Attorneys for Nikolas Cruz abruptly rested their case within the Parkland, Florida college shooter’s dying penalty trial, prompting an uproar within the courtroom on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
In keeping with The Related Press, the surprising determination triggered Circuit Decide Elizabeth Scherer and Cruz’s lead lawyer Melisa McNeill to get right into a shouting match (the jury had not but entered the courtroom when the squabble occurred). Scherer reportedly stated McNeill’s determination to shut the case with out warning her or the prosecution was “essentially the most uncalled for, unprofessional solution to attempt a case.”
Extra from Rolling Stone
Cruz, who shot and killed 17 individuals at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College in 2018, pleaded responsible to 17 counts of premeditated and tried homicide in Oct. 2021. His protection workforce has been attempting to safe Cruz a life sentence in jail with out parole, versus the dying penalty. Their case has largely rested on Cruz’s psychological well being struggles, particularly how they might have stemmed from Cruz’s mom consuming alcohol whereas pregnant.
Associated video: Florida college shooter’s beginning mother abused cocaine, alcohol
For his or her protection, Cruz’s attorneys reportedly deliberate to name 80 witnesses over 11 days. They ended up solely calling 25 earlier than resting.
Together with irritating the choose, the transfer caught the prosecution off guard, as attorneys have been anticipating many extra witnesses and weren’t ready to start out their rebuttal case instantly. When the choose requested if the prosecution would possibly have the ability to start, lead prosecutor Mike Satz reportedly threw up his arms and replied, “No. We have been ready for 40 extra witnesses.”
Decide Scherer — who’s had a fraught relationship with McNeill throughout the three years it’s taken for Cruz’s trial to lastly start — additionally laid into McNeill for losing the jury’s time “as whether it is some sort of sport.” McNeill fired again, “You’re insulting me on the document in entrance of my shopper.”
“You’ve been insulting me the whole trial,” Scherer barked at McNeill. “Blatantly taking your headphones off, arguing with me, storming out, coming late deliberately when you don’t like my rulings. So, fairly frankly, this has been lengthy overdue.”
To permit the prosecution to prep its rebuttal case, Cruz’s trial will now be delayed for a few week. It’s tentatively set to renew on Sept. 27.
Better of Rolling Stone
Click on right here to learn the total article.