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Milwaukee DA: Bail was 'inappropriately low' in recent case against suspected Waukesha parade driver

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Waukesha parade scene

WAUKESHA (WKOW) -- The top prosecutor in Milwaukee County said Monday bail was previously set "inappropriately low" for the person of interest in the Sunday incident where a driver sped through the Waukesha Christmas Parade, killing five people and injuring more than 40 others.

Law enforcement sources told the Associated Press the person of interest in custody is Darrell Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee.

According to court records, on November 2, Brooks confronted a woman with whom he has a child. The woman told police Brooks punched her in the face and later ran over with a car as she tried to walk across the parking lot of a nearby gas station.

Prosecutors set bail for Brooks at $1,000, which court records show he posted on November 11.

"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 according to the statement.

A law enforcement source familiar with the Waukesha investigation told a 27 News reporter Monday, Brooks was wanted in connection to a domestic stabbing incident that happened earlier in the day Sunday.

Waukesha authorities have so far only said they have a person of interest in custody in connection to Sunday's incident.

Graphic cell phone video shows a driver in a red SUV speeding through the parade route and slamming into and driving over people who were marching and performing in the parade, including children.

Court records show Brooks also has an open case in connection to a July 2020 incident where he's accused of firing a shot at a car in which a couple was riding after Brooks had gotten in a fight with the man riding in that car earlier in the day. A criminal complaint alleges the fight was over Brooks having a family member's old cellphone. 

Bail in this case was set at $10,000, later reduced to $7,500 before being dropped to $500 due to the court not being able to meet Brooks' demand for a speedy trial. 

"The bail recommendation in this [November 2021] case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime," Chisholm said according to the statement. "Nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail."

Chisholm said the DA's office will conduct an internal review of how the bail recommendation was set at $1,000 "in order to determine the appropriate next steps."

Capitol Bureau Chief

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