Posted on October 23, 2022

Day 15 of the Waukesha Christmas Parade Attack Trial: Brooks Stares Down Dorow

Bruce Vielmetti and Quinn Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 21, 2022

Homicide suspect Darrell Brooks Jr. called his ex-girlfriend as a defense witness Friday morning as he began in earnest to present his defense, but the questioning soon went off the rails as he tried to introduce photographs he says she sent him well after the Nov. 21 Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy.

Brooks was repeatedly removed from the courtroom for disruptions, and a break was called when he met Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow with an unflinching stare-down.


Brooks erupts after Dorow cuts off his direct examination of his ex

Brooks attempted to show her some photographs he said she mailed to him in jail, after Nov. 21. He argued it would attack her credibility because she had just testified she’d had no contact with him since that date.

The state objected. Prosecutors had never seen the photos before Friday, they said. They appeared as an attempt to cast the witness as a bad mother, and as proof she actually sent them to Brooks in jail.


Brooks became extremely agitated and disruptive at that point, leading to the early lunch break. {snip}

Brooks removed from courtroom twice for more disruptive behavior

Brooks began the second half of the day in an adjacent courtroom so that the jury could be brought in without interruption, Dorow said.

“It has been a rough morning, to say the least,” she added.

Brooks’ questions regarding how he met his ex and the child he has with her were improper, Dorow said, and his “disruptive” and “defiant” behavior prompted her to remove him from the courtroom. Dorow ultimately decided not to bring his ex back to the stand.

Brooks eventually returned to the courtroom, but his interruptions continued and he was again removed by Dorow.

Brooks then refused to call his next witness from a different room. He continued to raise his voice at Dorow in objection to his removal, eventually slamming the headphones he has used to hear the proceedings down on the table. {snip}


Brooks claims prosecution “coached” his witnesses; ‘scared’ Dorow calls for an impromptu break

Brooks called Deanna Aldrich and Christopher Bertram, two witnesses who saw the SUV that crashed through the route after the parade. Both said they saw the damaged car — Aldrich when it was stopped and Bertram when it drove by — but did not get a clear view of a suspect.


He said it was apparent that the witnesses had been coached by prosecutors on how to answer his questions, which Dorow called baseless claims.

Brooks slammed the table with his fists and suddenly became silent. He fixed Dorow with an unblinking stare, his mouth turned down into a deep frown. In response, she called a break. “Quite frankly, it makes me scared,” Dorow said.