Man charged in Waukesha parade killings removes shirt before opening statements

Darrell Brooks sits in another court room after being removed from the first day of his trial...
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:12 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A man defending himself against homicide charges for allegedly driving his SUV through a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last year is making a spectacle of himself in court.

Darrell Brooks faces 76 counts in connection with the Nov. 21 incident in Waukesha. Opening statements in his trial started Thursday afternoon.

Brooks has been acting as his own attorney. He interrupted Judge Jennifer Dorow multiple times Thursday before jurors were brought in, prompting Dorow to have him moved to another courtroom where he can watch the proceedings via video.

Once there he stripped off his shirt, sat on the defense table with his back to the camera and stuck the sign he’d been given to signal objections down his pants. The judge said he also threatened to throw and break things.

Brooks previously pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect -- an insanity plea. However, his public defenders withdrew that plea last month. The attorneys later filed a motion to withdraw from the case.

The judge allowed Brooks to represent himself at trial and said he was intentionally being disruptive.