Legal Update: Mass Attackers, School Shootings, and Gun Sales
It has been a busy week in the courts when it comes to high-profile cases of mass attacks and attempted kidnappings. As such, Security Management is here to catch you up with a quick roundup of the news.
Man Convicted of Homicide for Driving Through Waukesha, Wisconsin, Parade
A Wisconsin man, Darrel Brooks, was found guilty of 76 charges on 26 October, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide, hit and run, bail jumping, and battery. In November 2021, Brooks drove his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six people and injuring dozens of others. He faces a mandatory life sentence for each homicide count, the Associated Press reported.
The 40-year-old Brooks represented himself in the trial and was disruptive throughout, regularly forcing the judge to call recesses or move him to a different courtroom to limit interruptions.
Brooks’ victims were Virginia Sorensen, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; Wilhelm Hospel, 81, and Jackson Sparks, 8.
Jury Finds Three Men Guilty of Plot to Kidnap Michigan Governor
The saga of the 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer continues. Three men accused of aiding in the plot were found guilty on 26 October of taking part in a conspiracy that prosecutors linked to hostility about COVID-19 restrictions posed by the governor, Reuters reported.
The jury found Joseph Morrison, 28; Pete Musico, 44; and Paul Bellar, 23; guilty of gang membership, firearm violations, and providing material support for terrorism. Sentencing is scheduled for 15 December, and each person could face up to 20 years in prison.
The men were among more than a dozen arrested in October 2020 for the conspiracy. The group allegedly planned to break into Whitmer’s vacation home, kidnap her, and take her at gunpoint to stand trial on treason charges.
Michigan School Shooter Pleads Guilty
Ethan Crumbley, 16, pled guilty to 24 charges—including terrorism and first-degree murder—for a school shooting that killed four students at Oxford High School in southeastern Michigan in 2021. Crumbley affirmed that he “knowingly, willfully, and deliberately” chose to shoot other students, the AP reported. He also admitted guilt to seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony.
A first-degree murder conviction usually results in an automatic life sentence in Michigan, but teenagers are entitled to a hearing where their lawyer can argue for a shorter term or a parole opportunity.
Crumbley’s parents—James and Jennifer Crumbley—are jailed on charges of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly making a firearm accessible to their son and ignoring his need for mental health treatment.
Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; and Justin Shilling, 17, were killed in the shooting. Six students and a teacher were wounded.
Texas Gun Supplier Jailed After Selling Synagogue Attacker a Weapon
Henry “Michael” Dwight Williams, 33, sold a semiautomatic Taurus G2C pistol to British man Malik Faisal Akram, 44, at a Dallas intersection two days before Akram laid siege to the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue outside Dallas, Texas, in January 2022. Akram took four hostages in the attack, and he was later shot and killed by law enforcement.
Williams was arrested a week after the attack, and he pled guilty in June 2022 to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had prior convictions for aggravated assault, so he should not have possessed, carried, bought, or sold any firearms, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad Meacham.
“This defendant, a convicted felon, had no business carrying—much less buying and selling—firearms. Whether he suspected his buyer would use the gun to menace a community of faith is legally irrelevant: In the U.S., convicted felons cannot possess firearms,” Meacham said in a news release.
Williams was sentenced on 24 October to 95 months—nearly eight years—in prison for a federal gun crime, the BBC reported.