Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s defense seeks removal of judge after heated exchange

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s defense team is demanding that Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer be recused from his case after she excoriated his attorneys for being unprofessional last week.

(Video Credit: CBS Miami)

Defense attorney Melisa McNeill without warning announced last Wednesday that Cruz’s team planned to rest his case and not call any further witnesses, taking the prosecution totally off guard, according to Fox News.

The defense was slated to call 80 witnesses and only called 25 according to NBC News.

Scherer rebuked her for not informing the court in advance so the state could prepare witnesses for their rebuttal case.

When the judge found out that the defense would not call any more witnesses in the trial last Wednesday, she let loose on McNeill.

“We’re not playing chess,” she seethed. “This is the most uncalled-for, unprofessional way to try a case. You all knew about this and even if you didn’t make your decision until this morning, to have 22 people, plus all the staff and every attorney march into court, be waiting as it’s some kind of game – now I have to send them home.”

“You have been insulting me the entire trial, so blatantly,” the judge angrily informed McNeill. “Taking your headphones off. Arguing with me. Storming out. Coming late intentionally if you don’t like my rulings, so, quite frankly, this has been long overdue.”

McNeil filed a 22-page motion Saturday morning shredding Scherer for attacking her professionalism and then informing jurors it was the defense’s fault that the trial would be delayed for two weeks to give prosecutors time to prepare a rebuttal.

“The defense had absolutely no legal obligation to advise the State or Court in advance of its intention to rest,” McNeil asserted, according to Fox News.

The defense attorney charged that the tense exchange between the defense and the judge showed the court’s “animosity” toward her is “long-held and has infected this entire trial.” McNeil then cited numerous prior examples where she alleged that the judge inappropriately admonished the defense lawyers.

Cruz wrote in an affidavit that the judge’s actions “cause me to reasonably fear that the Court is biased against my attorneys and me and I will not receive a fair and impartial trial.”

At that point, the defense requested a mistrial and asked that the judge recuse herself from the case. It is highly unlikely she will do so.

Assistant State Attorney Carolyn McCann argued in a reply to the motion that even if the judge made “critical or hostile” comments, they are not grounds for a mistrial.

There has not been a ruling on the mistrial request yet.

The penalty trial for Cruz slaughtering 17 people when he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, started two months ago. It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.

He has already pleaded guilty even though he began the trial by apologizing and unbelievably begging for a second chance. The trial will determine whether he is sentenced to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles