'Behind the eight ball': Darrell Brooks tells judge he's unprepared on day one of Waukesha Christmas Parade trial
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Waukesha Christmas Parade trial is off to a disruptive start.
The trial was supposed to begin with jury selection at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, but the court didn't get around to questioning jurors until well into the afternoon.
The defendant, Darrell Brooks, started by interrupting and objecting to his name and the standards of decorum less than two minutes into the hearing.
Judge Jennifer Dorow told Brooks that she was not going to tolerate his interruptions and would remove him from the court.
"We're going to have a really long day if you do that," Dorow said.
Brooks told the Dorow that he was not trying to cause a disruption.
"You've already gone back and forth and it's only 8:35 a.m.," Dorow said.
Brooks was taken to a holding cell at 8:37 a.m. for interrupting and asking for legal advice.
The judge said Brooks needs to respect the rules of the court, which she called common courtesy.
Dorow reminded Brooks multiple times that his right to self representation, which was granted on Wednesday, is not absolute. She said if he can't maintain civility in the courtroom, he will be removed or sent back to the public defender's office for new attorneys.
Brooks' former attorneys listened to the hearing over Zoom on Monday.
After 11 minutes on the record, Dorow said Brooks had a lack of respect and wasn't following simple ground rules.
Brooks asked the judge what her name was repeatedly as she was trying to move on with the hearing.
He also requested her oath of office. She provided copies of all three.
Around 10:00 a.m., the judge attempted to bring in the first round of 41 jurors for questioning.
Brooks talked over the judge's welcoming remarks, accusing her of being unlawful, unfair and biased.
Jurors were escorted out after four minutes in the courtroom because of Brooks' disruptiveness.
Dorow told Brooks he was being stubborn, defiant, and disruptive.
Brooks said he was "behind the eight ball," and at a disadvantage, due to timing and resources.
He compared not being prepared to "going into a gun fight with a butter knife."
The defendant said he was bombarded by paperwork over the weekend, and had only seen about ten percent of the discovery.
He said there's no way to do that much work in three to four days.
Dorow reminded Brooks' he was warned of these challenges before she granted his request to represent himself.
The judge listened to all of his concerns, but Brooks would not let her respond without interrupting.
She denied verbal requests to adjourn the trial and for standby counsel.
The courtroom next door was set up with technology ahead of the hearing to allow the defendant, if his behavior deemed necessary, to conduct his defense from.
The technology allows the defendant and the courtroom to see and hear each other, but the judge can mute the defendant to limit interruptions.
Brooks was sent there multiple times on Monday.
He was on mute, but could be seen waving his arms, picking up the microphone, pointing at the monitor.
Dorow warned Brooks she will not be walked over. She expects to disagree on some things, but still expects respect.
Brooks told the court he is not a child, and cannot be dismissed to another room.
"You know good and well where we’re having issues," Brooks said.
"Mr. Brooks, we're having issues because of you," Dorow responded.
The jury were brought back in after 2:30 p.m.
Brooks was in the other room for all of questioning, which ended at 6:15 p.m.
The court struck seven of the first 41 jurors.
Jury selection continues on Tuesday.
Brooks is now facing 76 charges after the court dismissed one count of battery.