Parkland jurors Monday have been proven the AR-15 rifle that Nikolas Cruz used to bloodbath 17 folks almost 4 years in the past throughout one of many deadliest faculty shootings in U.S. historical past.
Prosecutor Mike Satz introduced the semi-automatic Smith & Wesson to Broward sheriff’s Sgt. Gloria Crespo, who was testifying on the Florida penalty trial of 23-year-old Cruz.
Crespo recognized the gun because the one she discovered on the touchdown of a third-floor stairwell after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College capturing Feb. 14, 2018.
The jurors stared intently because the rifle was carried to the entrance of the room.
Earlier than fleeing, Cruz had ditched the gun and his protecting vest on the stairwell, in response to surveillance footage launched on the trial in Broward County Circuit Courtroom.
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The sergeant stated that Cruz, then 19, had 5 gun magazines left in his vest containing a complete of 160 bullets.
Investigators additionally discovered a New York police identification card within the vest pocket that had belonged to Cruz’s late father Roger Cruz, who died of a coronary heart assault when his son was 5. Prosecutors did not point out whether or not the elder Cruz had been a police officer.
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Cruz pleaded responsible in October to 17 counts of first-degree homicide for slaughtering 14 college students and three staffers on the faculty throughout a seven-minute rampage, opening fireplace in school rooms and hallways.
Prosecutors have stated Cruz made a second go at some victims, killing them whereas they lay injured on the bottom.
Jurors have been additionally proven grotesque photographs Crespo took of the our bodies of 5 college students and a trainer after Cruz shot them at shut vary.
The photographs weren’t printed to the gallery, the place victims’ households have been watching the continuing.
On Friday a health worker testified that probably the most horrific wounds have been precipitated when the high-speed bullets exited the victims’ our bodies – together with one woman whose head was blown open and one other teen whose forearm and bicep have been ripped off.
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The penalty trial will decide whether or not Cruz is sentenced to life with out parole or demise.
Attorneys for Cruz, who had been expelled from the varsity one yr previous to the capturing, have argued that the gun, crime scene photographs and different proof are unfairly prejudicial and shouldn’t be launched.
However prosecutors efficiently countered that such proof is critical to show the murders had at the very least one aggravating issue: the crime was dedicated in a merciless or heinous method or it endangered the lives of many individuals.
For the jurors to vote for demise, they need to unanimously discover that at the very least one of many murders has an aggravating circumstance that outweighs the protection’s arguments for mitigation.
The trial continues Tuesday earlier than Circuit Choose Elizabeth Scherer.
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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