Parkland shooter’s attorneys tear by testimony from sufferer’s grieving father

Two lawyers representing Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz could not hold back tears as the victims’ grieving parents read their impact statements in court Tuesday.

Assistant public defenders Tamara Curtis and defense attorney Nawal Najet Bashiman had to remove their face masks to wipe their eyes with tissues as they sat next to their client as parents read victim impact statements in Broward County Court during Cruz’s sentencing.

The plumbing work began when Tom Hoyer, the father of slain 14-year-old Luke Hoyer, told the court his family had broken down beyond repair. WPLG reported.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever find true peace,” Hoyer said.

Luke Hoyer was one of 17 people killed by Cruz in the February 2018 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

Lawyers for Nikolas Cruz broke down in tears during victim impact statements Tuesday.
Reuters
Theresa Robinovitz cries after reading her victim impact statement during her sentencing hearing
Theresa Robinovitz cries after reading her victim impact statement during Cruz’s criminal trial.
AP

Bashima also broke down in tears Monday during testimony from Fred Guttenberg, the father of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg, who was also killed in the shooting.

Curtis last year requested that victim statements be read only to the court, arguing that the statements could “taint the process with unfairness to prevent Mr. Cruz from due process.”

The defense additionally requested that there be only one statement per victim, that the statements be kept brief and that they be read by a “neutral party.”

Defense attorneys for the Parkland school shooter wiped away tears from the victims' grieving parents in Tuesday's testimony -
Nikolas Cruz’s attorney wiped his eyes after the victims’ parents read their impact statements Tuesday.
CBS News
Ilan Alhadeff speaks angrily as he delivers his victim impact statement during the penalty phase of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's trial at the Broward County Courthouse.
Ilan Alhadeff speaks angrily as he delivers his victim impact statement during the penalty phase of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s trial.
AP

Prosecutor Carolyn McCann countered that “victim impact evidence should be put before the jury to consider. The fact that the jury might be overwhelmed by the number of murders committed is no reason not to present it to the jury,” the station reported.

The judge ultimately sided with the prosecution.

The emotional testimony comes days after several survivors stood up and recalled the horror of that day, some displaying the scars of gunshot wounds.

Cruz, 23, might be face the death penalty. He pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder in October.

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