Nikolas Cruz’s sentencing trial: What we’ve realized to this point


Nikolas Cruz’s sentencing trial: What we’ve realized to this point, #Nikolas #Cruzs #sentencing #trial #weve #realized Welcome to Our Website, This is what we’ve for you within the current day:

The sentencing trial for mass shooter Nikolas Cruz resumed on Monday as jurors weigh whether or not or not to condemn him to life in jail or to lack of life for ending up one in every of many worst faculty shootings in American historic previous.

On Valentine’s Day 2018, Cruz traveled to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School armed with an AR-15-style rifle.

There, the then-19-year-old stalked all three flooring of the freshman developing, taking footage and killing 17 faculty college students and employees members.

Cruz, now 23, pleaded accountable in October 2021 to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of tried murder.

Now, the jury will decide whether or not or not useful him the lack of life penalty or to condemn him to life in jail with out the potential of parole.

Prosecutors spent three weeks presenting graphic particulars of how Cruz plotted and carried out the assault, footage of him calmly going to a close-by Subway and McDonald’s throughout the speedy aftermath and heartbreaking testimony from the victims’ households.

The defence is now presenting its case, the place it’s looking for to point out that Cruz suffered from behavioural and developmental factors and endured a troubled upbringing – and didn’t receive the acceptable help he wished.

Here’s what we’ve realized to this point throughout the trial:

Graphic surveillance footage reveals murderous rampage

At the start of the sentencing trial, graphic surveillance footage was carried out in court docket docket of Cruz ending up his murderous rampage.

The video, taken from security cameras inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas on Valentine’s Day 2018, confirmed Cruz stalking the corridors of the three-storey freshman developing, taking footage faculty college students and employees members.

Prosecutors talked about it confirmed Cruz taking footage some victims a lot of events at point-blank differ and returning to wounded victims to kill them with a second hail of bullets.

Nikolas Cruz pictured in court docket docket on 12 September

(© South Florida Sun Sentinel 2022)

Jurors have been seen putting their fingers to their faces as they watched the 15-minute recording, which has no sound. The gallery – the place the victims’ households sat – weren’t able to see it.

Horrifying cellphone footage captured by a terrified scholar was moreover confirmed in court docket docket.

In it, pictures have been heard ringing out and a voice was heard saying: “Someone help me.”

Cruz warned scholar ‘things were about to get bad’

Several survivors of the taking footage took the stand to relive their harrowing experiences that day, with one scholar recounting how Cruz warned him “things were about to get bad” moments sooner than the massacre began.

Christopher McKenna, a freshman scholar on the time, testified that he bumped into Cruz throughout the stairwell of the freshman developing on his method to the restroom. Cruz was holding his semi-automatic rifle.

“He said get out of here. Things are about to get bad,” Mr McKenna recalled.

Mr McKenna ran out of the developing and instructed faculty soccer coach Aaron Feis what had occurred.

Mr Feis took Mr McKenna away from the scene and ran within the route of the developing throughout the course of the taking footage, the place he turned definitely one in every of Cruz’s first victims.

The court docket docket moreover heard from faculty college students William Olson, Alex Dworet and Kheshava Manhapuram – who’ve been all sat within the equivalent English class that Mr McKenna had left when Cruz shot by way of the partitions and door. They have been all shot nonetheless survived.

In traumatic testimony, the survivors recounted seeing their buddy Alex Schacter slumped over his desk after being fatally struck by bullets. Alaina Petty and Alyssa Alhadeff, every 14, moreover died throughout the classroom.

Former scholar Christopher McKenna identifies Nikolas Cruz because the individual he observed moments sooner than the mass taking footage


Survivors from one different classroom moreover testified how they’ve been in a Holocaust historic previous lesson when Cruz began taking footage by way of the door.

Teacher Ivy Schamis broke down in tears as she instructed the court docket docket how scholar Nick Dworet appropriately answered a question seconds sooner than he was shot lifeless.

“It was really seconds later that the barrel of that AR-15 just ambushed our classroom. It came right through that glass panel and was just shooting everywhere. It was very loud. Very frightening. I kept thinking about these kids who should not be experiencing this at all,” she testified.

Three faculty college students have been wounded in her class and two have been killed: Dworet and Helena Ramsay, every 17.

Footage reveals Cruz in McDonald’s minutes after taking footage

Chilling surveillance footage carried out in court docket docket captured how Cruz calmly carried on collectively together with his day moments after murdering 17 faculty college students and employees members.

Following the massacre, Cruz fled the varsity grounds by hiding in plain sight among the many many terrified faculty college students.

He then casually walked to a close-by Subway for a drink the place he was captured on surveillance footage strolling as a lot because the counter to buy a cherry and blue ice drink – merely 25 minutes after he stopped taking footage.

He then went to a close-by McDonald’s, the place – unbeknown to every on the time – he sat straight reverse and chatted to the brother of one in every of many faculty college students he had merely shot.

In surveillance footage from the McDonald’s, scholar John Wilford is seen coming into the restaurant and sitting in a gross sales area on his private. Minutes later, Cruz calmly strolls inside and sits within the equivalent gross sales area straight reverse Mr Wilford – no matter there being a lot of empty cubicles spherical them.

Surveillance video confirmed in court docket docket of Nikolas Cruz in McDonald’s shortly after the taking footage

(Getty Images)

After a lot of moments, the two appear to change phrases.

Mr Wilford, who was in ninth grade on the time, testified that he had evacuated the varsity and arranged to fulfill his mother on the McDonald’s. They hadn’t been able to get in contact collectively together with his sister Madeleine Wilford.

He was prepared for his mother, when Cruz received right here and sat with him. He talked about he assumed Cruz was moreover a scholar on the school on account of he was carrying a Douglas JROTC shirt and had no idea that Cruz was accountable for the assault.

He talked about he started speaking to Cruz about what had occurred nonetheless Cruz “didn’t really say much” and easily sat collectively together with his “head down”.

When Mr Wilford went to go away, he talked about Cruz requested him for a journey nonetheless he instructed him no, on account of he was fearful about his sister.

Surveillance video confirmed in court docket docket of Nikolas Cruz in Subway searching for a drink minutes after the taking footage

(Getty Images)

At the time, Madeleine was in grave scenario after Cruz had shot her 4 events. She survived the assault.

Cruz was arrested spherical one hour after the massacre, when he was observed by a police officer strolling alongside a close-by freeway.

Jurors confirmed weapon used to murder 17

The AR-15-style rifle utilized by Cruz to murder 17 faculty college students and employees members was launched into the courtroom and confirmed to the jury.

Cruz fired higher than 100 bullets in merely seven minutes as he stalked the three flooring of the freshman developing, jurors heard.

He then left the black Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle on prime of his tactical vest on the landing of the third-floor stairwell and fled the varsity.

Five gun magazines containing 160 bullets have been left contained within the vest.

Cruz moreover had a police ID card his late adoptive father Roger Cruz had been issued by a New York division.

Michael Morrison, the earlier proprietor of Sunrise Tactical Supply, is confirmed the gun utilized by Nikolas Cruz throughout the assault


Jurors moreover heard testimony from Michael Morrison, the proprietor of Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, who purchased Cruz the gun in February 2017 – one 12 months sooner than the massacre.

When the store proprietor requested Cruz what he was going to do with it, he talked about Cruz instructed him he deliberate to “go shooting with my friends during the weekend”.

He testified that he observed no purple flags in his interactions with the then-18-year-old and Cruz’s firearms utility was accepted by Florida. In the aftermath of the massacre, the state raised the minimal age to legally purchase firearms from 18 to 21.

Victims’ households give heartbreaking affect statements

Family members of Cruz’s victims took the stand to current gut-wrenching sufferer affect statements as a result of the prosecution rested its case.

In one heartbreaking second, the son of Chris Hixon — the varsity’s athletic director and wrestling coach who died attempting to save a lot of faculty college students — appeared alongside his mother to inform the jury about his father.

“I miss him,” Corey, who has specific needs, talked about by way of tears sooner than hugging his mother Debbi.

“Every Saturday we ran to Dunkin’ Donuts and walked back.”

Corey Hixon and his mother Debbi Hixon as they supply their sufferer affect assertion


The father of one in every of many various victims shouted with anger and grief as he took the stand to discuss life with out his 14-year-old daughter Alyssa Alhadeff.

Dr Ilan Alhadeff instructed jurors about her “infectious laugh that I can only get to watch now on TikTok videos”.

“My first-born daughter, daddy’s girl was taken from me!” he shouted.

“I get to watch my friends, my neighbors, colleagues spend time enjoying their daughters, enjoying all the normal milestones, taking in the normal joys and I only get to watch videos or go to the cemetery to see my daughter.”

One of Alyssa’s two youthful brothers was too youthful to grasp her lack of life when it occurred, nonetheless now “asks to go see his sister at the cemetery from time to time”. “This is not normal!” talked about Dr Alhadeff.

Jurors tour scene of massacre

At the highest of the prosecution’s case, jurors have been taken to the highschool to tour the placement of the massacre.

In the aftermath of the Valentine’s Day 2018 taking footage, the 1200 freshman developing was closed off and preserved exactly as a result of it was that day.

The developing nonetheless had blood on the flooring, bullet holes throughout the partitions and doorways and Valentine’s Day presents abandoned throughout the chaos.

The solely issue away from the scene throughout the wake of the taking footage have been the victims’ our our bodies and their personal devices, comparable to faculty backpacks.

Judge Elizabeth Scherer instructed jurors that the go to would help them analyse the proof supplied throughout the trial. Local officers plan to tear down the varsity after the trial.

Law enforcement officers block off the doorway to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on 15 February 2018


Court hears that natural mother ‘poisoned’ him in womb

The defence began its case by calling witnesses to testify that Cruz’s natural mother Brenda Woodard abused alcohol and medicines whereas pregnant – as his approved employees seeks to argue that he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum points (FASD).

Cruz’s natural half-sister Danielle Woodard testified that her brother was born from their mother’s “polluted womb”, telling jurors that she observed her mother smoke cigarettes, drink and smoke crack whereas pregnant with him.

The mass killer’s older sister was led into court docket docket in handcuffs as she awaits trial over an alleged carjacking of an aged woman.

Woodard shares the equivalent natural mother as Cruz nonetheless they didn’t develop up collectively as Cruz was adopted as a baby by Lynda and Roger Cruz whereas Woodard lived on and off with their mother.

In opening statements, Cruz’s lawyer Melisa McNeill moreover spoke of his apparent FASD saying that his thoughts is “irretrievably broken” on account of his natural mother “poisoned him in the womb”.

“His brain is broken. He is a damaged human being,” talked about Ms McNeill.

She detailed how his mother – who put him up for adoption – was homeless, an alcoholic, drug addict and dealing as a prosititue when she fell pregnant with him. “His prenatal vitamins consisted of… Bum wine, crack cocaine and cigarettes,” she talked about.

An undated {{photograph}} of Brenda Woodard, the natural mother of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz, confirmed in court docket docket

(Getty Images)

Shooter accused of ‘inappropriately touching’ youthful girl

Cruz was accused of “inappropriately touching” a youthful girl years sooner than he carried out the highschool massacre, jurors heard.

Finai Browd testified that she and Lynda Cruz turned most interesting buddies as soon as they every lived in New York throughout the Eighties. The buddies then every moved to Florida with their husbands and deliberately lived shut to each other.

Around the equivalent time that Lynda and Roger adopted Nikolas after which his natural half-brother Zachary, Ms Browd and her husband moreover adopted youngsters.

Both of their households have been very shut and their youngsters would spend quite a few time collectively, she talked about.

But, at one stage, she talked about there was “an incident with Nikolas… inappropriate touching” of a youthful girl.

When questioned further regarding the incident beneath cross-examination, Ms Browd talked about that Cruz had “tried to put his hand in [the girl’s] shirt and “tried to watch her shower”. The girl was spherical six or seven years earlier on the time.

Cruz’s adoptive mother Lynda instantly put a stop to it, Ms Browd talked about. “Lynda had nipped it in the bud right away,” she talked about.

The former family buddy talked about that Cruz was “aggressive” from a youthful age and had “tantrums” not like these of a typical toddler, which meant completely different youngsters “didn’t want to be around” him.

Cruz moreover had trouble consuming and talking and wore diapers until he was 5 years earlier, she testified.

Cruz watched his father die

Jurors heard how Cruz watched his adoptive father Roger die when he was merely 5 years earlier, working and telling his mother “daddy’s dead”.

One day in August 2004, Roger was throughout the den of the family residence with Nikolas and his youthful brother Zachary whereas Lynda was throughout the kitchen making lunch, Ms Browd testified.

Suddenly, Nikolas – who was just about six on the time – ran earlier Lynda crying. When she requested her son if he was upset on account of his father had yelled at him, Cruz allegedly gave a harrowing response.

“As clear as sunshine he said, ‘No, Daddy is dead,’” talked about Ms Browd.

At that second, she talked about Lynda instructed her she ran into the den and situated her husband lifeless on the couch. He had suffered a coronary coronary heart assault.

Nikolas Cruz as a child collectively together with his adoptive dad and mother Lynda and Roger


After Roger’s lack of life, Lynda was left to increase the two boys alone.

Ms Browd testified that Nikolas and Zachary went to a grief assist group with completely different youngsters after witnessing the traumatic incident. Jurors beforehand heard in courtroom testimony that Cruz was not given grief counseling until 4 years after Roger’s lack of life.

Neighbour says Cruz went on toad ‘killing spree’

Paul Gold, a former neighbour of the Cruz family, testified that Cruz as quickly as went on a “killing spree” of the entire toads throughout the neighbourhood when one in every of many family’s canines died on account of it had eaten a toad.

“He tried to kill every toad in the neighbourhood,” he talked about.

Mr Gold lived subsequent door to the Cruz family in Parkland from 2008 to 2011 and stayed in contact with them even after transferring out of the neighobourhood.

He testified that Cruz would have “episodes” the place he would “lose his temper and break things and seem out of his mind”, saying that it appeared “almost like it was another person who had done it”.

Lynda Cruz confided in him that she was “scared” of her son, he talked about.

“She told me she was scared of him,” he testified. “She told me not to believe the nice appearance he had and angelic ways and that he would turn and do bad things. And she was a little afraid of him at some times.”

When Lynda died in November 2017, Mr Gold testified that Cruz was “very upset” that solely 5 of us had confirmed up for her funeral.

Paul Gold, a former neighbour, testified that Cruz as quickly as went on a toad ‘killing spree’

(© South Florida Sun Sentinel 2022)

Cruz and Zachary initially moved in with Mr Gold’s ex-partner Rocxanne Deschamps nonetheless Cruz wanted to depart the home just one month later after the police have been referred to as over an alleged fight with Ms Deschamps’ son.

Three months after Lynda’s lack of life, Cruz carried out the massacre.

Under cross-examination, Mr Gold was grilled about jailhouse cellphone calls with Cruz the place they talked about making a movie regarding the mass murderer’s life.


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