Barring a pardon for unforeseen reasons by an uncaring Governor, Darrell Brooks will die in prison. Today ended the trial spectacle that Brooks created. He was argumentative and combative and frequently spent his trial in a separate room watching as witness after witness presented evidence to convict him. Brooks represented himself. Would the best criminal defense lawyer have made a difference? No, I don’t think so. He would have been convicted because the prosecution was excellent and the facts were damning. Dead children and mangled bodies will be his legacy.
The trial started on rocky ground. Brooks was so disruptive during the trial he was moved to a separate room after frequent outbursts. He spent much of his trial alone, watching via video feed — his microphone was muted until it was his time to examine a witness and that was often disjointed and meant to make a spectacle of the proceedings.
Brooks’ lack of understanding of how a courtroom works was evident in his questions. The prosecution’s lead attorney was excellent. His opening was clear and direct. As the trial progressed and witnesses placed Brooks at the scene, there was little doubt how it would end. Over 40 witnesses took the stand to point, either literally or figuratively at Brooks. And today, Brooks’ mockery of the justice system is over.
There is no death penalty in Wisconsin so the penalty for his deadly rampage could be no more than for this awful excuse of a human to die in prison.
On Wednesday, Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced Brooks to six consecutive life sentences for first-degree intentional homicide. There is no chance of parole for the cold-blooded murders of Tamara Durand, William Hospel, Jane Kulich, Leanna Owen, Jackson Sparks, and Virginia Sorenson. Brooks made his final statements claiming along with more nonsense that he was “confused” about the nature and cause of the charges.
Although unnecessary for practical reasons, but absolutely needed for what he did to the other victims, Dorow gave Brooks 17.5 years for each of the 61 counts of first-degree reckless endangering safety. That adds 762 years. She added 25 years each for the six hit-and-run counts running concurrent to the reckless endangerment charges.
Bottom line — Brooks is a reprehensible murderer who, after today, will disappear into the prison system. He won’t make headlines again. He won’t prevail on appeal and his name will be forgotten. The next time anyone should read his name, is when we’re informed that Brooks has died in prison.