Judge Blasts Parkland School Shooter’s Lawyers When They Abruptly Rest Case

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer made no decision on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 on whether Nikolas Cruz, who could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Valentine's Day, is entitled to a taxpayer-funded lawyer or has enough cash on hand to hire his own attorney at the Broward Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Taimy Alvarez/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Attorneys for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz suddenly and surprisingly rested their case Wednesday, leading to a heated exchange after the judge accused them of a lack of professionalism.
  • The sudden announcement by lead attorney Melisa McNeill led to a heated exchange between her and Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer, who called the decision without warning to her or the prosecution “the most uncalled for, unprofessional way to try a case.”
  • “To have 22 people march into court and be waiting as if it is some kind of game. I have never experienced such a level of unprofessionalism in my career,” Scherer said, raising her voice.

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