MADISON, Wis. – He took his shirt off in court. He has complained that prosecutors are “shoutouts”. He won’t let the judge get a word in. He won’t even answer his name.

A Wisconsin man accused of driving his SUV through a Christmas parade and killing six people has worked to disrupt his trial since he decided to represent himself, a painful move. is a drag that is about to end with his sentence.

The evidence against Daryl Brooks is overwhelming and includes videos showing his Red Ford Escape plowing through the parade and witnesses testifying that they saw him behind the wheel. He faces multiple mandatory life sentences if convicted.

Legal experts say Brooks will almost certainly appeal any sentence, and his courtroom actions could be a ploy to frustrate Judge Jennifer Durrow on an error that would strengthen his case at this level. will But they say Durrow handled Brooks professionally and didn’t give him much to work with on appeal.

“I’m not aware of anything created by Doro or anything like that,” said Thomas Grieve, a former prosecutor who now works as a criminal defense attorney in Madison. “I think the judge did a wonderful job of patiently dealing with all of Mr. Brooks’ problems, which seem to have no end in sight. He got what he wanted. Throughout the process, he made his bed and He got himself into it. Now he’s facing the consequences.”

Prosecutors allege that Brooks got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend on the streets of the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha on Nov. 21, fled the scene in his SUV and drove her to the parade. According to a criminal complaint, he plowed into the gangs, killing six people, including an 8-year-old boy, and injuring dozens more.

PHOTOS: Experts say parade suspect’s court actions won’t help appeal

He faces 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment. Each murder count carries a mandatory life sentence. Each reckless endangerment count carries a maximum sentence of 17 1/2 years in prison.

Brooks initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness, but withdrew the plea in September without explanation. Days before his trial began on October 3, he fired his public defenders and chose to represent himself.

It is not uncommon for people to represent themselves in civil matters. But it is relatively rare for criminal defendants to act as their own attorneys and risk matching up with trained, experienced prosecutors.

According to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, 4.8 percent of defendants in felony cases in the state were representing themselves when their cases ended last year. A number of high-profile criminals across the country have tried to represent themselves, though, including serial killers Ted Bundy and John Allen Muhammad, who were accused of carrying out the 2002 sniper attacks in Washington, D.C. Executed

Durrow had no choice but to allow Brooks to represent him, as he has that right under state law if he is mentally competent. Durrow noted that psychologists found him to have a personality disorder but that he was competent.

As jury selection progressed, Brooks often engaged in shouting matches with Durrow, insisting that his name was not Daryl Brooks and that the state had no jurisdiction over him.

Things got so bad that she removed him from the courtroom several times and put him in another room where he could watch the proceedings via video but she could mute his microphone if he was disruptive. One day, he took off his shirt and stuck a sign, given to him for objections, down his pants.

His demeanor suggested painful cross-examination of witnesses who had been injured in the parade when testimony began. Which has not been implemented. Brooks has largely been respectful of each witness. He mostly reserved his anger for Doro. He has begun most mornings by demanding that he show him proof that the state has jurisdiction over him, leading to Doro and Brooks yelling at each other.

Whenever someone calls him by name, he interrupts by saying that he doesn’t recognize Daryl Brooks. He has objected to nearly every question prosecutors have asked of witnesses, only for Durrow to shut him down and move on as he asks for an explanation.

He can often be heard muttering under his breath that the trial is unfair, sometimes calling it “mind-boggling” and griping to himself about how District Attorney Susan Opps “chilly” moves. run His cross-examination, with respect, has been rambling.

At one point he asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing that the state of Wisconsin could not physically testify and that only “a living human mind” could file suit.

On Friday, he said he could not call any witnesses because his file on the man had been lost. Durrow forces him to call the witness anyway, accusing Brooks of violating his oath of office. Later that morning, she starts yelling at him for treating his trial like a game.

“There’s nothing funny about it. That’s what you don’t understand. It’s unfair, it’s not right. Your life is not on the line,” he said. “I don’t care what you say.”

At one point, he glared at Durrow, she told the court, scaring her so much she had to call a recess.

Doro frequently talks down Brooks, accusing him of trying to delay the trial, telling him to sit down and ordering him to stop talking.

But since testimony began, he has chosen to take mostly short breaks rather than move Brooks to an alternate courtroom. She often recites the number of times he has interrupted her, noting that she has given him every opportunity to be in the courtroom and issuing warnings to behave. He has defended his decisions by avoiding lengthy legal explanations.

“To say this has been the most challenging of my career would be an understatement,” Durrow said in court Friday. “I have done my best, I believe, to be fair, to be impartial, to protect the rights not only of Mr. Brooks as it relates to this case, but of the witnesses, the victims, and of course, last but not least. At least not, the judges.”

“Judge Durrow is a smart person,” said Julius Kim, a criminal defense attorney and former Milwaukee County prosecutor. “She has learned how to approach Mr. Brooks to make the case go more smoothly. … She is protecting the record so it shows that she is doing her best to recognize that she is a professional. The defendant is and sometimes requires latitude.

Grave said given the weight of the sentences Brooks is likely to face, an appeal is a foregone conclusion. Brooks could raise a number of issues, including whether he was competent, whether Durrow should have hired an attorney to stand by him if needed and whether it was appropriate to remove him from the courtroom. But Doro refused to give him any extra fodder, he said.

“If he’s going to disrupt the proceedings, as long as she doesn’t jump the gun, which I don’t think she did, then there shouldn’t be a problem,” Grieve said. “You are entitled to a fair trial. You do not have the right to try your own case.”

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