parkland trial

Defense Expert Testifies About Fetal Alcohol Syndrome's Impact on Parkland School Shooter

Neuro-psychologist testifies for defense that Nikolas Cruz showed signs of fetal alcohol syndrome

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A clinical neuro-psychologist’s study of the effects of alcohol on fetal mice is the defense team’s latest attempt to secure a life sentence for the Parkland school shooter.

Dr. Paul Connor testified via a remote video link Monday that using any substance during pregnancy can impact the fetus.

“We do know nicotine, cocaine, heroin, all of those can have an impact,” he said. “Alcohol – in the research that’s been done over now about 50 years – has consistently found very strong impacts on the fetus in multiple areas that were assessed both from the physical perspective and from the neurological perspective and from the neuropsychological and behavioral perspective.”   

NBC 6 investigator Tony Pipitone has more as the defense team resumed its case after a one-week break.

The defense team claims Nikolas Cruz showed all these signs since before he was born to a mother with alcohol and drug addictions.

Connor's cross examination started to focus on his qualifications and proper study protocols and procedures. Prosecutor Michael Satz was interrupted by enough defense objections to prompt a recess for the day.

The sentencing trial is scheduled to resume 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Cruz pleaded guilty, last October, to 17 murders and 17 attempted murders at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.

The defense team has called 24 witnesses over 10 days trying to show Cruz is deserving of a life prison term because of a lifetime of physical, mental, and emotional instability.

The state is seeking the death penalty.

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