Judge to weigh change of venue in Wisconsin parade deaths

Posted at 11:51 AM, March 11, 2022 and last updated 9:52 PM, October 7, 2022

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A judge was set to consider a request Friday to move the trial of a man accused of driving his SUV into a suburban Milwaukee Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring scores more.

 

Attorneys for Darrell Brooks Jr. filed a change-of-venue motion last month asking that the trial either be moved or that jurors be pulled from a different county. They say that publicity about the case has been pervasive and overwhelmingly negative for Brooks.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Darrow was expected to discuss the motion with Brooks’ attorneys and prosecutors during a hearing Friday. It wasn’t clear when she would rule.

FILE – Darrell Brooks Jr. appears in Waukesha County court on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 in Waukesha, Wis. A judge was set to consider a request Friday to move the trial of a man accused of driving his SUV into a suburban Milwaukee Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring scores more. Attorneys for Darrell Brooks Jr. filed a change-of-venue motion last month asking that the trial either be moved or that jurors be pulled from a different county. (Derek Johnson/Waukesha Freeman via AP, Pool File)

Prosecutors allege Brooks drove into multiple people during the Nov. 21 parade in Waukesha. He faces more than 70 charges, including six counts of homicide. Prosecutors have not addressed any potential motive. He has pleaded not guilty.

Brooks’ attorneys noted that the community has adopted a “Waukesha Strong” slogan, people built a temporary memorial to the dead and media outlets have used photos of Brooks in court in chains.

Attorneys Jeremy Perri and Anna Kees also pointed out that first lady Jill Biden visited Waukesha and her remarks calling the parade crash a “tragedy” were widely reported. On social media, people have called for Brooks to be put to death, they added.

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