WATCH LIVE: Court resumes a day after autopsies of Parkland victims presented to jurors
The prosecution team that is seeking the death penalty for the Parkland school shooter called two witnesses to the stand on Wednesday morning in the 17th-floor Broward County courtroom in Fort Lauderdale.
Broward Sherriff’s Office Sgt. Ray Beltran, the first witness of the day, described surveillance video recorded on Nov. 13, 2018, when Cruz attacked him at the jail.
Assistant State Attorney Michael J. Satz also called BSO’s Sgt. Kevin Forsberg and Sgt. Valerian Perez. The detectives both responded to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, in Parkland.
Forsberg found Cruz’s phone at the 1200 building’s west stairwell. Fosberg said he handed the phone over to Perez, who then gave it to a forensics analyst.
PENALTY PHASE STATUS
Satz, who is leading the prosecution team, told Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that they will likely finish calling witnesses next week.
Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in October. By Wednesday morning, Satz had called 49 witnesses to testify during his eighth day in court.
Cruz’s defense team is fighting to save his life. McNeill, who leads the team, has yet to present her opening statement and a list of witnesses who will likely focus on Cruz’s mental health, his stressors, and the systemic failures he faced.
The 12 jurors, who are seated in two rows and among the 10 alternate jurors, will have to consider each victim and vote on whether or not Cruz deserves to die for his crimes. Without the jury’s unanimous vote, Scherer will have to sentence Cruz to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Scherer said the court is in recess until 12:45 p.m., on Wednesday.
Coverage from court
Day 1 | July 18: Emotions in courtroom high during penalty phase trial for Parkland school shooter
Day 2 | July 19: Jurors hear former MSD students testify about being shot, watching friends die
Day 3 | July 20: Former Parkland student bares scars to jurors
Day 4 | July 21: After Valentine’s Day massacre at MSD, shooter slurped on ICEE, video shows
Day 5 | July 22: Jurors see evidence, hear difficult testimony
Day 6 | July 25: Prosecution calls Uber driver, detectives, pathologists, survivorDay 7 | July 26: Jurors learn more about rifle from seller, victims’ woundsDay 8 | July 27: Expert commentary on Facebook Live with Anchor Janine StanwoodRead More