A Wisconsin court on Wednesday sentenced Darrell Brooks, Jr. to six consecutive life sentences without parole for his role in the Waukesha Christmas Parade massacre last year, where he was able to kill six people and injure dozens by driving his SUV into the crowd.

Judge Jennifer Dorow from the Waukesha County Circuit Court handed down the decision after Brooks was found guilty of 60 counts of recklessly endangering safety and six counts of intentional homicide, saying that the sentencing was done to ensure that Brooks and the public understood the severity of the crimes done, according to Reuters.

Brooks received six consecutive life sentences for the homicide charges, and over 1,067 years in prison related to the sixty counts of recklessly endangering safety on top of the six life sentences, with Dorow admitting that the sentencing was “largely symbolic,” ABC News reported.

During the trial, Brooks had acted as his own attorney, and had pushed his history of mental health problems as a reason for the killing, and his own family have pushed for him to be put on rehabilitation and given mental health treatment instead of jail time for his crimes.

Mary Edwards, Brooks’ grandmother, said that Brooks was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 12, and that this condition was the reason why he drove the SUV into the crowd.

The families of Brooks’ victims and those who were able to survive his attack, however, confronted Brooks in the courtroom as they spoke about their loved ones, as well as some suffering from survivor’s guilt or PTSD over the incident. Many who testified asked the court to give Brooks the maximum sentence allowable against him.

Eventually, Dorow sided with the victims, and felt like Brooks had enough of his mental faculty to be able to choose and understand his actions, and that he chose to drive his car through the crowd with malicious intent.

“It is very clear to this court that he understands the difference between right and wrong, and he simply chooses to ignore his [conscience]. He is fueled by anger and rage,” she said. “Some people unfortunately choose a path of evil. And I think, Mr. Brooks, you are one of those such persons.”

Wisconsin Christmas Parade Killings Rep. Pic
Darrell Brooks, Jr. was sentenced six consecutive life sentences on Wednesday after he drove his SUV to a Christmas parade event in Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring dozens others. This is a representational image. Sincerely Media/Unsplash.

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