Who is Michelle Grasso? DA John Chisholm blames JUNIOR staffer for Darrell Brooks's low bail
DA John Chisholm did not name his junior - but some reports identified her as Michelle Grasso, who apparently set the $1,000 bond Brooks was freed on
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: A district attorney (DA) who released the Waukesha parade massacre suspect on bail on a low cash amount days before the attack has now blamed a rookie prosecutor and a computer error. Darrell Brooks was behind bars for a previously alleged hit-and-run but was freed two weeks prior to the November 21 tragedy.
District Attorney John Chisholm did not name his junior -- but some reports have identified her as Michelle Grasso, who apparently set the $1,000 bond Brooks was freed on. She reportedly saw the mass murder suspect’s most recently posted bail of $500 and decided to double it. Chisholm claimed that the female staffer had no access to the defendant's pre-trial risk assessment and that’s why she did not set a higher cash bail for Brooks.
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After being criticized over the low bail amount, Chisholm in a Milwaukee County Board Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on Thursday, December 2, said: “You had a young (assistant district attorney) trying to do the very best she could under really difficult circumstances and she made a mistake. That is a decision on its face ... that I believe was inappropriately low given the context of what we knew about the defendant. That's human error. It set in motion a chain of events that resulted in a tragedy. Again, I'm not trying to lessen our responsibility for that, but that's it.”
The DA also said that he was angry and “extraordinarily saddened by the circumstances that have impacted so many people” in Milwaukee County. He noted, “I put the finger on myself and that's my obligation, that's my responsibility. There was a public safety assessment that was done that characterized this situation as a high-risk situation. Our default position in this case because of the laws in Wisconsin is that we recommend higher amounts of cash.”
Chisholm pointed towards the backlog of cases as he stated, “In this particular case, the ADA didn't make a decision just in a vacuum with lots and lots of time to assess it. It doesn't excuse it, but it puts it into context when you're dealing with high volume triage, trying to sort what the most serious offense is, just trying to get the case in the system and move on to the next one, sometimes errors are going to occur. I want to make it clear that there are explanations for what happened. There are no excuses.”
Also, during a news conference on Thursday, Democratic Governor Tony Evers said, “I caution people not to jump to conclusions, but there is one conclusion that is obvious: that (Brooks) should not have been out. But we are looking forward to the conclusion to the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Brooks has been charged with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide after the November 21 accident that claimed the lives of six and injured more than 60. Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper has said that the 39-year-old might face more additional charges. However, it's not clear yet why he drove his vehicle into the people parading for Christmas.