Darrell Brooks, a career criminal, is facing multiple murder charges after he allegedly plowed his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin last weekend, killing six and injuring 60 others.
Now, one of his youngest victims, 11-year-old Jessalyn Torres, is said to be barely hanging onto life in a hospital as her devastated mother looks on helplessly, according to the New York Post.
The girl’s mother, Amber Kohnke, shared the dire situation her daughter is in during an exclusive interview with the Post.
Grieving mom speaks out
Torres is unconscious and on a ventilator at the Children’s Wisconsin Hospital, one of nine children receiving treatment there following the horrific vehicular attack by Brooks, and arguably in the worst condition of all of them.
“No mother should ever go through this. This is a very traumatic ordeal,” Kohnke told the Post of spending Thanksgiving Day by her daughter’s bedside. “The hardest part was not being with everyone and Jessalyn, in the condition she is, was not able to be with her family either.”
The young girl, who appears to have been hit directly by Brooks and was sent flying through the air, reportedly suffered multiple serious injuries, including a broken pelvis and femur, a fractured skull, lacerations to her lungs, and severe damage to one of her kidneys that have all but rendered it useless.
Still joking around
According to Fox News, per an interview with the girl’s uncle, Ryan Kohnke, Torres had been a participant in the Waukesha parade as a member of the city’s “Xtreme Dance Team,” and several of her fellow dancers are also still in the hospital due to injuries suffered in the tragic assault.
Torres was intubated and rendered unconscious by doctors earlier this week in an effort to ease her pain, but prior to that, and in spite of her terrible injuries, Kohnke noted that the girl had still been her usual self and cracking jokes to make others laugh.
“She told them, ‘Just glue me back together,'” the uncle recalled. “It’s kind of a testament to her sassiness, her attitude, her spunk. She is a very adventurous child. For her to crack a joke and have that type of human moment was big. My sister and I both kind of chuckled. We thought that was funny.”
Killer out on bail
As for Brooks, WISN reported that he has already been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, with a sixth charge pending due to the belated death of an 8-year-old victim from injuries sustained during the attack.
The 39-year-old career criminal with a lengthy rap sheet — who had just been released on $1,000 bail about a week earlier for a violent domestic assault involving his vehicle — is currently being detained on $5 million bail, which, per Wisconsin law, must be paid in full to obtain a release from custody.
Brooks will likely face additional charges for the dozens of innocent people he injured, and he could face multiple life sentences in prison if convicted on all counts. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2022.