WAUKESHA, Wisc. – Waukesha parade horror suspect and career criminal Darrell Brooks Jr. is being held on $5 million bail in a Wisconsin jail after prosecutors formally charged him with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide Tuesday.
Brooks sobbed audibly when District Attorney Susan Opper announced that a 6th victim — the first child — had died. A sixth charge is likely coming in connection with the most recent death.
The five current charges are in connection with the deaths of Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
Defense attorneys Jeremy Perri and Anna Keys represented Brooks at the hearing as Opper read off portions of his lengthy rap sheet, including weapons offenses, assault and battery, drugs bail jumping and statutory rape.
The district attorney eventually requested the staggering $5 million bail, which Court Commissioner Kevin M. Costello granted.
“I have no problem with the bail being recommended by the state,” he said. “The nature of this offense is shocking…Two detectives…not only tried to stop this but rendered an opinion that this was an intentional act.”
He called the bail “extraordinarily high” but noted, “It’s warranted.”
Detectives who witnessed the Sunday incident, in which a red Ford SUV allegedly driven by Brooks plowed through a barricade and then dozens of pedestrians, said it looked like an intentional act, according to court documents.
As the hearing went on, some residents were angry and shook their heads or muttered under their breaths. Others stared straight ahead. One victim’s relative was present in the courtroom but declined to address the room. She was entitled to under Wisconsin law.
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.
Should Brooks somehow be able to raise the bail funds, he would be barred from operating a motor vehicle or possessing weapons – and he would have to wear an ankle monitor.
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, and Opper noted that his criminal record also extends to Georgia.
Waukesha District Attorney Susan Opper told Fox News Digital Monday evening that her office planned on seeking a bail so high that Brooks would have no chance of posting it. The incident comes just weeks after prosecutors in Milwaukee recommended he be allowed to walk on just $1,000 despite a 50-page rap sheet and outstanding warrant for bail jumping on a sex crime charge in Nevada.
Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm announced an internal investigation into that decision Monday.