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Darrell Brooks Demands ‘State of Wisconsin’ Testify at Trial in Waukesha Parade Attack


Darrell Brooks, a self-claimed “sovereign citizen” and the man charged as the driver behind the Waukesha parade tragedy, filed a subpoena for the State of Wisconsin to testify at his trial. Judge Jennifer Dorow was incredulous about the request, pointing out that Wisconsin was an “entity” and not a person.

“Every document that was filed in this matter stated that the state of Wisconsin was the plaintiff, which would lead me to believe that the state of Wisconsin is who is bringing the claim against my client,” he said, referring to himself in the third person. He has been representing himself since firing his public defenders mere days before the ongoing murder trial. “How could they not be subpoenaed to testify if they are the plaintiff? And under the Sixth Amendment, I have the right to face my accuser. My accuser in this matter is the plaintiff, which is the state of Wisconsin.”

Prosecutors say Brooks is the driver who rammed a red SUV through the Waukesha Christmas parade on Nov. 21, 2021. He injured dozens and killed six people, authorities say. The slain victims: Jackson Sparks, 8, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, Leanna “Lee” Owen, 71, Virginia Sorenson, 79, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

Assistant District Attorney Zachary Wittchow told jurors in opening statements that Brooks was fleeing after abusing and harassing ex-girlfriend Erika Patterson. Instead of stopping after striking the first injured victim and survivor Nicole White, Brooks kept driving and sped up, Wittchow said. As Brooks’ body count increased, so did his desire to get away, the prosecutor said.

Brooks has yet to put up an opening statement, instead waiting for the end of the state’s case — a tactic sometimes employed by licensed attorneys. However, he has also challenged whether prosecutors can put him on trial in the first place. Before firing his attorneys, he walked back a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Brooks told Dorow that he is a sovereign citizen. So-called sovereign citizens assert that the government holds no true, legal sway over them because they, not the government, are the “sovereign.”

That stance has influenced much of his actions in court, including taking issue with people referring to him by his name.

“Objection, I do not consent to being called that name nor do I know any individual by that name, your honor,” he said after a witness testified to him being the driver.

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper said they agreed with the judge’s stance.

“This state of Wisconsin is an entity. It is not a person,” she said. “The state of Wisconsin cannot testify at these proceedings, so the subpoena should be rejected, your honor.”

Brooks maintained this rejection violated his Sixth Amendment rights.

Dorow pointed out he had the opportunity to cross-examine every witness called at trial.

Brooks then maintained there is no “verified proof” of “subject matter jurisdiction.”

Subject matter jurisdiction is a question of whether a particular court has the power to hear a particular case or controversy.  That is not an issue in this case.  Here, Brooks is being tried in the proper venue before a Wisconsin circuit court judge in Waukesha County.  Subject matter jurisdiction is an issue, e.g., if a plaintiff filed a trademark case in a local probate court.  Trademark cases belong in federal court.  Probate courts handle decedents’ estates.

Dorow called an end to court early on Wednesday because of a tornado that recently tore through the area.

[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]

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