Suspect in Waukesha Christmas parade attack set to stand trial on Oct. 3
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The man accused of killing six and injuring dozens more in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack is back in court for likely the last time before he stands trial in October.
Darrell Brooks faces more than 70 charges, according to court documents.
A jury status hearing on Monday was used to finalize details aimed at making the anticipated month-long trial run efficiently.
"We need to avoid, as best as we can, any significant, right, interruptions or delays where we aren't taking testimony," Judge Jennifer Dorow said.
The court will bring in 105 potential jurors each of the three days set aside for jury selection, unless the court secures enough jurors earlier.
"I truly believe we can have a jury the first day, even if that means we go a little late that day," Dorow said.
Upon checking in, potential jurors will fill out a short questionnaire. This will supplement the roughly 100-question form that was sent to potential jurors earlier this year.
"We spent a lot of time crafting this questionnaire in an effort to uncover any potential for bias, and that's really what the jury selection process is all about," Dorow said.
The state removed about 50 to 75 people from their witness list. Those are people who turned in videos of the parade and subsequent events and were simply going to testify foundational information, including that they did, in fact, take those videos.
"Certainly, that would help speed things up," Dorow said.
The prosecuting attorney, Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper, predicts it will take about five to seven business days to present their case.
Opper also shared concerns that Brooks wearing a mask in the courtroom may interfere with the jurors and witnesses' ability to identify the defendant.
"I would ask that he be required to be without the mask for some substantial period of time, again, so that the jurors can observe him," Opper said.
The defendant's attorney, Jeremy Perri, told the court that Brooks wears the mask to protect his health.
"I would certainly object to any just blanket ruling that Mr. Brooks not be permitted to wear a mask," Perri said.
The state withdrew its request for the jury to visit the parade route.
The court approved a request for the jury to see the SUV.
The trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 3.