Waukesha Christmas parade attacker was out on ‘inappropriately low’ bond, Defense Attorney says

The man arrested over the Christmas parade attack in Wisconsin should have been behind bars following an arrest earlier this month, but was released on an “inappropriately low” bond days before the attack, the district attorney said Monday.

“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 DA’s office said in a statement. “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.”

“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.” Darrell Brooks, 39, is charged with five counts of intentional homicide over the deadly crash on Sunday in Waukesha that left five dead and at least 48 injured, police said.

Brooks was out on $1,000 cash bail at the time of Sunday’s tragedy after he allegedly punched the mother of his child and purposefully ran her “over with his vehicle” in a Milwaukee gas station parking lot on Nov. 2, according to court documents.

Brooks had a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 1999 with more than 15 arrests in the state of Wisconsin alone, career criminal Brooks, 39, he is also a registered sex offender. Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson revealed Monday that Brooks had been involved in a domestic disturbance just minutes before the Christmas parade carnage.

John Gross, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Director of the Public Defender Project, said while he expects public outrage regarding Brooks’ prior bail, he said Sunday’s deadly incident was an “aberration.”

“My fear here is that people are going to have a knee-jerk reaction and say people charged with violent crimes shouldn’t be allowed on the streets,” Gross said. “They are presumed to be innocent and we don’t want to just lock people up because we think they might do something violent when they are out. And in fact, most studies show that it is very unlikely that someone who is out on bail, even if they’re charged with a violent offense, is going to commit another violent offense.”

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