Brooks, 40, of Milwaukee is charged with six counts of first degree murder, 61 counts of reckless endangerment to safety, six counts of hit and run resulting in death, two counts of bail — all crimes related to the tragedy of the show – and a felony with battery. He represents himself.
Prosecutors closed the case late Thursday morning after more than a week and a half of testimony. The process is expected to last until October. 28. Here is what happened on the 14th day of the trial:
Brooks made a moving opening statement. “He has two sides to every story.”
Brooks issued a thrilling opening statement to jurors Thursday afternoon, stopping repeatedly to wipe away tears. He said his declaration was not planned but “comes from the heart”. Before making his statement, he removed the surgical mask worn during the procedure. “There are always two sides to every story,” he began. There was only one side to this story.” He said the evidence presented showed that the incident was neither deliberate nor planned. “I know you saw me in that mask,” Brooks told jurors. “There was a reason for this, but I think it’s time to take off the mask and look at me for who I am.”
He reminded the jurors to keep their minds open, and the power is in their hands. After a statement, Waukesha County District Judge Jennifer Doro asked for a stay to allow Brooks to collect himself. He had already said that he planned to call ten witnesses.
The lead investigator in the case is back on the podium
Prosecutors called the main investigator in the case, Detective Waukesha Thomas Casey, the first witness on Thursday. Casey explained that the charges only include victims who were hit by an SUV and were innocuous at the show. Casey said he reviewed video from 300 to 400 surveillance cameras that captured footage of the incident. “I’ve never seen anyone other than the accused drive a vehicle in any of the videos I’ve seen,” Casey said. The jury viewed security camera footage from Brooks’ mother’s backyard that showed Brooks entering the red SUV that crashed into the parade route.
During the cross-examination, Brooks asked Casey to confirm that the man in the CCTV footage was not wearing a hoodie. Casey agreed. After the parade, a hoodie belonging to Brooks was discovered.
Emotions are high after a rap video featuring Brooks was played in front of the jury
Prosecutors called the case’s lead investigator, Detective Waukesha Thomas Casey, Thursday as the first witness. Casey explained that the allegations only concern victims who were hit by an SUV and were innocent at the show. Casey said he reviewed video from 300 to 400 surveillance cameras that captured footage of the incident. “I don’t see anyone other than the defendant driving in any of the videos I watch,” Casey said. Jurors saw video from Brooks’ mother’s backyard security cameras that showed Brooks getting into a red SUV that crashed down the driveway.
During the interrogation, Brooks asked Casey to check that the man seen on the CCTV footage was not wearing a hoodie. Casey agreed. A Brooks hoodie was spotted after the show. Emotions rise after rap video with Brooks plays in front of a jury
He also claimed that prosecutors laughed at him during the trial.
“There’s nothing stopping you from taking something out of your briefcase and displaying it now,” Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Offers said of the video. He also denied making fun of Brooks.
“(Proposition) must think I’m an idiot,” said Brooks. When Drow advised Brooks to sit down, she declined. “I don’t like your tone,” he told her. Douro took a 15-minute break, but failed to take Brooks out of the courtroom.
Brooks called another witness to testify:
After his first statement, Brooks called Nicholas Kirby, a friend of Brooks’ ex-girlfriend, as a second witness. Kirby had previously testified before prosecutors about a domestic violence attack near Brooks and the former Frame Park prior to the parade incident.
Kirby testified that he and Cory Runkle, a woman who was housed in Brooks ‘ex-women’s shelter in Waukesha, were looking for Brooks’ ex after she called Kirby for help until Brooks attacked her. Kirby could hear Brooks’ ex scream and then ran to help him. Brooks questioned Kirby’s “sense of urgency” about seeing his ex-girlfriend. “He said he was in trouble,” Kirby replied. “I don’t play when people are in trouble.”
Brooks asked if he saw anyone injured at the parade. “I saw the red SUV take off like a bat from hell on Main Street and go through the crowd,” said Kaby.