Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade suspect Darrell Brooks Jr. was back in court on Tuesday, when attorneys from both sides discussed any potential jury biases and what should be included in the juror questionnaire.
Lawyers representing Brooks, 40, told Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow that they did not expect to be ready for trial if it begins as scheduled in October, notifying the jurist of their plans to request that the date be pushed back.
Both parties also went back and forth regarding their concerns about possible jury exposure and bias. After roughly 40 minutes of publicized discussions, Dorow ordered attorneys from both sides to meet off-the-record and behind closed doors in the courtroom to go over what questions would be included in a jury questionnaire.
The defense and prosecution met privately for at least two hours, with Brooks also present, before they resumed discussing the matter publicly. During the public portion of Tuesday’s hearing, Brooks wore an orange, short-sleeved shirt and a face mask, with his hair cut. His hands were often folded in front of him and at times, he rocked back and forth in his chair as the judge spoke.
Brooks is represented by public defenders Jeremy Perry and Anna Kees. Waukesha County District Attorney Susan L. Opper is leading the prosecution.
The trial is set to begin on October 3, and is scheduled to go through the month. But Dorow gave the defense until Friday at 4 p.m. to submit a motion to have the trial adjourned until a later, unspecified date. Both parties are scheduled to meet for a hearing regarding the motion on Monday, when loved ones of victims will be allowed to share their thoughts.
As for jury selection, Dorow said she hoped to have a questionnaire ready to be sent to potential jurors as early as April 15, but stressed that there was time if the document was not ready. She said the Waukesha County potential juror pool consisted in more than 315,000 people in 2021.
Brooks is accused of driving his SUV through a crowd of revelers, killing six people – including a child – and hurting dozens more during the annual Waukesha Christmas parade.
Brooks has remained behind bars at the Waukesha County Jail since he was ordered held on $5 million bail on Nov. 23, two days after the horror. He was originally charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide. A sixth count was added later. The half-dozen charges – each of which carries a life sentence if convicted – represent the six people who were killed.
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The deceased victims were identified as Jackson Sparks, 8; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Wilhelm, 81.
In total, Brooks was hit with 83 charges related to the tragedy, also including first-degree recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon; hit-and-run resulting in death; felony bail jumping; and misdemeanor domestic abuse.
In December, Brooks told Fox News Digital he felt "dehumanized," and like he was being "demonized." He has pleaded not guilty.
Fox News' Rebecca Rosenberg and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.