Darrell Brooks apologizes to Waukesha parade victims at sentencing hearing
WAUKESHA, Wis. — The sentencing hearing for Darrell Brooks entered its second day Wednesday after an emotional day of victim statements on Tuesday with Brooks and his family making a plea for empathy.
After victims and their family members spoke on the effects the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy have had on them over the past year, Brooks’ family members, including his mother and grandmother, got their chance to ask for empathy in the sentencing, citing his long history of mental health struggles.
Brooks himself also got the chance to speak, talking extensively about how he has processed the past year, his mental health, and his remorse for what happened. He also addressed some of the comments that were directed toward him on Tuesday, including references to past comments about his conscience being clear.
“That comment was made because I made the decision to rededicate my life to Christ when this tragedy happened,” Brooks said. “In no way did that comment refer to not having any remorse, not having any understanding. It was strictly made to that point, that I have repented. That I have asked God for forgiveness.”
Brooks said he himself is still trying to understand why he drove into a crowd of people during last year’s parade.
“One of the victims made a comment about trying to understand why this happened. That’s a question I struggle with myself. The why, the how, how could life ever get this far away from what it should be,” Brooks said. “As I said before, I had to look inside myself and understand why the comments were being made. Why people feel the way they feel and right to.”
“I want each and every victim in this incident, family members, those who lost loved ones, those who are still healing — I want you to know that no matter how you felt during this year, no matter how you felt yesterday, I want everyone to know — also the community of Waukesha — I want you to know that not only am I sorry for what happened, I’m sorry that you could not see what’s truly in my heart. That you cannot see the remorse that I have, that you cannot listen to all the phone calls that I’ve made to my family, that you cannot hear all of the prayers I’ve said in my cell, that you cannot count all of the tears that I’ve dropped in this year,” Brooks added.
Brooks will receive a mandatory life sentence after being convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, but will likely find out Wednesday whether he will ever have the possibility of parole.
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