Parkland shooter’s court hearing canceled as brain scans were to take center stage

Status hearing now scheduled for Tuesday afternoon

(WPLG)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Attorneys were supposed to return to the courtroom Monday for a Daubert hearing in the penalty phase trial of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, but the hearing has been canceled, Local 10 News learned.

A Daubert hearing is to determine whether or not an expert’s scientific testimony should be admissible in a trial.

A status hearing is now scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

“The defense team notified the judge and prosecutors that they have agreed not to present the issues that were addressed in the Daubert motion filed by prosecutors,” a spokeswoman for the Broward State Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “More detail will be provided at the status hearing the judge has scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.”

The Daubert hearing was supposed to be held as the gunman’s recent brain examinations have been called into question.

The defense wanted to use results from a brain scan, which they said confirms Cruz suffers from actual brain damage.

They argued these injuries were likely caused while he was still in the womb.

Prosecutors argued that the type of brain scan that was done is not relevant to the case.

Jurors who will help to decide Cruz’s fate will not be in the courtroom this week. They are set to return to the courthouse next week.

As Cruz has already pleaded guilty to killing 17 people in the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, this trial will only determine whether he is sentenced to life in prison or death.


About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."