Sixth Person, A Young Boy, Dies After WI Parade Massacre: A Crime News Round-Up

November 24, 2021

By a Biometrica staffer

The death toll in the Wisconsin case of a man driving an SUV into a festive parade rose to six on Tuesday, Nov. 23, when an 8-year-old boy died of his injuries. The number of injuries resulting from the attack stands at 62 currently per the criminal complaint that was filed, with many of those being children. Various GoFundMe pages have been set up by the victims’ families, who are bracing for a “brutal” holiday season. 

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, has been charged with five counts of murder in the first degree, and will mandatorily receive a life sentence if he is convicted. A preliminary hearing will take place on Jan. 14. It has also emerged that Brooks had an extensive criminal background, having been charged over a dozen crimes in the last two decades in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada.

Separately, after a trial that lasted almost a month, a jury in Virginia has ordered that the 17 white nationalist leaders and organizations that organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, which resulted in mass violence, pay over $26 million in damages to the nine people who filed the lawsuit due to physical and/or emotional injuries they sustained during the two days of protests and anti-protests.

Two of the six claims in the civil lawsuit returned deadlocked verdicts from the jury, though the plaintiffs’ attorney said they will refile on those counts so a fresh jury can issue a ruling. On the other hand, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer said he would appeal the verdict on the other four counts, saying the “entire theory of that verdict is fundamentally flawed.”

The Associated Press said the verdict is “a rebuke to the white nationalist movement” while the attorney for the plaintiffs said the sum of damages is “eye opening” and that it “sends a loud message.” 

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has subpoenaed multiple white supremacist and violent organizations like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers to determine their role in planning and carrying out the unprecedented attack. So far the Committee has already spoken to over 150 people.

A federal jury said Tuesday, Nov. 23, that pharmacy retailers CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart “recklessly distributed” outsized amounts of prescription opioids in Ohio’s Lake and Trumbull counties, resulting in “hundreds of overdose deaths” and losses of about $1 billion each. A judge will decide at a later date how much the pharmacies will pay in damages. All three companies have said they will appeal the decision, which is significant enough to set precedent if it is upheld.

Elizabeth Holmes completed a third day of testifying in her criminal trial for the fraud enacted by her medical company Theranos while she was CEO. She expressed “some remorse,” but denied trying to conceal that her company’s blood-testing methods weren’t working as she had promised. She did, however, admit that she had fraudulently added the logos of pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Schering-Plough to lab reports that she sent to Walgreens in her quest to get the latter to stock Theranos’ products in their stores.

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged right-hand woman and erstwhile girlfriend of convicted and deceased sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, is set to begin next week. Virginia Giuffre, the woman who accused Britain’s Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was a minor at Epstein’s behest, will likely not be a witness at the trial, nor have any charges in connection with her been brought by prosecutors. As a result, Prince Andrew’s alleged activities will likely be excluded entirely from the high-profile proceedings. 

Rudy Guede, the only person that was convicted for the 2007 murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, has been released from prison after he served most of his 16-year sentence. The case rose to prominence after American citizen Amanda Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Solecito were accused, arrested, convicted, and jailed for the murder, only for the country’s supreme court to reverse that verdict in 2015.

Meanwhile, Mark D’Amico, the man allegedly behind the infamous 2017 GoFundMe scam that preyed on people’s goodwill, has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing.

The plot was allegedly masterminded by D’Amico and his then-girlfriend Katelyn McClure, who claimed that a homeless man named Johnny Bobbitt Jr. had given McClure his last $20 to help her after her car ran out of gas one night. The couple then launched a crowdfunding campaign to help Bobbitt for his kind act, which resulted in a kitty of over $400,000 in just a month after the story went viral.

After giving Bobbitt a cut, the couple spent most of the money on luxury items and casino trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Eventually, Bobbitt sued them and the whole story came out.