Judge sets October trial for Darrell Brooks, man accused in Waukesha parade tragedy

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP/CBS 58) — A judge has set an October trial date for a Milwaukee man accused of driving his SUV into the Waukesha Christmas parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow during a hearing Friday scheduled Darrell Brooks Jr.'s trial to begin Oct. 3 and run through Oct. 28. 

Darrell Brooks' attorneys filed a motion for a change of venue last month. They argued Brooks has received negative publicity and proposed two solutions. They want to hold the trial outside of Waukesha County or select jurors from a different county. Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper challenged the motion on Friday, March 11. She proposed jury questionnaires.

"If we do this and can get some sense by June 1, if it's obvious from the return written questionnaires that there's going to be a significant problem finding fair jurors in Waukesha County, then we may agree to the court to revisit this issue," Opper said.

"I think that's an excellent idea," Dorow said.

Judge Dorow referenced the questionnaire used in the Slender Man case as an example.

"I will work with the court clerk to provide questionnaires that we did in the Slender Man case and other cases, to get an idea. Of course the parties can get an idea and make recommendations."

Judge Dorow admitted that she knows the father of one of the victims killed in the parade. The two worked in the same building, but were not affiliated. The man also did some legal work for her family. However, she says it will not affect the case.

"I will be fair and impartial in this case. I hold no bias in favor or against any of the parties here, including Mr. Crooks."

A hearing on the jury questionnaire is set for Tuesday, March 29.

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