Parkland Shooter's Own Attorney Breaks Down Into Tears Over Grieving Parents' Testimonies

Dominic Smithers

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Parkland Shooter's Own Attorney Breaks Down Into Tears Over Grieving Parents' Testimonies

Featured Image Credit: CBS

The defence attorney of the Parkland shooter was seen crying as parents of one of the victims gave their testimonies at his trial.

In February 2018, Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and murdered 17 people, as well as injuring another 17.

A former student at the school, the then 19-year-old fled the scene, before being arrested an hour later.

He is currently standing trial for the mass shooting, and faces either the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

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At his long-awaited trial, the families of Cruz's victims have been given the opportunity to explain the impact their losses have had on them.

Gena and Tom Hoyer took to the stand this week to talk about their 15-year-old son Luke, who lost his life.

Gena said: "It’s excruciating agony. I am heartbroken. A piece of my heart is missing. My life and my family will never be the same."

Cruz's attorney was seen crying during the trial. Credit: WPLG
Cruz's attorney was seen crying during the trial. Credit: WPLG

Luke's father said he was utterly devastated by the loss.

"We were a family unit of five always trying to fit into a world set up for even numbers," he said.

"Two-, four-, six-seat tables in a restaurant. Two-, four-, six-ticket packages to events. Things like that.

"When Luke died something went missing in me. And I'll never, never get over that feeling."

He added: "I don’t know that I will ever find real peace."

Fred Guttenberg, who has become an advocate for tighter gun laws in the US, said he wasn't able to say goodbye to his 14-year-old daughter Jaime or tell her that he loved her.

During his heartbreaking testimony, assistant public defenders Tamara Curtis and attorney Nawal Najet Bashima, who were both sat next to Cruz, were seen breaking down in tears.

Chief assistant public defender Melissa McNeil was seen wiping tears from her eyes as she listened to their words.

Ilan Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was also murdered by Cruz, said his 14-year-old had big dreams for her life, but sadly never got the chance to fulfil her potential.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Cruz. Credit: WPLG
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Cruz. Credit: WPLG

Struggling to get the words out, he said: "Soon she'd go on to be a professional soccer player. She'd get her law degree, and maybe become one of the most successful business negotiation lawyers the world would see.

"She was supposed to get married, and I was going to have my father-daughter dance. She would have had a beautiful family, four kids, live in a gorgeous house - a beach house on the side.

"All those plans came to an end with Alyssa's murder."

In October, Cruz, now 23, pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, while Cruz's defence are asking for life in prison.

In order for the him to be sentenced to death, jurors must all agree.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, US News, Crime, True crime, Police

Dominic Smithers
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