MILWAUKEE — As Darrell Brooks’ trial began Thursday nearly a year after prosecutors say he killed six people in the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy and as cameras broadcast the start of the trial across the country, Brooks — representing himself — ripped his shirt off.
“I was shocked as I think probably everybody else was,” John Gross, a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School, told Spectrum News 1. “It’s not the type of scene you expect to see in the courtroom, and it’s just an example of how difficult it’s going to be to manage this trial.”
After hours of jury instruction Thursday, prosecutors had a chance to deliver their opening statement, but Brooks opted to delay giving his until after the prosecution wraps up.
“Actually, it’s something defense attorneys often do,” Gross added. “They may not want to comment until the prosecution puts forth their case, so that is perhaps the one thing today that Mr. Brooks did that did not strike me as odd.”
The trial will continue into Friday. Four weeks have been set aside for the trail, according to the court calendar.