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WUWM's coverage of the Darrell Brooks trial. He is the Milwaukee man accused of using his SUV to kill six people and injure dozens more at the Waukesha Christmas parade in 2021.

Medical examiners explain fatal injuries in Waukesha parade deaths trial

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Image from a video monitor in the media room of the Waukesha County Courthouse
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Dr. Amy Sheil, Associate Medical Examiner for Waukesha County, testifies Thursday during the Waukesha parade deaths trial about the autopsies she performed on some of the six people who died.

Content Advisory: This story contains descriptions that some people may find disturbing.

Prosecutors in the Waukesha Christmas parade trial have called on two medical professionals to try to help them make their case against defendant Darrell Brooks.

Police say Brooks drove his SUV through parade-goers last November, killing six people and injuring dozens. The Milwaukee man has plead not guilty to more than 70 charges.

Thursday, the jury heard from two women who had performed autopsies on those who died. Dr. Amy Sheil is Associate Medical Examiner of Waukesha County. She looked at three bodies including that of 8 year-old Jackson Sparks. Deputy District Attorney Lesli Boese quizzed Sheil, whose voice quavered.

Boese: "What was his cause of death?"

Sheil: "Complications of craniocerebral injuries due to blunt force trauma to head."

Boese: "What injuries of those were fatal?"

Sheil: "His head injuries."

Boese: "Would that be consistent with being struck by a moving SUV weighing approximately 3,300 pounds?"

"Yes," Sheil replied, over the objection of Brooks. Judge Jennifer Dorow over-ruled Brooks' objection.

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Image from media room video monitor at the Waukesha County Courthouse
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Waukesha County Medical Examiner Dr. Lynda Biedrzycki responds to a cross-examination question from defendant Darrell Brooks Thursday afternoon.

Also taking the witness stand Thursday afternoon was Waukesha County Medical Examiner Lynda Biedrzycki. As part of her autopsy of a woman who had a fractured pelvis, Dr. Biedrzycki said she took measurements of the front hood of the SUV in question at a law enforcement garage.

"These measurements, 38 1/2, 37, 32 1/2 are pretty good for the height of SUV vehicle at the point of contact at the pelvis," Biedrzycki said.

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Image from a video monitor in the media room
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Defendant Darrell Brooks pauses Thursday to collect his emotions after cross-examining a prosecution witness in the Waukesha parade deaths trial.

During cross-examination, Brooks asked Biedrzycki whether the damage she noticed on the vehicle was just connected to the parade.

Brooks: "So, from your expertise they could have came from a number of different things."

Biedrzycki: "That's true."

Other prosecution witnesses included acquaintances of those killed or injured. But none testified they saw Brooks in the drivers seat of the SUV.

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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