Darrell E. Brooks Jr., the lone suspect in the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre, was charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide on Tuesday, with bail set for $5 million cash.
Prosecutors outlined the charges on Tuesday afternoon during Brooks’ first court appearance following the horrific attack where he learned of a sixth fatality – an 8-year-old boy named Jackson Sparks, who died Tuesday from injuries sustained during the massacre. Though Brooks was only charged with five counts of intentional homicide at the hearing for the five confirmed fatalities, a sixth charge will soon likely be brought against Brooks as a result of Sparks’ death. Here are the names of the confirmed victims:
1.) Wilhelm Hospel, age 81
2.) Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, age 79
3.) LeAnna Owen, age 71
4.) Tamara Durand, age 52
5.) Jane Kulich, age 52
6.) Jackson Sparks, age 8
As many as 62 people were injured on Sunday when Brooks allegedly plowed an SUV through crowds of people attending the Waukesha Christmas parade. Multiple people, including several children, remain in critical condition.
Brooks’ bail was set at $5 million cash, a noteworthy amount, given that he was released from prison just days prior to the attack on a $1000 bond despite his lengthy, multi-state criminal history going back to 1999. Noted Fox News:
Brooks’ violent past stretches back to 1999 when he was accused and later convicted of aggravated battery with intent to cause great bodily harm. Most recently, he allegedly ran a woman over and punched her in the face on Nov. 2. He has an outstanding warrant in Nevada for skipping bail on a sex crime charge.
Waukesha District Attorney Susan Opper told Fox News Digital Monday evening that her office would seek a “bail so high that Brooks would have no chance of posting it.”
Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm has been an outspoken supporter of bail reform and even previously praised the election of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, notorious for his soft on violent crime policies.
In a statement following the attack, Chisholm said that the “bail recommendation” for Darrell Brooks was “not consistent” with his policies:
The bail recommendation, in this case, is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to the setting of bail.
The motive for the alleged attack still remains unknown, though police have made clear that Brooks’ alleged crime was “intentional.”
I’m here at the #Waukesha County Courthouse awaiting the 4 p.m. CT court appearance for #waukeshaChristmasParade suspect Darnell Brooks. Police have said they recommended five counts of first-degree intentional homicide and additional charges pic.twitter.com/8LbvWLOxh2
— Stephanie Pagones (@steph_pagones) November 23, 2021
During Tuesday’s hearing, Brooks reportedly sobbed upon learning that a child had died in the alleged attack. Waukesha residents packed the courtroom as the charges were read. Fox News reported:
As bailiffs took Brooks from the courtroom at the end of his bail hearing, they turned him around to face the packed room. They held him here as he stared at two women — one a resident, and the other whose granddaughter witnessed the horror.
“The resident flipped him off and said, ‘Oh my, God is good’ and did the sign of the cross,” added Fox News.