WAUKESHA, Wis. — Following a Tuesday afternoon hearing, Darrell Brooks Jr., the man accused of driving an SUV into the Waukesha Christmas parade last November, filed a waiver Wednesday to represent himself in his homicide trial.
He had until 9 a.m. Wednesday to file paperwork to waive his lawyers, and he did so right at deadline, according to Waukesha County records. There will be a hearing Wednesday afternoon for Judge Jennifer Dorow to make a ruling.
On Tuesday, Brooks told the judge he understood his attorneys have worked tirelessly for his defense in his upcoming homicide trial.
“But these were issues that were being raised for a number of months,” Brooks said. “This was not something that was sprung up out of the blue.”
Brooks said those issues were that he did not understand why certain motions weren’t filed and added sometimes his attorneys didn’t do enough to help him understand.
“I feel that as my attorneys, that it would be essentially their job to make me aware of things that I do not understand,” Brooks said.
To move forward with the hearing, and to determine whether Brooks was capable of representing himself and dismiss his attorneys from his case, Dorow asked Brooks a lot of questions about the charges he faced and the penalties they carried.
She asked if he understood the experience the prosecuting attorneys have in intentional homicide cases.
“I just want you to understand the resources you’re up against when you represent yourself,” Dorow said.
“It doesn’t make me flinch one bit,” Brooks replied.
Dorow then asked if he understood what it would mean to represent himself without his attorneys.
“If I allow them to withdraw, you lose their legal experience, their specialized training, their education, their work as attorneys,” Dorow said. “Do you understand that?”
Brooks responded, “No, I do not understand.”
“I don’t understand,” was the response from Brooks to most questions the judge asked him — including one question, in particular, he wouldn’t move on from.
That was whether he understood that the State of Wisconsin, the plaintiff in the case, was represented by the Waukesha County District Attorney and two assistants, seated in the courtroom.
“I need clarification on how the State of Wisconsin could be a plaintiff,” Brooks said. “Because that would essentially mean that the State of Wisconsin is an injured party. How can the state be an injured party?”
The judge said she wasn’t going to give him legal advice, and then took a quick break for Brooks to discuss with his two lawyers, saying they could explain how that all works. After a brief recess, she announced she could not make a ruling.
Currently, the trial is scheduled to start on Monday.
Follow along for updates from the Spectrum News team: