Takeaways from Day 1 of Darrell Brooks’ Waukesha Christmas Parade trial

Darrel Brooks Jr. is on trial starting Monday for the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack that left six people dead and dozens injured.

Brooks faces more than 70 charges: six counts of first-degree intentional homicide by use of a dangerous weapon, 61 counts of recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, six counts of hit-and-run with death and two counts of of bail jumping, all crimes; and two counts of domestic abuse battery.

He will represent himself. Here’s what happened on Day 1 of the trial, which begins with jury selection.

Brooks was removed repeatedly from the courtroom

After repeated disruptions, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow removed Brooks from the courtroom, three times in the morning and again in the afternoon.

Brooks was removed a second time after Dorow told him he continued to be disruptive, something he had previously been warned about. In total, Dorow called six recesses in the case between 8.30 and noon, not counting the two cases where Brooks had to be removed.

“If your intent is to interrupt these trials … or make a mockery of this court, I cannot condone that,” Dorow told Brooks during a flurry of interruptions.

“I don’t see how my behavior is disruptive,” Brooks said.

Dorow told Brooks if the interruptions continued, she would appoint him an attorney to keep the lawsuit on track. The trial is scheduled to run from 3-28. October.

After the lunch break, during which Brooks was again moved to the neighboring courtroom due to continued disruptions, Dorow voiced his findings and specified the 1970 US Supreme Court case law, Illinois v. Allen, which established the legality of removing him until he agreed to to act in accordance with the standards of dignity, respect and propriety required by the case.

“Mr. Allen’s behavior pales in comparison to Mr. Brooks’,” Dorow said.

Jury selection has finally begun and may take days to complete

The process of jury selection, sometimes called voir dire, which includes hundreds of potential jurors, began around 2 p.m. Monday as a result of the near-constant interruptions by Brooks.

Dorow said before the trial that the jury selection process could take a day or more, but it’s unclear if that timeline still holds. A total of 315 jurors can be selected.

By the end of the day Monday, however, the court had only interviewed 41 jurors, with 64 jurors from the original 105-person allocation still waiting in the wings. Those jurors will now be interviewed Tuesday morning, and the remaining 34 jurors who were not empaneled for the case will return at 1 p.m.

The hope is to fill a jury panel of 16 (including four alternates) from that Day 1 pool. The second group of 105 jurors was pushed to Wednesday.

In addition, if all 315 potential jurors were to be interviewed, the process would now continue until Thursday.

Who was beaten for the reason and why

Among the jurors who were told they were dismissed even before Tuesday were a mix that included some with close connections to the incident.

One woman, a nurse at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital, told Dorow that she initially thought she could put her experiences aside. She was among those treating the victims of the November 21st parade.) “But now …,” she said, her voice breaking and trailing off.

Another said his wife also worked at the hospital but was dismissed when the injured arrived. The reason for her dismissal was not immediately clear.

Ultimately, the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office agreed to all strikes for cause Brooks listed.

But neither Dorow nor prosecutors addressed Brooks’ broader proposition.

“I just want to beat them all,” Brooks said.

Dorow said she would take his proposal under advisement and announce her decision Tuesday morning.

The test phase follows afterwards

Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper has previously said she expects prosecutors to take between five and seven business days to present their case. There has been no indication of how long it might take Brooks to argue his defense.

Before Brooks’ decision to waive his right to an attorney, it appeared the trial would not require the full four weeks. But experts say if Brooks is allowed to represent himself, it could slow down the process.

This story will be updated as the trial progresses.

More: Here’s what you need to know about Darrell Brooks Jr. The Waukesha Christmas Parade Procession

More: A story about the Waukesha parade suspected Darrell Brooks’ interactions with law enforcement

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