A judge sentenced the Waukesha Christmas killer to life in prison without parole Wednesday for killing six people and injuring dozens more after he drove his SUV into a crowd at the Waukesha Christmas parade in the Wisconsin suburb last year.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced the 40-year-old man, who will not be named per Daily Wire policy, on 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment, with each homicide count carrying a mandatory life sentence.
The six victims were identified as Jackson Sparks, 8; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
“You have absolutely no remorse for anything that you do,” Dorrow said, according to The Associated Press. “You have no empathy for anyone … no one is safe from you.”
The defendant drove his red Ford Escape into the crowd gathered to watch Waukesha’s annual Christmas parade on November 21, 2021. According to the police, the alleged attacker used a “zigzagging motion” as he drove through the crowd, seemingly indicating an intentional targeting of people.
In a criminal complaint, CNN reports that an officer said the defendant looked “directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face” when he stepped in front of the vehicle, ordering him to stop.
The defendant apologized to the victims and the Waukesha community when he spoke for more than two hours in court.
“I want you to know that not only am I sorry for what happened — I’m sorry that you could not see what’s truly in my heart,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “That you cannot see the remorse that I have.”
The defendant told the judge he grew up poor, hungry, and without a father in rat and bug-infested apartment buildings while struggling with mental health issues since he was young, and experienced physical abuse. His mother and grandmother asked the judge to place him in a mental institution rather than prison, claiming he has been bipolar since he was 12 years old.
Dorrow cited passages and opinions from four mental health evaluations from the defendant’s doctors and concluded “that mental health issues did not cause him to do what he did” during the parade, “and frankly did not play a role.”
Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper told the judge that the defendant deserves the “absolute maximum sentence on all counts, consecutive.”
“You saw the videos,” Opper said, according to CNN. “This wasn’t him plowing into one large group of fifty people at one time and hitting them — it was linear. He hit one, kept going. Hit two, kept going. Hit three, kept going. All the way down the street. That’s consecutive sentences, your honor.”
Opper added the defendant’s actions were “intentional, willful, volitional conduct that warrants consecutive sentences stacked one on top of the other just as he stacked victims up as he drove down the road in complete disregard for any other person whatsoever.”
The Associated Press reports Chris Owen, whose mother was among those killed in the attack, told the defendant, “All I ask is you rot, and you rot slow.”
According to CNN, Alisha Kulich, the daughter of 52-year-old Jane Kulich, who was killed attending the parade, said her mother “won’t get to see me say my vows or get married to the love of my life.”
“And she won’t ever get to see my future kids, and they won’t know what it’s like to have a grandma who spoils them,” Kulich said.
Ashe Schow contributed to this report.