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Lawyers ask to delay trial in Christmas parade crashes

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Lawyers for a man charged with killing six people and injuring dozens more as he allegedly drove his SUV through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee have asked a judge to delay his trial.

Darrell Brooks Jr. faces more than 80 charges in connection with the Waukesha incident in November 2021, including six counts of homicide. His trial is due to begin on October 3 and last for the entire month. But his attorneys, Anna Kees and Jeremy Perri, filed a motion Friday with Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow to have the proceedings pushed back.

They argue they need at least six months to study more than 300 videos and recordings of the parade, break down the speed of the SUV throughout the incident and review Brooks’ police questioning. Prosecutors have yet to turn over all of their evidence to the defense team, they claim. Dorow has scheduled a hearing on the application for Monday afternoon.

“The scale of this case is particularly large and complex, given the number of allegations and the volume of findings,” Kees and Perri wrote in their petition. They added that the “inability or failure to provide sufficient time for counsel to properly prepare for trial” could infringe his constitutional rights.

The motion does not propose a new start date. Prosecutors said they would not be available in November or December, meaning any delays would mean a 2023 start date.

Brooks drove his SUV into the Nov. 21 parade, running into people and ignoring police orders to stop, according to the criminal complaint. Any potential motive remains unclear. Kees told a hearing on Tuesday that the defense team was considering all possible strategies, including a guilty plea of ​​insanity.

Kees and Perri filed another motion to either move the trial out of Waukesha County or bring in a jury from another county. They argue that the publicity surrounding the case has been so overwhelmingly negative that Brooks cannot get a fair trial in Waukesha.

Dorow and attorneys for both sides worked last week to prepare a questionnaire for potential jurors to gauge whether they have formed any biases from media coverage of the case. Dorow said during Tuesday’s hearing that she could delete the questionnaire and decide to move the trial or bring in jurors from out of county in Monday’s proceedings.

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Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1



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