MILWAUKEE – Darrell Brooks, 40, on trial for the November 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade attack that killed six and injured more than 60, has three open criminal cases in Milwaukee County. In a domestic violence case, he was in court 16 days before the Christmas parade attack, where bail was set at $1,000.
Domestic violence case
In early November 2021, Brooks was charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors, including second-degree recklessly endangering safety (domestic abuse assessments) after prosecutors say he ran over his girlfriend in a Milwaukee gas station parking lot.
According to a complaint, the woman refused to get in his SUV and was punched in the face by Brooks, who then allegedly ran her over as she walked through a gas station parking lot near 73rd and Capitol on Nov. 2, 2021, leaving the woman with a bloody face and tire tracks on her leg.
According to prosecutors, he later tried to persuade the woman to not cooperate with investigators in exchange for marriage. That resulted in three more felonies being filed against Brooks in December 2021, less than a month after the Christmas parade attack. Those charges include intimidating a witness.
The day after Brooks’ arrest, on Nov. 3, 2021, he called his mother from the Milwaukee County Jail and, according to court filings, discussed the need for prosecutors to have a cooperating victim to issue charges.
“They gonna need to talk to her and need for her to be a witness, and she not gonna do that but she can get the charges dropped altogether if she called down there and said I didn’t do what she said,” Brooks said to his mother, according to a transcript of the recorded phone call. “If they don’t cooperate with them, they are going to have to drop it.”
According to the complaint, Brooks made a total of 11 calls; two to his mother and nine to the woman, trying to keep her from cooperating. That includes six phone calls after he was charged in the case and a no-contact order with the woman put into place.
“I’m the one trying to get you out, right?” the woman said to Brooks in a Nov. 8 phone call. During that call, he blamed her for being charged.
“Why did you do this to me? You know I love you,” Brooks said to the woman in a recorded phone call. “Listen, listen. Please listen. I’ve come to the realization that I’m not going to leave you. You have my daughter. I know your potential, what you can be. I want to marry you.”
“Because of this situation, you know there is a possibility I might not get out of prison, that I can die in prison, right?” Brooks said in another call to the woman, several hours later. “I’m sitting up here facing 60 (expletive) years. You have to keep your mouth shut.”
In a Nov. 15 call, less than a week before the Waukesha parade attack, Brooks called the woman again – chastising her for continuing to be in touch with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office and complaining that she didn’t put up any money for his $1,000 bail.
“(Expletive), shut your (expletive) mouth. You still can’t humble yourself, so if you still talking this dumb (expletive), I’m gonna do it for you. Either way, you gonna do it yourself and bow down (expletive), or I’m gonna make you. Now which one you want?” Brooks said, threatening the woman. “You acting like you got so much (expletive) protection, like you safe. (Expletive), you on my (expletive) turf, remember that.”
Brooks’ mother posted the $1,000 bail on Nov. 11, 2021, but Brooks was not released from the custody of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office until at least Nov. 16, 2021. That’s when he appeared before a Waukesha County judge, by phone, in the custody of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department for failure to pay in a child support case. A judge released Brooks on his own recognition in that case.
Five days later, Waukesha police say Brooks was fleeing the scene of a domestic disturbance, though not being pursued by police, when he turned into the parade route.
Milwaukee shooting case
In July 2020, Brooks was charged with three felonies including second-degree recklessly endangering safety after prosecutors say he shot at his nephew during a fight.
Police documents obtained by Fox News Digital from this gun case show Brooks tried to throw his son under the bus, shift blame to someone else and offered to rat out a drug dealer before admitting to police he shot a bullet into the ground during the incident.
They include a summary of Brooks’ Mirandized interview from July 26, 2020.
Initially, Brooks blamed his son for the stolen gun police found just inches from him when they arrested him for allegedly firing at his nephew a day earlier, according to the documents. He allegedly claimed to have confiscated it from his son, who he accused of posing with it on Snapchat.
“Brooks stated he had no knowledge of any gun being fired and denied firing any gun himself,” the filing reads.
He also told the interrogating officer that he thought pills that police found in his possession were “THC edibles.” They tested positive for meth.
He offered to snitch on a drug dealer he said he’d bought them from, but the officer told him he didn’t believe his story, according to the report.
Then he allegedly changed his story, blaming the gunshot on his son’s friend, which the officer also didn’t believe.
Finally, Brooks allegedly admitted to firing the gun while arguing with his nephew and a young woman who were sitting in a car at the time.
“I shot the gun at the ground,” the report quotes him as saying. “It was not intended for my nephew. It was not intended to harm or hurt anybody. It was intended to get [his nephew’s girlfriend] the f— away from my house.”
Brooks was staying with his mother at the time.
During the interview, he repeatedly stressed that he would “do anything” to prevent his daughter from being sent back into foster care.
In that 2020 case, cash bond was set at $10,000 in July 2020, online court records show, but “adjusted down” to $7,500 in August 2020. In February 2021, nine months before the Christmas parade attack, it was “adjusted down” again to $500. That $500 cash bond was posted in May 2021.
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Brooks was out on $500 bail in this 2020 case in November 2021 when he’s accused of attacking his girlfriend and driving his SUV through the Waukesha Christmas parade route.
Brooks’ mother posted the $1,000 bail in the domestic violence case on Nov. 11, 2021, but Brooks was not released from the custody of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office until at least Nov. 16, 2021. That’s when he appeared before a Waukesha County judge, by phone, in the custody of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department for failure to pay in a child support case. A judge released Brooks on his own recognition in that case – just days before the parade attack, which led to outrage and renewed calls for bail reform.
Brooks faces mid-December jury trials in the three Milwaukee County cases.
At the time of the Christmas parade attack, he also had an active warrant out of Nevada for skipping court on sex crime charges.
Christmas parade attack charges
Brooks is charged with 76 counts connected to the November 2021 Waukesha parade attack, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. A homicide conviction would put him behind bars for life.
Prosecutors say on Nov. 21, 2021, Brooks met up with his ex-girlfriend in Frame Park, the same woman he is accused of running over with his red SUV earlier in November 2021. She told police they argued in his SUV before he started driving, and he “was driving around with one hand and striking her in the face with his other hand.” She eventually got out and called her friends for help.
Waukesha parade attack victims identified
Soon after that, according to prosecutors, Brooks drove that red SUV through the parade route, killing Jackson Sparks, 8, Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52 and Wilhelm Hospel, 81. More than 60 others were hurt.
Brooks was arrested the night of the attack, soon after telling a Waukesha resident that he was homeless and waiting for an Uber. The man was unaware of the events that had occurred and let Brooks into his home.
Brooks entered an insanity plea in June after initially pleading not guilty to the charges in February. He later dropped the insanity plea on Sept. 9.