What happens if Darrell Brooks continues to interrupt during his trial?

MADISON, Wis. — Now that 16 jurors have been selected for the trial of Darrell Brooks, the man facing dozens of charges following last year’s Waukesha parade tragedy, the trial is set to formally get underway on Thursday.

Brooks has been allowed to act as his own attorney during the trial but has already had several outbursts during pre-trial hearings and jury selection, leading Judge Jennifer Dorow to remove Brooks from the courtroom and have him join the proceedings virtually.

We asked local defense attorney Jessa Nicholson what options the court would have if Brooks continues to disrupt proceedings and interrupt the judge and prosecutors. She says there are likely two options for the judge.

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The first option is for Judge Dorow to appoint a “stand-by” counsel — a lawyer that would serve as someone who could assist Brooks when it comes to legal questions and proceedings. However, that person could not act as a full defense attorney. An appointment of a stand-by counsel also should not delay the trial.

Nicholson says the more likely option, though, is to continue sending Brooks out of the court room and only having him participate when he’s needed. That way, the judge could turn off his microphone when he isn’t supposed to speak — essentially a more modern approach to a gag order in court.

Opening arguments in Brooks’ trial are scheduled to take place Thursday morning.