Member of jury pool mouthes threat to him that causes others to become ‘excited’
A member of the jury pool mouthed a threat to him and that caused others to become “excited,” which made deputies protecting Mr Cruz believe that a brawl might break out.
It was reported that a man in his 30s began “mouthing expletives” towards Mr Cruz, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said.
Mr Cruz, 23, is facing a possible death sentence for murdering 17 at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on 14 februar 2018.
“The Sheriff´s office observed all of that [commotion] and determined they needed to protect Mr Cruz,sa dommeren.
“One instigates and then there are many followers,” Broward Sheriff’s Captain Osvaldo Tianga, the head of courthouse security, sa.
Mr Cruz pleaded guilty in October last year.
i mellomtiden, the potential juror who had mouthed threats to the shooter, told deputies that he wasn’t trying to cause problems but was “emotional” and wanted to curse out Mr Cruz.
Melisa McNeill, Mr Cruz’s attorney, told the judge that she understands that the deputies’ first priority is to protect Mr Cruz and everyone in the courtroom and that “I appreciate that is the job. I am not challenging their actions.” But she said that she wondered if the deputies could simply stand between Mr Cruz and the threat if something similar happens again.”
Osvaldo Tianga, meanwhile said that each situation is different, but he would “consider her suggestion.”
The jury selection will resume on Wednesday, local reports said.
On the afternoon of 14 februar, Mr Cruz, who was then 19-year-old and had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, took an Uber to the school with a bag containing an AR-15-style rifle and a backpack that held firearm magazines and a tactical vest.
When he arrived at the school, Mr Cruz walked into the building, stepped into the east stairwell, loaded the rifle and opened fire. During the shooting 14 students and three faculty members were killed.