Waukesha Christmas parade hit-and-run suspect ordered to stand trial

Friday, January 14, 2022
Waukesha Christmas parade hit-and-run suspect ordered to stand trial
Police canvas debris left following a driver plowed into the Christmas parade on Main Street in downtown Waukesha, Wis., Nov. 22, 2021.

A Wisconsin court commissioner declared Friday that the suspect in November's deadly hit-and-run during a Christmas parade in Waukesha must stand trial for over six dozen charges.

Commissioner Kevin Costello said the court found probable cause and bound Darrell Brooks to trial. Brooks, 39, is facing up to life in prison for 77 criminal charges including six homicide counts.

On Nov. 21, Brooks drove his SUV into a crowd that gathered for the parade, striking dozens of people, the criminal complaint said. He allegedly ignored several calls by officers to stop his vehicle and continued to strike paradegoers, according to the complaint.

Dozens of children were among the victims including Jackson Sparks, 8, who was killed.

Tamara Durand, 52, Wilhelm Hospel, 81, Jane Kulich, 52, LeAnna Owen, 71, and Virginia Sorenson, 79, were also killed.

A motive behind Brooks' alleged actions is unknown, however, court documents filed Wednesday gave new details into the events leading up to the incident.

Brooks allegedly beat the mother of his child minutes before driving into the parade because she refused to bail him out of jail after he was arrested for allegedly running her over with the same vehicle earlier in November, according to court documents.

Brooks was arrested in that incident but was released on Nov. 19 after he posted a $1,000 bail, according to court documents.

Brooks is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 11.

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