Thirty-nine-year-old Darrell Brooks has been charged with multiple counts of intentional homicide after driving his vehicle through a Christmas parade in nearby Waukesha, Wisconsin, early last week, Fox News reports.
On the advice of prosecutors, Brooks’ bail was set at the “extraordinarily high” but “warranted” amount of $5 million by the court commissioner. Now, however, some are expressing outrage that Brooks was even offered bail at all.
The horrifying incident left six people dead, including one child, and dozens more injured.
“The nature of this offense is shocking”
According to reports, the high bail was recommended in part due to the terrible nature of the crime, but also because of the defendant’s exceptionally long rap sheet. Among numerous violent crimes dating back to 1999 and covering three states, Brooks has been accused of bail jumping and failing to appear in court.
“I have no problem with the bail being recommended by the state,” Court Commissioner Kevin Costello said, according to Fox. “The nature of this offense is shocking.”
Costello added: “Two detectives…not only tried to stop this but rendered an opinion that this was an intentional act.”
In court, prosecutor Susan Opper emphasized the “risk” she said the suspect poses to the community.
“There are not words to describe the risk that this defendant presents to our community,” Opper said, according to the New York Post. “Not only flight risk but the dangerousness that he presents, his history of violence and the allegations in this complaint, where it is stated plainly that on several occasions he was told to stop by police officers.”
Suspect facing homicide charges
The state also noted that Brooks had just been released roughly a week prior on an exceptionally low bail for a violent domestic assault. That incident, which reportedly occurred in early November, saw Brooks allegedly using the same vehicle to run over the mother of his child following a dispute at a gas station — a violent crime for which he was eventually released on just $1,000 bail, according to local CBS affiliate WDJT.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm called that figure “inappropriately low,” according to WDJT, and vowed to launch an internal review to determine exactly how such a minimal bail for a violent repeat offender had come to be.
For his actions at the parade, Brooks was charged Tuesday with five counts of intentional homicide, Fox said, but Opper noted that additional charges were likely, given that it had just been announced during the arraignment that a sixth victim — a young boy — had succumbed to his grievous wounds.
Several other victims are said to remain in critical condition, according to the Post.