Parkland school shooter’s death penalty trial: Defense team calls 4 witnesses after opening statement

The defense team that is working to save the Parkland school shooter’s life started to call witnesses after Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill delivered her opening statement on Aug. 22.

McNeill said on Aug. 23 that the defense team has over 80 witnesses to call during the death penalty phase in the case of the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland.

The prosecution team rested their case on Aug. 4, after calling 91 witnesses in 12 days, including the 17 injured on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer is presiding over the case.

Aug. 22

Carolyn Deakins: A friend of Brenda Woodard, Cruz’s biological mother. Read more here >Danielle Woodard: Cruz’s biological sister and a convicted felon who is awaiting trial in Miami-Dade County for a 2020 aggravated battery, robbery, and carjacking case. Read more here >Susan Hendler-Lubar: The teacher said she met Cruz while working in exceptional student education when he was three years old. She worked at the Broward Children’s Center. Read more >

Aug. 23

Anne Marie Fischer: The former director of the Young Minds Learning Center where Cruz was a student.

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