Skip to main content

Self-Described ‘Sovereign’ Waukesha Parade Suspect, Acting as Own Attorney, Booted from Court During Rocky Jury Selection


The man charged with murdering six people during a Christmas parade last November continues to clash with the trial judge.

Darrell Brooks, 40, was kicked out of court into another courtroom again — just minutes into the second day of jury selection on Tuesday. Judge Jennifer Dorow once again got fed up with him.

“He’s interrupted,” Dorow said. “Take him to the next courtroom.”

The same thing happened on Monday, the first day of jury selection in his trial.

Dorow allowed Brooks last week to fire his public defenders and represent himself against charges that he plowed an SUV into the Waukesha Christmas parade last year, killing six people: Jackson Sparks, 8, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, Leanna “Lee” Owen, 71, Virginia Sorenson, 79, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81. Brooks had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but he walked back that decision before splitting from his attorney.

Brooks has asserted that he’s 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.”

Brooks often interjected during the judge’s comments this week and the last.

“So I’m done,” Dorow said, ending a hearing last week. “If need be, we will come back tomorrow but at this point, the court’s in recess. We’re adjourned.”

They did return. And though Dorow repeatedly signaled her reservations, she let Brooks represent himself after emphasizing the challenges associated with that.

Brooks has repeatedly questioned and complained to the judge about the phrases she uses in court and other matters.

“I provided you yesterday, as a courtesy, with a copy of my oaths of office,” Dorow said on Tuesday. “My name is on that as well.”

“They were not certified,” Brooks said.

“You are attempting to disrupt with asking questions like this,” she said.

As Brooks interjected, Dorow continued speaking.

“I realize that may very well be related to your claim to be a sovereign citizen and —” the judge said, as Brooks interjected again, “disputing the jurisdiction of this court. But these are not questions this court is obligated to answer.”

“Claim to be sovereign,” Brooks said. “Claim to be sovereign. That’s correct. I would like to correct the record and say that I am sovereign.”

“All right, you believe you’re sovereign,” Dorow said. “The record is corrected. So, Mr. Brooks, we’re getting really close for you crossing the line. Being removed from the courtroom for continued interruptions.”

Dorow asserted Brooks did not let her get “one sentence” in Tuesday morning.

“I want you to be here,” she said, stating she wanted him to fully participate. “But you do not have the right to disrupt the proper administration. I demand dignity, order, and decorum,” she said.

But Dorow also counted a “dozen or more” interruptions by Brooks. She maintained he continued to repeat himself and ask the same questions.

“I do not consent to any paperwork that is not based factually in law,” he said.

Brooks denied that he had been disruptive.

Unsurprisingly, that’s not how the judge saw it.

“Even if I were to accept an oral motion, which can be proper at times, he has failed to follow the simplest of procedural requirements,” she said before describing him in footage from the other courtroom. “He continues to be in the other courtroom. You can see on the monitor. He’s standing. He’s facing the other direction. He’s yelling — you can’t hear him, but it appears that he is yelling. I muted him because of his interruptions of the court, and I understand he objects. His objection is again noted.”

[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: