Parkland school shooting verdict: Count 13 in penalty phase is Meadow Pollack

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer announced on Oct. 13 that a divided jury recommended life in prison without the possibility of parole as punishment for the Parkland school shooter on count 13 of first-degree murder.

Count 13 of 17 in the penalty phase is for the murder of Meadow Pollack who Nikolas Cruz killed on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to Scherer.

Pollack,18, was in the school’s 1200 building, on the third floor, when Cruz shot her six times, according to Chief Assistant State Attorney Mike Satz.

Pollack died lying on the floor, in the doorway of classroom 1249, records show. Teacher Ernest Rospierski testified he had left his keys inside room 1249 and the door had locked behind him.

Dr. Iouri Boiko, a forensic pathologist with the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office, performed her autopsy. He said she suffered a fatal wound to the head.

Pollack, a senior, was an aspiring attorney who was headed to Lynn University in Boca Raton. Her best friend Sydney Aiello was among the students who survived the massacre but died by suicide in 2019.

Interactive graphic: Understanding the choices jurors made on the verdict form

Pollack’s mother, Shara Kaplan, reads her victim impact statement

Teacher Ernest Rospierski testifies

Ernest Rospierski’s tone in court during his testimony in court overshadowed his heroism on Feb. 14, 2018, while on the 1200 building’s third floor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Interactive graphic on the penalty phase

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.