DA: Waukesha parade suspect’s bail on previous crime “inappropriately low”

His bail was set at $1,000 following a previous arrest.
Darrell Brooks
Darrell Brooks(Waukesha Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 4:25 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The man accused of killing five people and injuring dozens more when his SUV crashed into the crowd at Waukesha’s annual Christmas parade was released from jail just ten days earlier when he posted $1,000 bail after being charged with two felonies and a trio of misdemeanors.

Now, the Milwaukee Co. District Attorney’s Office wants to determine why prosecutors asked for a bail amount it now describes as “inappropriately low.”

That $1,000 figure was set while the suspect, Darrell Brooks, was already out on bail from a prior arrest. In the first case, in which he was charged with two counts of 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety and felon in possession of a firearm, what started as a $10,000 bail was reduced to $7,500 in July of last year. That amount fell to just $500 a little more than six months later when Brooks’ demand for a speedy jury trial could not be met and he was released in late February.

On November 5, the Milwaukee Co. District Attorney’s Office charged Brooks with second degree recklessly endangering safety, felony bail jumping, battery, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct. While the District Attorney John Chisholm stood by those charges in a statement Monday, his office’s statement was highly critical of the bail recommendation of $1,000 that resulted in Brooks being released less than a week later.

“The State’s bail recommendation in this case was inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges against Mr. Brooks,” the statement declared. Chisholm claimed the recommendation did not follow his office’s approach to violent crime allegations nor was it in line with a risk assessment of Brooks based on his criminal record.

The DA’s Office plans to conduct an internal review of the recommendation and will then proceed to determine how it can proceed, according to the statement, which did not offer a timeline for how long such a review could take.

In a news conference Monday, Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks had left the site of the domestic disturbance before officers arrived Sunday, and was not being chased by police when his SUV went into the crowd at the parade, according to the chief, who gave no further details on the dispute.

Police said they were drawing up five charges of intentional homicide against Brooks.

He has been charged with crimes 16 times since 1999 and had two outstanding cases against him at the time of the parade disaster — including one in which he was accused of deliberately running down a woman with his vehicle.

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