Milwaukee prosecutors admitted Monday that they had requested “inappropriately” low bail for a man facing homicide charges who is accused of plowing an SUV into holiday revelers in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
At least five people were killed Sunday when the vehicle tore through a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb, leading to the arrest of the man, Darrell Edward Brooks, 39.
Brooks has a decades-long criminal record that includes arrests for sexual abuse, drugs, battery and domestic abuse, records showed.
He has two active cases in Milwaukee.
In one, Brooks was charged in July 2020 with two counts of reckless endangerment and possession of a dangerous weapon as a convicted felon. He posted $500 bail in February.
In the other matter, he was charged Nov. 5 with resisting or obstructing an officer, bail jumping, recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and battery, court records showed.
The last three charges were connected to domestic abuse, according to allegations in court records.
The woman alleged to be the victim in that incident was the mother of Brooks’ child. Court records allege that Brooks punched her and later ran over her with his car in a gas station parking lot.
The documents say police noticed dried blood on her face, a swollen lip and tire tracks on her left pants leg.
Brooks posted a $1,000 cash bond to secure his freedom Nov. 11, the court records showed.
The prosecutor in the two cases could not be immediately reached for comment Monday. Brooks’ most recent attorney declined to discuss the charges.
“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,” Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said in a statement about the charges from this month. “The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail.”
Chisholm added: “This office is currently conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation in this matter in order to determine the appropriate next steps.”
There is also a warrant out for Brooks’ arrest in Nevada, where he is accused of failing to appear at a court hearing in 2016. He was scheduled to answer a charge that he failed to notify authorities about a move, as he was required to do because he was on the state sex offender registry, police in the city of Sparks said.
Brooks was convicted in 2006 of felony statutory sexual seduction for impregnating a 15-year-old girl, police said.
Wisconsin criminal records on Brooks go back to 1999 with an arrest for battery, in which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months behind bars and three years’ probation.
He was sentenced to 50 days behind bars in 2002 for possession of THC, the main compound in cannabis.
Brooks got a 20-day sentence for a 2003 arrest for misdemeanor resisting or obstructing an officer.
A 2005 arrest for misdemeanor obstructing an officer led to a two-day sentence.
After Brooks pleaded no contest to felony strangulation and suffocation in 2010 and to violating his probation, he was sentenced to 11 months behind bars and three years’ probation.
He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting or obstructing an officer in 2011, leading to a 37-day jail sentence.
In 2011, a second incident of THC possession resulted in a 180-day jail sentence.
Misdemeanor bail jumping and another THC offense at the end of 2011 led to another 180-day jail sentence.