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Waukesha Suspect Darrell Brooks Convicted of Killing 6 With SUV in Christmas Parade

Yesenia Harris

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man was convicted Wednesday of killing six people and injuring dozens of others when he drove his SUV through a Christmas parade last year, ending a trial in which he defended himself erratically and sometimes confrontationally.

It took the jury a little over three hours to find Darrell Brooks guilty of all 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He faces a mandatory life sentence on each homicide count.

Brooks, wearing a suit and tie, quietly leaned his bowed head on folded hands as the verdicts were read. His demeanor was a stark departure from previous days of the trial, when his sometimes-outrageous behavior drew rebukes from the judge.

Brooks drove his Ford Escape into the Christmas parade in Waukesha in suburban Milwaukee on Nov. 21 moments after fleeing a domestic disturbance with his ex-girlfriend, prosecutors said.

Six people were killed, including 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was marching in the parade with his baseball team, and three members of the Dancing Grannies, a group of grandmothers that dances in parades. Dozens of other people were hurt, some severely.

The incident deeply scarred the community of 70,000 people about 16 miles (25 kilometers) west of Milwaukee. Community members built memorials to the dead and held vigils. The anger was still evident Wednesday; someone in the gallery yelled “burn in hell” as the verdicts were read.


Jury deliberations to continue Wednesday morning in Waukesha parade trial

Brooks pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease this year but withdrew the plea before his trial began with no explanation. Days before the trial started, he dismissed his public defenders, electing to represent himself.

District Attorney Susan Opper called to the stand police officers and paradegoers who testified they saw Brooks behind the wheel of the SUV.

Brooks struggled to mount a defense, launching into meandering cross-examinations, refusing to recognize his own name or the court’s jurisdiction over him and muttering under his breath that the trial wasn’t fair.

He got into such intense arguments with Judge Jennifer Dorow that several times during the lead-up to jury selection she moved him into another courtroom where he could watch the proceedings via video and she could mute his microphone when he became disruptive.

One day after he was removed to the other courtroom, he stripped off his shirt and sat bare-chested on the defense table with his back to the camera. On another day, he built a barricade out of his boxes of legal documents and hid behind it. He also tossed his copy of the jury instructions into the garbage.

Opper told jurors during her closing arguments Tuesday that Brooks’ refusal to stop once he entered the parade route shows he intended kill people.

Dorow allowed Brooks back into the main courtroom to deliver his closing to jurors face to face. In a rambling, repetitive speech, he tried to raise doubts about whether the SUV’s throttle malfunctioned and whether the driver simply panicked. He lamented how he hasn’t been able to see his children since he was arrested and insisted he’s not a murderer.

Opper countered during her rebuttal that a Wisconsin State Patrol vehicle inspector testified earlier that the SUV was in good working order. She warned jurors that Brooks was just trying to play on their sympathy.

Original Source: fox16.com

Healthcare

Arkansas Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.6%

Yesenia Harris

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas unemployment rate continues to decline in the latest report released Tuesday.  

According to findings from the report, the rate fell from 3.7% to 3.6% from November to December in 2022.  


Arkansas bill would require people receiving housing benefits to work

This is still point one percent higher than the national average which is at 3.5%.

According to the state labor department, manufacturing and educational services saw the most jobs added in December while construction saw the fewest.


Arkansas coalition receives $1M for opioid family counseling

In total, there were nearly 600 new jobs added from November to December in 2022 while over 300 jobs became unemployed.

For more information and to see the full data, visit BLS.gov.

Source: fox16.com

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Government Submits New Citation Refuting Duggar Claim in Appeal

Yesenia Harris

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Briefing has concluded before oral arguments will be heard in Joshua Duggar’s appeal of his conviction on child pornography charges, but the government filed notice of a recent court ruling that it says demonstrates “additional authority” in this case.

Duggar, 34, a former reality TV personality, was convicted on a pair of child pornography charges in 2021 in federal court in Fayetteville and was later sentenced to 151 months in prison followed by a supervised release term of 20 years. The defense has maintained Duggar’s innocence and filed a federal appeal shortly after sentencing.


Federal appeals court schedules Josh Duggar oral arguments

On January 24, the prosecution filed a Citation of Supplemental Authority regarding a recent case, U.S. vs. Treanton, that it said “bears on defendant-appellant Joshua Duggar’s contention that he was in custody during the search of his used-car lot.” In its October 3 appeal brief, one of the defense’s key points was that the district court “erred by denying Duggar’s motion to suppress statements after a federal agent physically stopped him from contacting his attorney and subsequently interrogated him outside the presence of his counsel.”

The government’s latest submission noted that in a January 18 ruling, “a panel of this Court rejected a similar contention arising under significantly more restrictive circumstances than those at issue in Duggar’s case.” It noted that the panel determined that the suspect in that case was not in custody “because ‘a reasonable person in Treanton’s position would have believed that he was free to terminate the interview if he wished.'”


A closer look at Josh Duggar’s sentencing

The prosecution made comparable statements in a November 22, 2022 response to the defense’s appeal brief, as it stated that “Duggar’s Fifth Amendment rights are not implicated here because he was not in custody during his conversation with investigators.” The panel noted that agents in Treanton’s case repeatedly told him that he was not under arrest and was free to leave.

A judge in that case wrote separately to note the importance of “adhering to the same six factors that this Court has considered for over 30 years” when determining if an interview is custodial. The government filing concluded by stating that each of those six factors support the district court’s denial of suppression ruling.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis scheduled a hearing of oral arguments in the case for Thursday, February 16 at the Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. Duggar is currently serving his federal prison sentence at FCI Seagoville outside of Dallas.

Source: fox16.com

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Pro Wrestling Star Jay Briscoe Dies in Car Accident at 38

Yesenia Harris

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LAUREL, Del. (WGMB) – Wrestling star Jay Briscoe has reportedly died after a car accident Tuesday in Delaware. He was 38.

Briscoe, whose real name is Jamin Pugh, was part of the great tag team duo Dem Boys with his brother, Mark. The brothers were 13-time Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions.

According to Sports Illustrated, Briscoe, who was from Sandy Fork, Delaware, died in a car accident that happened around 5:30 p.m. in Laurel. SI cited a report from Shore News Beacon, stating that two people were killed in the accident and two others were critically injured. The other people involved were not identified.


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Tony Khan, the owner of All Elite Wrestling and Ring of Honor, tweeted Tuesday about Briscoe’s death:

Sadly, Jamin Pugh has passed away. Known to fans as Jay Briscoe, he was a star in ROH for over 20 years, from the first show until today.

Jay and his brother Mark dominated ROH, reigning as champions to this day. We’ll do whatever we can to support his family.

Rest In Peace Jamin

Members of the professional wrestling community have been reacting to the sudden passing of Briscoe.


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Seth Rollins was effusive in his praise of Briscoe, saying, “Being in the ring with Jay Briscoe got me my first ROH contract. He and Mark being so selfless helped Jimmy and I find our footing as AOTF. Without him, I don’t know if Tyler Black could ever have been Seth Rollins.”

The Laurel School District closed schools on Wednesday, calling the accident “an unthinkable tragedy in our community” and asking everyone to “please keep the Pugh Family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Source: fox16.com

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