Testimony: School shooter drew swastikas, sought child porn
Prosecutors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz began their rebuttal of the defense case Tuesday by showing the jury swastikas he drew on a gun magazine and his boots, his online racism and misogyny and his online searches for child pornography. Prosecutors are trying to show that Cruz's murder of 17 people at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School four years ago was driven by antisocial personality disorder — commonly known as being a sociopath — and not fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as the defense contends. Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty last October to the Feb. 14, 2018, murders — the trial is only to decide whether he is sentenced to death or life without the possibility of parole.news.yahoo.com
His sister died in the Parkland massacre. He wants the gunman to live.
A jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz lives or dies for killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in 2018. Not all victims' relatives are convinced the death penalty will bring them a sense of justice.washingtonpost.com
Judge in Florida school shooter case refuses to step down
The judge overseeing the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz refused to step down Monday, rejecting a motion by his attorneys who accused her of being biased against their client and prejudicing the jurors who will decide if he should die for murdering 17 people four years ago. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer denied the motion, saying only it was legally insufficient. Scherer last week chewed out lead defense attorney Melisa McNeill and her team outside the jury's presence, accusing them of being “unprofessional” when they unexpectedly rested their case after only about 25 of the 80 witnesses they had told her and prosecutors they intended to testify had been called.news.yahoo.com
Defense seeks judge's removal in Florida school shooter case
Attorneys for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz asked for the judge in his murder case to remove herself on Friday, two days after she scolded them when they abruptly rested their case after calling only a fraction of their expected witnesses. The Broward Public Defender’s Office said in a motion that Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer held a longstanding animosity toward lead defense lawyer Melisa McNeill. The motion cited Florida's Judicial Code of Conduct that states a judge shall disqualify himself or herself if the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party’s lawyer.news.yahoo.com
Defense lawyers in Parkland school shooting trial unexpectedly rest their case, causing heated exchange with judge
Attorneys for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz have suddenly and surprisingly rested their case, leading to a heated exchange after the judge accused them of a lack of professionalism.cbsnews.com
Testimony: School shooter's home ruled by chaos
Chaos reigned in the home where Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz grew up, testimony in his ongoing penalty trial has shown. Zachary may have been two years younger, but he was bigger and stronger and relentlessly picked on his brother — one social worker remembered Zachary climbing atop a counter and stepping in Nikolas' cereal as he ate. Lynda Cruz called sheriff's deputies to the family's 4,500-square-foot (420-square-meter) home at least two dozen times between 2012 and 2016 to deal with one son, the other or both.news.yahoo.com
‘I’m a bad kid. I want to kill!’ Parkland gunman’s teacher says she kept his records in case they’d be needed in future
Editor’s note: Daily coverage of the Parkland trial is being provided to all readers as a public service. The Parkland gunman’s eighth-grade teacher was so troubled by his disturbing schoolwork that she saved a copy for her records in case it was ever needed. Those documents now provide crucial insight into the mind of a killer-in-the-making after Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people at ...news.yahoo.com
DeSantis appointees replace elected school board members
Four school board members appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in one of Florida’s most Democratic counties were sworn into office on Tuesday. The state's Department of Education on Monday voiced “significant concerns" about the school system's actions before, during and after the shootings of 17 people by Nikolas Cruz, a troubled former student who attacked the high school's campus on Valentine's Day in 2018. In a letter sent to Superintendent Vickie Cartwright, the state cited the grand jury's finding of mismanagement of the $800 million voter-approved bond to renovate schools, the underreporting of criminal activity to the state, the district's “almost fanatical desire to control student data” and use it to manipulate public perception, and the practice of allowing students with serious felonies back on school campuses.news.yahoo.com
Testimony: School shooter witnessed dad's death at age 5
Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz's attorneys presented more testimony Monday that the mass killer exhibited violent, disruptive and troubled behavior from his earliest years and, just before his sixth birthday, witnessed his adoptive father's sudden death. Finai Browd, a close friend of Cruz's late adoptive mother Lynda, said she was told Roger Cruz had been in the family's den with Nikolas and his younger brother Zachary when he came running and crying past the kitchen where his mother was making lunch. Lynda Cruz asked her son if he was upset because his father had yelled at him.news.yahoo.com
Parkland Shooter Doesn’t Deserve to Die Because Addict Mom ‘Broke’ His Brain, Defense Insists
Amy Beth BennettAs defense attorneys ask a jury to spare Nikolas Cruz from receiving the death penalty, they claimed Monday that the Parkland shooter’s brain was “poisoned” by his mom’s drinking and drug abuse when she was pregnant.Melisa McNeill, Cruz’s lead defense attorney, said her client’s brain was “irretrievably broken through no fault of his own.” In her first time speaking in court, McNeill asked jurors to consider the 23-year-old’s dark childhood when analyzing what eventually led Cruznews.yahoo.com
Attorney: Florida school shooter was a 'damaged person'
The lead attorney for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz told the jury in his penalty trial Monday they have witnessed “things that will haunt them for the rest of their lives,” but they now need to learn what led him to massacre of 17 people four years ago before they can decide whether he is sentenced to death or life without parole.
Parkland school shooter's brain exams to be subject of court hearing
Called a "quantitative electroencephalogram" or "qEEG," its backers say it provides useful support to such diagnoses as fetal alcohol syndrome, which Cruz's attorneys contend created his lifelong mental and emotional problems.cbsnews.com
School shooter's brain exams to be subject of court hearing
A defense mental health expert in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz can pinpoint when he realized the 23-year-old mass murderer still has “irrational thoughts” — the two were making small talk when Cruz began describing plans for an eventual life outside prison. Wesley Center, a Texas counselor, said that happened last year at the Broward County jail as he fitted Cruz's scalp with probes for a scan to map his brain. The defense at hearings this week will try to convince Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that Center and other experts should be allowed to testify at Cruz's ongoing trial about what their tests showed, something the prosecution wants barred.news.yahoo.com
Meijer warns Democrats that support of Trump-backed opponent may backfire
GOP Rep. Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and lost his primary race last week, says Democrats' decision to run ads to boost his Trump-backed opponent is "cynical" and a "risky strategy."news.yahoo.com
Parkland school shooter’s sister wants to testify in his trial. But she’s in jail, too
As Nikolas Cruz enters the third week of his sentencing trial for the Parkland school massacre, his biological sister sits in a Miami-Dade jail on a carjacking charge — and her upcoming trial may now be complicated by his.news.yahoo.com
Jail guard describes how Florida school shooter attacked him
A jail guard testified Wednesday that Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz attacked him with little warning nine months after Cruz murdered 17 students and staff at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School four years ago and tried to wrest away his electric stun gun. As jurors in Cruz's death penalty trial watched a surveillance video of the Nov. 13, 2018, brawl, Broward County sheriff’s Sgt. Raymond Beltran gave a play-by-play description. Cruz was being jailed in isolation for the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre.news.yahoo.com
Florida school shooter's AR-15 rifle shown to his jurors
Jurors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz got their first view Monday of the AR-15-style rifle he used to murder 17 students and staff members four years ago at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, staring intently as it was carried to the front of the courtroom. Lead prosecutor Mike Satz removed the black semi-automatic Smith & Wesson from a cardboard box and carried it to Broward sheriff's Sgt. Gloria Crespo, who said it was found on the landing of a third-floor stairwell. Video seen by jurors previously showed Cruz placed it there along with the black shooter's vest he had been wearing before fleeing the school.news.yahoo.com
The Parkland school shooter cradled his head in his hands during his penalty hearing as the court listened to graphic witness audio of the shooting
Opening arguments began Monday in the penalty phase of the shooter's trial, in which a jury will decide if the gunman will be sentenced to death.news.yahoo.com
Florida high school shooter's penalty trial set to begin
The penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz begins Monday with the jury hearing opening statements and then the first evidence about the 2018 massacre that left 14 students and three staff members dead at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The seven-man, five-woman panel, backed up by 10 alternates, will hear from lead prosecutor Mike Satz, who is expected to highlight Cruz's brutality as he stalked a three-story classroom building, firing his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle down hallways and into classrooms. Cruz sometimes walked back to wounded victims and killed them with a second volley of shots.news.yahoo.com
Defense attorneys in Florida school shooting try to withdraw
The public defenders representing Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz tried to withdraw from his death penalty trial after the judge ordered them to move forward with jury selection even though one member of their five-member team has COVID-19.
Florida massacre families to get millions for FBI's inaction
Federal officials have confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice has reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the families of most of those killed and wounded in a 2018 Florida high school massacre over the FBI’s failure to stop the gunman even though it had received information he intended to attack.
Activist dad of school shooting victim joins anti-gun group
The father of a 14-year-old girl killed in the 2018 Florida high school shooting massacre is joining the top ranks of an anti-gun violence group to promote like-minded political candidates around the country ahead of next year’s midterm elections.