WATCH LIVE: Defense expert witnesses continue testimony in Parkland school shooter’s trial
The defense team that is working to save the Parkland school shooter’s life is scheduled to continue to call expert witnesses on Tuesday during his trial’s penalty phase in Broward County court.
Without the jury in court, Assistant State Attorney Carolyn McCann told Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that Chief Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill was being “disingenuous” by requiring the prosecution to record experts and not doing so herself.
“The state chose not to request it,” Assistant Public Defender Nawal Najet Bashimam said.
Scherer said Chief Assistant State Attorney Mike Satz would be allowed to raise the issue in court in front of the jury without implying that Paul Connor, a neuropsychologist broke the law by not recording testing.
“Are you aware, according to Florida law, the state was required to videotape their experts’ evaluations?” Satz said while questioning Connor.
Satz also asked Connor about a motor test using the index finger, when Satz referred to it as the “trigger finger,” Connor said he preferred to call it the “pointing finger.”
On Monday, the defense called Connor to testify about research on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or FASD, his assessment of the records on the case, and tests performed at the Broward County main jail during a five-hour visit on May 20, 2021.
The prosecutors who are seeking the death penalty rested their case on Aug. 4, after calling 91 witnesses in 12 days, including the 17 survivors injured and the loved ones of the 17 killed who read victim impact statements.
Nikolas Cruz has confessed to killing 17 people and injuring another 17 during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.
The defense needs only one of the 12 jurors to oppose the death sentence. Without a unanimous jury vote, Cruz will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.