Waukesha parade suspect Darrell Brooks' ex-girlfriend says she is 'devastated' by his 'monstrous act'
Former girlfriend said her teen son is 'torn up' by carnage wrought by his father, Darrell Brooks
WAUKESHA, Wis. — Darrell Brooks' ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son said she is horrified by her connection to the man who allegedly plowed his Ford SUV into an annual Christmas parade, killing six and wounding more than 60.
"It was a monstrous act and it’s completely irredeemable," she told Fox News. "I'm mortified and devastated and have lost sleep for days over this. Obviously, I wish it did not happen."
The woman, who asked that her name be withheld due to concerns about her safety, said she’s barely interacted with Brooks, 39, in the last two decades. The career criminal has a sprawling rap sheet that stretches back to 1999 and includes more than two dozen arrests in Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia, according to police and court records.
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"He’s always been in and out of jail — he hasn’t been present," she said. "I raised my son without him."
The state of Wisconsin has sued Brooks in Waukesha Family Court for the $41,000 he owes his ex in back child support — but she hasn’t participated in the legal proceedings, according to records.
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The $151 a month that Brooks is supposed to pay "isn’t going to make or break us," said the mom, who has a successful career.
Brooks has popped in and out of her son’s life, making sporadic attempts to forge a relationship with him. The teen, who last saw Brooks a few years ago, was gutted by the carnage allegedly wrought by his father.
"It’s private how he’s feeling, but he’s as torn up as I am," she said. "[Brooks] has not made a good name for us."
The ex met Brooks, whose nickname is "Lucky," when she was a teenager and became pregnant. The two were only together for six months.
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"We were kids," she told Fox News. "But he never raised his voice at me, he’s never even cursed at me, he’s never hit me."
But a subsequent girlfriend and the mother of one of his three children allegedly endured shocking abuse. He was arrested in Georgia for allegedly beating her up in a motel, a police report says.
Five months later on Nov. 2, he allegedly ran the 30-year-old over with his red Ford Escape in Milwaukee, leaving a tire mark on her left leg, according to the criminal complaint.
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In a widely criticized move, a junior prosecutor recommended Brooks' release on $1,000 cash bail on the serious felony case – a sum promptly posted by his mom, Dawn Woods. About two weeks later he allegedly mowed down holiday revelers in Waukesha – killing 8-year-old Jackson Sparks and seriously maiming several other children.
Embattled Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm called the bail amount "inappropriately low" and said he had launched an internal investigation into the decision.
The ex-girlfriend with the teen son said Brooks suffers from mental illness and is on medication.
After the Waukesha rampage, the former flame called Brooks’ mom to check in on her.
"She feels devastated and disgusted," the ex said. "She didn’t know that he was capable of doing something like this. It’s not the way she raised him."
In a letter released Wednesday, Woods offered her condolences and blamed the tragedy on a lack of mental health services for her son, according to CBS.
"Instead of offering help and resources to combat the problem, a jail cell was given over and over again," she wrote.
The ex said she is trying to move on with her life as best she can — but her heart is with Brooks’ victims.
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"I feel so bad and I’m praying for everybody," the ex said. "Not just for the physical pain but for the mental pain they’re going to go through for years to come. The toll is irreparable."
Brooks faces six counts of intentional homicide and other charges for which he faces up to life in prison. He's being held at the Waukesha County Jail in lieu of a $5 million bond.
Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report