WAUKESHA, Wis. – The man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more during the Waukesha Christmas Parade will be back in court on Tuesday. Darrell Brooks faces 83 charges in Waukesha County Court.
His lawyers will again ask the judge for a change of venue.
They don’t believe he will get a fair trial in Waukesha, based on more than 1,500 responses to a jury questionnaire.
They were mailed months ago to determine whether an impartial jury could be seated for Brooks’ trial, which is scheduled for October.
Victims will also have the opportunity to speak to the judge about where they would like the trial to take place today.
JURY QUESTIONNAIRES RETURNED IN WAUKESHA CHRISTMAS PARADE CASE
Court documents show the jury questionnaires were returned and Brooks’ attorneys will ask the judge to change locations based on the responses.
The judge sent questionnaires to the jury in April to assess whether an impartial jury could be seated in Waukesha County.
According to the documents, more than 2,000 questionnaires were sent out. Each of them listed 115 questions about a potential juror’s familiarity with the case.
In their June 10 motion, Brooks’ attorneys say 1,557 jury questionnaires were returned by June 10. Of these, 720 indicated that they had attended or knew someone who had attended the parade. 45% of all potential jurors answered yes to at least one of the questions about the traumatic impact of this case.
Brooks’ defense attorneys point out that 188 potential jurors said they donated to a fundraiser. Others said they knew someone who was injured or affected in the parade, watched previous hearings, followed news on the case, had students from the Waukesha School District or could not serve as a juror. during this period. The judge said she expects the case to last about a month.
In response, prosecutors filed papers asking the judge to deny a change of motion. They say they will additionally interview potential jurors in person in a process called a voir dire, which takes place early in the trial. They cite the Boston Bomber case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that a fair trial must take place in Massachusetts.
Brooks will return to court in August for a questionnaire conference, during which the attorneys will decide which jurors to excuse from the trial based on their answers.
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