Serious felony charges didn’t keep him in jail and a “congested” court system delayed trial.
Milwaukee County’s backlogged court system and a DA’s “inappropriate” bail recommendation are responsible for the man in custody in the Waukesha parade massacre remaining on the streets more than a year after he was charged with serious felonies, including a gun offense, Wisconsin Right Now has learned.
The man in custody in the parade horror is Darrell Brooks Jr. He was in court on Nov. 23, 2021, where he was charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide. A 6th victim has died, Jackson Sparks, 8, so he will be charged with a sixth count. At least 60 people were injured when Brooks plowed into the crowd at the Waukesha Christmas parade, authorities say.
Darrell Brooks’ criminal record is extensive: He has two open felony cases in Milwaukee County from 2020 and 2021 and a lengthy string of criminal arrests across multiple counties and states. He also has a social media history with posts about BLM and against Scott Walker and other politicians. He also had anti-police rhetoric.
Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper said in court that Brooks has a criminal record in three states: Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada.
He is a registered sex offender in Nevada, she said, but he’s been non-compliant with that state’s sex offender registry since 2016, and there is an active warrant for his arrest there as a result. She said he was also arrested in May 2021 for battery, family violence – while out on $500 bail in the first pending Milwaukee felony case.
Read the criminal complaints here for both open cases in Milwaukee County. He was released on $500 bail in the 2020 case (reduced from $7,500) and $1,000 bail in the 2021 case, which DA John Chisholm has labeled inappropriate, promising an investigation.
He’s a 39-year-old felon from Milwaukee County, and the Milwaukee Court system suspended his speedy trial rights due to “court congestion,” releasing him on $500 bail in the 2020 case even though he was facing serious weapons and other felony charges. He’s accused of shooting at a car containing a family member with a stolen gun in the 2020 Milwaukee case.
In his most recent case in Milwaukee County, court records accuse him of trying to run a woman over in a gas station parking lot following an argument.
Then, even though he was socked with a string of new felony charges and despite the Georgia matter, he was released again – on $1,000 bail – three days before the parade massacre.
WRN’s Jim Piwowarczyk went to his Milwaukee north-side home listed on CCAP and found two MPD squads there. A red Ford Escape appears on a Google Maps photo for that home and in one of his rap music videos.
The severe court backlogs in Milwaukee County are an issue we wrote about Sept. 18, 2021, but that the other media have shown little interest in. We reported then that Milwaukee County criminal courts are operating with a two-year backlog, and the felony case backlog was 1,615 cases in the latest estimate from late August, the Chief Judge Mary Triggiano confirmed to Wisconsin Right Now.
There was a backlog of jury trials too. Triggiano said in the interview with Wisconsin Right Now that there are 350 cases awaiting jury trial where the person is in custody with a speedy trial request. Some of those cases will be resolved short of trial, and some still have other court activities going on, like discovery requests, she said. The courts were able to toll the speedy trial mandates and are still able to waive them for cause due to the pandemic, she said.
She blamed COVID-19.
The backlogs come as crime skyrockets in Milwaukee.
“We’ve taken this pandemic very, very seriously, as well as we should, including the variants…we’re being very careful,” Triggiano told a County Board committee. She likened the court system’s “recovery efforts” to a “dimmer switch,” where the system goes back to normal gradually, not all at once.
The ramification? People accused of very serious crimes are remaining on the streets to re-offend. One of them: The man in custody in Waukesha, according to accusations in court.
On social media, he showed animus toward police and Republicans like Scott Walker and posted unhappiness about the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict and George Floyd death. He also quoted Malcolm X.
Darrell Brooks Criminal Record:
Pending case filed Nov. 5, 2021 in Milwaukee County
Posted $1,000 bail on Nov. 19, 2021.
Pending Case Filed July 2020 in Milwaukee County
In June, 2021, the court records contain this passage (our bold), “Matter scheduled for Jury Trial. Parties are ready to proceed. Due to court congestion, Court is unable to hear jury trial at this time. Defense counsel advises Court that there is a new offer and requests a plea hearing date. Case adjourned, Br. 46. Plea hearing scheduled for August 31, 2021 at 09:15 am.”
In February 2021, this entry: “Case set for Status as to Jury Trial. The Court is in jury trial on another matter and makes a record of the history of this case. Due to reasons stated on the record, the court is unable to honor the speedy trial demand in this case. Defense bail motion argued and GRANTED by the Court. The Court lowered cash bail to $500.00. All previous conditions remain. The court TOLLED TIME LIMITS until next court date. Case adjourned, Branch 46.”
When was the trial originally set for? “SPEEDY Jury Trial scheduled for February 8, 2021 at 09:00 am. Trial will be held in Room 629 of the Courthouse.”
Darrell Brooks Past Criminal Cases
His past record consists of bail jumping, marijuana offenses (including felonies), obstructing an officer, and substantial battery. He is a felon.
There is a Darrell Edward Brooks with the same year of birth who is a registered sex offender in Nevada, and it turned out that it is the same Darrell Brooks. However, he appears to admit to this in a video, saying the victim was 16.
Darrell Brooks Arrest History
We’ve obtained his Department of Justice criminal record history. See it here.
It shows these arrests. Many cases were dismissed.
Arrested carry concealed weapon
Charge severity: non-criminal
Arrested aggravated battery – great harm (felony) – dismissed
Carrying a concealed weapon (non-criminal) – disposition not reported
Aggravated battery – intent great harm – felony – convicted. Probation
Carry concealed weapon – non-criminal – disposition not reported
Loitering – non-criminal – disposition not reported
Resisting – misdemeanor – dismissed
Cocaine possession – misdemeanor
Resisting – non-criminal
Take and drive vehicle without consent, habitual criminal, felony – dismissed, no prosecution
THC possession, felony
Resisting – misdemeanor – convicted
Resisting – misdemeanor
Receiving stolen property – misdemeanor – dismissed
Possess controlled substance – dismissed
Paternity warrant, non-criminal
Resisting officer, non-criminal
Resisting – misdemeanor – convicted
Felony strangulation and suffocation – domestic abuse – amended complaint filed
Misdemeanor battery – DV – dismissed
Criminal damage to property – dismissed, read-in
Probation violation, felony – hold for probation authorities
Extradition request – disposition not reported
Resisting – convicted
Failure to appear
Possess with intent to deliver THC – convicted possession
Bail jumping – convicted
Probation violation – turned over to probation authorities
Bail jumping felony – no prosecution
Failure to appear (multiple)
Bail jumping misdemeanor (2 counts) – no prosecution
Resisting – no prosecution
Possess THC felony – case dismissed
Firearm convicted of out of state felony – charge issued
Endangering safety domestic abuse, reckless use of firearm – charge issued
Possession of meth – dismissed
Paternity warrant – non-criminal
May 2021 arrest for battery, family violence. Unclear whether convicted but Opper said he told jail officials he spent 6 months in jail in that state.
Registered sex offender. He impregnated a 15-year-old girl. Non-compliant since 2016. Wanted on active warrant.