FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Prosecutors in the sentencing trial of the Parkland school shooter continued to cross-examine a neuropsychologist about the role that his biological mother played in his mental health.
In court Tuesday, Seattle-area neuropsychologist Paul Connor answered prosecutors’ questions a day after he testified that Cruz suffered from birth due to the alcohol and drug use of his mother, Brenda Woodard, during much of her pregnancy.
But prosecutors went after that testimony, suggesting it should have no bearing in Cruz’s actions.
“Isn’t it true, Dr. Connor, that the best proof of what someone can do is what he actually does and has done?” asked prosecutor Mike Satz.
“If you’re trying to form a forensic opinion of a person’s mental state at the time of an offense, yes,” said Connor.
Citing medical records, Connor said the substance abuse of Cruz’s mother throughout her pregnancy caused Cruz to struggle throughout his life, mentally and socially.
But prosecutors said other tests show he was just an average person who committed a horrible act of violence.
“The Wechsler Memory Scale’s visual reproduction recognition, the defendant scored within the normal limits, which is an average score, and that wasn’t on your graph, either, was it?” asked Sats.
“Correct,” said Connor.
Cruz has already pleaded guilty to the Feb. 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Jurors in the penalty phase trial will decide if he will be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.