WAUKESHA, Wis. – One of the attorneys for Darrell Brooks, 40, facing an October jury trial in the November 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade attack, filed a motion to withdraw from the case Thursday, Sept. 22, less than two weeks before the scheduled start of the trial, online court records show.
Attorneys Jeremy Perri and Anna Kees have been defending Brooks since November 2021. Perri filed the motion to withdraw Thursday because Brooks wants to represent himself.
The next step is a hearing on the motion.
Both of Brooks’ attorneys are with the State Public Defenders Office in Waukesha County. Perri graduated in 2002 from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Kees graduated in 2009 from Marquette University Law School.
Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper leads the prosecution. Former Governor Scott Walker appointed Opper to the position of district attorney in 2015, replacing Brad Schimel. Opper earned her Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Deputy District Attorney Lesli Boese and Assistant District Attorney Zachary Witchow will also represent the State at trial.
Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow will preside over the trial. Dorow was appointed by former Governor Scott Walker in December 2011 and sworn in the following year. Dorow currently serves as Waukesha County’s chief judge, supervising and directing the administration of the district.
The jury trial is currently scheduled to begin Oct. 3 with jury selection.
Opper charged Brooks with the following:
- Six counts of first-degree intentional homicide – use of a dangerous weapon
- Six counts of hit-and-run involving death
- 61 counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety – use of a dangerous weapon
- Two counts of bail jumping
- Two counts of battery – domestic abuse
The trial is expected to be lengthy. Judge Dorow cleared the entire month of October for the trial. In August, prosecutors filed 32 pages worth of potential witnesses they could call at trial. Brooks’ defense attorneys have submitted three witnesses and two potential expert witnesses.
Brooks entered an insanity plea in June after initially pleading not guilty to the charges in February. He later dropped the insanity plea on Sept. 9 without explanation except for saying he “has his reasons.”
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Christmas parade attack
Prosecutors say on Nov. 21, 2021, Brooks met up with his ex-girlfriend in Frame Park, the same woman he is accused of running over with his red SUV earlier in November 2021. She told police they argued in his SUV before he started driving, and he “was driving around with one hand and striking her in the face with his other hand.” She eventually got out and called her friends for help.
Soon after that, according to prosecutors, Brooks drove that red SUV through the parade route, killing Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52 and Wilhelm Hospel, 81. More than 60 others were hurt.
Waukesha parade attack victims identified
Brooks was arrested the night of the attack, soon after telling a Waukesha resident that he was homeless and waiting for an Uber. The man was unaware of the events that had occurred and let Brooks into his home.
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Brooks entered an insanity plea in June after initially pleading not guilty to the charges in February. He later dropped the insanity plea on Sept. 9.