The person accused of plowing his SUV right into a parade of Christmas marchers may have turned down a facet avenue however didn’t. As soon as he handed it, he by no means touched the brakes — barreling via and leaving our bodies in his wake, based on a felony criticism.
Former Waukesha County District Legal professional Paul Bucher stated it could be tough to show intent with the primary particular person Brooks struck, “however when he saved going and figuring out what he had completed to the primary particular person and didn’t cease, then it was all intentional.”
Brooks, 39, is charged with 5 counts of first-degree intentional murder and is anticipated to face a sixth depend after an 8-year-old boy died Tuesday. Waukesha County District Legal professional Susan Opper has additionally stated further prices are possible.
Brooks’ attorneys, Jeremy Perri and Anna Kees, cautioned folks to not decide the case earlier than all details are identified.
“It’s important that we not rush to judgment, and as an alternative deal with these proceedings and all these concerned with dignity and respect,” they stated in a press release.
“That features Mr. Brooks, who’s entitled to a vigorous protection and cautious safety of his Constitutional rights. Regardless of how severe and emotional the fees, till the federal government proves its allegations past an inexpensive doubt, our consumer is presumed harmless.”
Opper stated Wednesday her workplace wouldn’t touch upon a pending case.
Brooks is accused of refusing to cease whilst an officer banged on the hood of his SUV. One other officer fired three pictures into the car, but it surely didn’t cease.
5 folks ranging in age from 52 to 81 have been pronounced lifeless inside hours. One in every of many injured kids, Jackson Sparks, 8, died on Tuesday. Representatives for space hospitals stated Wednesday that at the very least 16 individuals are being handled for accidents.
Brooks hasn’t spoken publicly and it is not identified what, if something, he advised investigators.
However even when Brooks was beneath the affect of medication or alcohol on the time — and police haven’t stated he was — that would not be used as a protection in Wisconsin, consultants stated.
Tom Grieve, a Brookfield protection lawyer and former Waukesha County prosecutor, stated one doable protection can be that Brooks was affected by a psychological illness or defect. A jury must determine if he was responsible of the fees after which whether or not he was mentally ailing. Such a discovering would possible land him in a psychological establishment relatively than jail.
Opper may have charged Brooks with first-degree reckless murder, which might have been a “slam dunk” conviction that, given Brooks’ age, would have been an efficient life sentence, Bucher stated. However in depth video and different proof additionally help the extra severe cost, he and different consultants stated.
“The very fact he didn’t step on the brakes: That was intentional. The truth that his foot was on the gasoline: That was intentional. He may have stopped … He’s the one one who may put his foot on the brake pedal and he didn’t,” Grieve stated.
A felony criticism detailing the fees contains statements from law enforcement officials and witnesses who stated the car “gave the impression to be deliberately transferring facet to facet,” with no try and decelerate or cease because it struck a number of folks and despatched our bodies and objects flying.
One officer who tried to cease the car stated Brooks was trying straight at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face, the criticism stated.
Prosecutors wouldn’t be allowed to place police or bystanders on the stand to take a position on what Brooks supposed to do or his way of thinking, consultants stated.
Bucher stated prosecutors additionally wouldn’t have the ability to introduce social media posts made by Brooks, an aspiring rapper, or lyrics from his songs suggesting an curiosity in violence — which grew to become the topic of widespread hypothesis on social media that Brooks’ actions have been intentional.
Brooks included hyperlinks on social media to his songs, a number of of which seemingly have fun violence and name police “pigs.” In a biography on his SoundCloud account, he refers to rising up within the “harmful west facet neighborhood of Washington Park” in Milwaukee, his “a number of authorized battles” and his need to show the “life he lived on the streets” into music.
Brooks, who has been charged with crimes greater than a dozen occasions since 1999, had two excellent circumstances in opposition to him on the time of the parade catastrophe, together with one earlier in November during which he’s accused of deliberately putting a lady together with his automobile in Milwaukee County. He had been free on $1,000 bail for that case, which prosecutors now say was inappropriately low.
And on Sunday, Brooks was leaving the scene of a home dispute that had taken place simply minutes earlier than he drove into the parade route, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson stated.
A number of consultants predicted a plea deal.
“If I have been on this case, what I’d be making an attempt to do was to see how I can put out this hearth as rapidly as doable,” stated Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor who now works in non-public apply in Chicago. “In the event you let it linger, it’s solely going to worsen.”
Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan; Richmond from Madison, Wisconsin; and Condon from New York.