Wisconsin prosecutors add 71 more charges in Waukesha Christmas parade deaths

Bruce Vielmetti
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE — Prosecutors in Wisconsin on Wednesday charged the man facing six homicide counts in the Waukesha Christmas parade with 71 more counts.

Darrel E. Brooks Jr., 39, is set for a preliminary hearing Friday in the case. Investigators believe he drove an SUV into a Christmas parade in November, leaving six people dead and more than 60 injured in the suburban Wisconsin community.

The dozens of counts against Brooks of recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon cover threats and injuries to the many parade participants and spectators at the Nov. 21 event. The charges each carry a possible penalty of 7 ½ years in prison.

Prosecutors also added six counts of hit-and-run involving death, for the same six fatalities already charged as first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of bail jumping, and two counts of domestic abuse battery.  Hit-and-run involving death is punishable by 15 years in prison.

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According to the amended complaint, the two domestic violence charges, misdemeanors, involved Brooks' girlfriend and incidents at Frame Park during the parade, and the day before.

Court records show Brooks was charged with endangerment in Milwaukee County in July 2020 but posted $500 bail in March. He was arrested in Milwaukee County again on Nov. 5 for allegedly running over the mother of his child with his SUV. He walked out of jail two days before the parade after posting $1,000 bail.

Brooks’ attorney, Jeremy Perri, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Brooks has been held at the Waukesha County Jail on $5 million bail.

He is due back in court Friday morning for a preliminary hearing.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

Follow Bruce Vielmetti on Twitter at @ProofHearsay.