Wisconsin parade news – latest: Darrell Brooks appears in court as prosecutors announce sixth Waukesha victim
Darrell Brooks appears in court following Wisconsin parade attack
Darrell Brooks appeared in court today for a preliminary hearing on charges for allegedly killing six people by ramming his car into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday evening.
Prosecutors revealed the death of a sixth victim, a child, during the hearing, where Mr Brooks bail was set at $5m.
The 39-year-old suspected driver, seen wide-eyed in a new mugshot released earlier in the day, was already facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, with a sixth expected in light of the newest death. He was allegedly involved in a “domestic dispute” moments prior to driving onto the parade route, and court records show he has an extensive rap sheet dating back to 1999.
Doorbell camera footage captured Mr Brooks waiting for an Uber outside a home roughly 20 minutes after he plowed through the parade. The homeowner said he invited Mr Brooks in for a sandwich before police arrived to arrest him.
At an emotional press conference on Monday, Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson read out the names of those who had died: Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
The sixth victim was identified on Tuesday as eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was critically injured alongside his 12-year-old brother Tucker.
The names of injured victims – many of whom are children – continue to trickle out through online fundraisers seeking help with medical bills.
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Milwaukee Brewers host fundraisers for parade victims
ICYMI: The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team announced two fundraisers in honour of the Waukesha Christmas parade victims.
The first took place on Tuesday morning, where fans were invited to meet with top members of the team at the Colectivo Coffee shop in Milwaukee. Attendees were encouraged to donate to the Brewers Community Foundation, with the team’s president of baseball operations David Sterns promising to personally match the amount raised.
The second event, “Magic of Lights” is scheduled for 5pm CT on Wednesday. For ever car that attends, host American Family Insurance pledged a $10 donation with a cap of $10,000.
Darrell Brooks wears suicide prevention vest to court hearing
Mr Brooks faces life imprisonment if convicted on the five intentional homicide charges he faces, with prosecutors expected to bring a sixth charge following the death of eight-year-old Jackson Sparks.
The eight-year-old became the sixth victim of the Wisconsin Christmas parade incident last Sunday.
“Aaron Sparks and Sheri Sparks would like to thank everyone for your prayers and amazing support during this difficult time,” said LifePoint Church in a Facebook post.
“They wanted to give an update to everyone as you are likely aware, Tucker (12) and Jackson ( Sparks were both seriously injured during the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack and have been in the ICU since.
“Tucker, by the grace of God is miraculously recovering from his injuries and will be being discharged home. This afternoon, our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
“Please know that they appreciate your continued prayers and tremendous outpouring of support for their family. They do however ask for privacy at this time to allow Tucker to continue to heal physically and their family to heal and mourn the tremendous loss of their sweet little boy who is now under the care of Jesus.”
A Wisconsin district attorney acknowledged that his justice reforms could lead to freed criminals killing others more than a decade before a man his office released on bail mowed down dozens of people at a Christmas parade in Waukesha.
John Chisholm began enacting reforms – including the lowering of cash bonds and diverting non-violent offenders to treatment programs – when he was elected as Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007.
Explaining his efforts to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that same year, Mr Chisholm acknowledged the possibility of adverse consequences.
“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into a treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen,” he said.
“It does not invalidate the overall approach.”
Mr Chisholm’s comments were drawn back into the spotlight this week after Darrell Brooks, a felon with a rap sheet dating back to 1999, was accused of killing five people and wounding 48 others by driving his car into Waukesha’s Christmas parade.