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Day 3&4: Prosecution Offers Sanitized Opening Statement and the First Two Witnesses

The third day in the trial of accused BLM-inspired anti-White terrorist Darrell Brooks was the final pre-trial housekeeping. The fourth day, which was supposed to begin with opening statements, instead started as expected, with the defendant, Brooks, interrupting and delaying proceedings minutes after court began.

Brooks, who is charged with murdering six and seriously wounding more than 60 people in the deadly 2021 Waukesha Christmas Parade attack where it was apparent the targets were White people, appeared in his jailhouse orange uniform rather than a suit, which he is entitled to wear.

Defendant Brooks w/ orange jailhouse attire

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow tried to explain to Brooks, who is representing himself, that his clothing could prejudice the jury against him and give him the opportunity to change into street clothes.

Brooks refused and interrupted the judge multiple times, causing her to have him removed to an adjacent courtroom where he could participate by Zoom, and where Dorow could mute his interruptions.

Within 15 minutes, the live stream—which is available here and here—was muted.

This all came before the jury of 16 – 10 men, 6 women, all White – was even brought into the courtroom. Twelve will decide the case, with the remaining four as alternates.

The state’s more than 70 felony charges against Brooks include six counts of first-degree intentional homicide with the use of a dangerous weapon, 61 counts of recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon, six counts of hit-and-run involving death, and two counts of bail jumping. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse-battery. Brooks is a known career criminal and a registered sex offender.

Brooks threatened to break items and vandalize the courtroom when he didn’t get his way with Judge Dorow. Rather than holding him in contempt or gagging Brooks, Judge Dorow continued to rely on the tactic of removing Brooks to the next-door courtroom, where he promptly removed his shirt and stood with his back to the video camera.

Brooks removed his shirt not long after court began on Thursday, 10/6.

After audio and other issues had been resolved late in the morning, the prosecution requested that potential victim-witnesses not be shown on the video stream because Brooks’ general behavior during cross-examination could further victimize them emotionally. The move would also ensure that the public wouldn’t see the long list of White victims that Brooks allegedly targeted, thus making it easier to minimize the anti-White hate motive.

Judge Dorow denied the prosecution’s request.

Jury instructions took much of the rest of the morning and the early afternoon. Brooks was allowed back in the courtroom after lunch recess.

After the full charges and instructions were explained to the jury, Brooks immediately started arguing with Judge Dorow over whether he was bound by the rules of decorum, and that he had a First Amendment right to speak however and whenever he wanted. Dorow had him removed from the court again.

Finally, late in the day, the prosecution gave its opening statement. It was straightforward but studiously avoided any mention of Brooks’ extensive, documented history of anti-White statements and hate.

Assistant District Attorney Zachary Witchow and Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper

A troubling harbinger of the state’s approach, Assistant District Attorney Zachary Witchow said that jurors will hear witnesses that will establish that “As the body count increased, so did Brooks’ motivation to escape,” suggesting that will be the state’s main narrative, rather than Brooks’ racial motives.

Brooks deferred his opening statement until he gets to present the defense’s case, which comes after the prosecution rests.

The state’s first witness was a Waukesha patrol sergeant, who testified to basic foundational facts of the events of the evening.

The second witness was Kori Runkel, a friend of Brooks’ girlfriend Erica Patterson, who testified that Patterson and Brooks were fighting prior to the deadly parade attack, further suggesting the prosecution is going to push the ‘Brooks was fleeing from a domestic incident’ narrative rather than bringing up his anti-White motives.

Kori Runkel testifies, video courtesy of TMJ14 News Youtube

Brooks cross-examined both witnesses. He actually made some headway in discrediting some of Runkel’s testimony. She was a surprisingly weak second witness for the prosecution. Brooks hung her up over details from the surveillance footage that showed him, Patterson, and Runkel scuffling before the attack.

Ironically, Brooks questioning Runkel’s characterization that there was an actual fight undermines the mainstream narrative whitewashing his actual motives. Brooks even asked Runkel if a knife was involved in the scuffle.

Days after the parade attack, several mainstream media outlets floated the disproven theory that he was fleeing from a “knife fight” – not intentionally attacking – when his SUV plowed through the parade.

But a week after the attack, in his first jailhouse interview, when National Justice Party/Media2Rise reporters asked if there was a knife fight, he said, “Absolutely not.”

Runkel was the last witness called before evening recess.

Brooks attempted to cross-examine witness Runkel with a loose interpretation of courtroom procedural rules

Justice Report spoke to several Madison, WI defense attorneys Thursday and asked if Brooks, by interacting with witnesses, could in fact abdicate his 5th amendment right not to be forced to testify, if in asking questions he ended up testifying. Once a defendant testifies on his own behalf, the prosecution has the right to cross-examine him.

“Even with a normal, intelligent person representing themselves, you run the risk of veering away from cross-examination and into testifying – like if he starts arguing with the witness about their answer. You have to refer to yourself as if in the third person, and not argue with witnesses. That’s hard for a non-attorney. And this is not a normal, intelligent person,” one attorney told Justice Report. “But it’s on the judge to stop that from happening. You don’t give up your 5th amendment right when you exercise your 6th amendment right to confront accusers. So the judge has to keep that from happening.

“The real problem is going to come in opening statements and closing arguments when the prosecution won’t be able to object if the defendant starts testifying,” he said.

Another attorney who has a professional relationship with Judge Dorow said that while she seems to be bending over backward to accommodate Brooks, she may have underestimated how determined he is to obstruct the process with his “sovereign citizen” tactics.

“He’s the definition of obstreperous. She may have to declare a mistrial, seal the records, and order him to be represented by attorneys,” he said. “I think she erred on the side of caution too much in protecting his right to represent himself.”

Jackson Sparks, 8; Tamara Durand, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Wilhelm Hospel, 81; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Jane Kulich, 52, died in the Waukesha parade attack. All of the victims were White.

For background on Brooks and his alleged anti-White crimes, read a summary report by Justice Report’s Jack McKraken. To view the National Justice Party/Media2Rise documentary on Brooks and the Waukesha attack, click here.

The trial resumes Friday.

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