A man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more while driving an SUV in a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last year wants to stand again in a trial that is due to start in just over a year. week.
Darrell Brooks Jr. Public Defender Jeremy Perri filed a motion Thursday in Waukesha County Circuit Court asking that he and Assistant Public Defender Anna Kees be removed from the case because Brooks wants to represent himself- same.
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Tuesday. It’s unclear what impact the motion, if granted by Judge Jennifer Dorow, could have on the Oct. 3 start date for Brooks’ trial on six counts of homicide and about 70 other counts. Four weeks have been set aside for the trial.
The motion is the latest development in a case that has seen some twists and turns. Brooks changed his not guilty plea in June to not guilty by reason of mental illness and default, but two weeks ago he withdrew the insanity defence.
When questioned by Dorrow, Brooks gave little explanation, saying, “I have my own reasons.” He confirmed that he discussed the change with his lawyers.
According to a criminal complaint, Brooks drove his SUV in the parade in Waukesha on November 21. Witnesses said he was swerving and appeared to be intentionally trying to hit people. He was arrested minutes later as he stood on the porch of a nearby house asking the owner for help calling a ride.
Police said he fled the scene of a domestic disturbance when he went to the parade, although officers were not pursuing him at the time.
Last month, Dorow refused a defense motion to have the case against Brooks thrown out because of a July search of the defendant’s jail cell. Investigators and prosecutors were looking for information related to Brooks’ recent decision to change his plea.
At one point during the motions hearing, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper asked the judge to note that Brooks appeared to have slept during the proceedings. Dorow ordered a break and when the parties returned to the courtroom, Brooks erupted and yelled at the judge before being surrounded by three deputies and led out of the courtroom.