side and running people over from behind. His attorney, public defender Anna Kees, has argued that Brooks did not intend to kill anyone, and could not turn off the parade route because all the side streets had been blocked.

The Christmas parade attack came just two days after a jury in nearby Kenosha acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges in the shooting of three men during August 2020 Black Lives Matter protests that turned into riots.

Following public backlash, the crowdfunding service GoFundMe shut down a fundraiser to raise bail money for Brooks back in December, and permanently banned the man who set it up for violating their terms of service.

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