A Florida prosecutor on Monday questioned the Parkland school shooter’s half-sister about some kind of “reality show” featuring the siblings’ half-brother.
“What does that have to do with anything, sir?” Danielle Woodard told prosecutor Jeff Marcus from the stand.
The prosecutor said one of the episodes of the reality show is titled “Being Zachary Cruz.”
“Do you think it would be appropriate to capitalize on the murders of 14 children and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by filming, or creating a reality show based on being the brother of a mass murderer?” he asked.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer sustained the defense’s objection and told Woodard not to answer, though she overruled a defense lawyer’s request to strike the question.
Woodard’s brother Nikolas Cruz, 24, faces punishment up to the death penalty for murdering 17 people and trying to kill 17 more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Aug. 14, 2018. He pleaded guilty without a deal last year because prosecutors refused to budge on seeking the death penalty, paving the way for the ongoing penalty phase. The defense is arguing for the lesser punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Defendant Cruz has some support. Enter Richard Moore. Zachary Cruz, who is Woodard’s and Nikolas’ sibling, moved in with Moore in Virginia in the wake of the mass shooting (and Zachary’s own, comparatively minor trouble with the law).
“I don’t approve of what Nik did,” Moore told WPLG in an April report. “No parent should ever bury their child and my heart truly goes out to all those families. I just don’t think the death penalty and the 20 years of appeals are going to give them the closure they need. It is just going to keep re-opening this wound over and over.”
Scherer ruled on Thursday that Zachary and Moore must answer all questions the state asks them in a deposition, despite their demands to the contrary.
On Thursday, Broward Circuit Judge #ElizabethScherer ruled that the Parkland school shooter’s brother #ZacharyCruz and his brother’s roommate Richard Moore will answer all questions asked by the state in a deposition. pic.twitter.com/3iUTUoexNL
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) August 18, 2022
Marcus also asked Woodard if she knew Moore sent thousands of dollars “this year alone” to defendant Cruz’s commissary account.
Woodard said she was unaware of both the reality show and the commissary deposit.
As seen on livestream video, Moore was in court on Monday. Law&Crime sent him for a request for comment. Though we have not seen an episode of this show, there is a Facebook account titled “Being Zach Cruz.”
The state argues that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigators in this case. They detailed how Cruz long planned to commit a mass shooting. They detailed how he attacked the high school using a semiautomatic rifle, stalking the hallways and even returning to people he already shot so he could shoot them again.
The defense maintains that Nikolas was “damaged” since before birth because his mother Brenda Woodard used drugs and alcohol while pregnant with him. In establishing this for the jury, they brought forward Brenda’s former friend Carolyn Deakins, who said that defendant Cruz’s mother used drugs while pregnant with him.
The friend of Parkland gunman’s mother said that she was using drugs while pregnant with him and had put him up for adoption. “She didn’t want it. Nikolas, I’m sorry, but that’s how it was,” Carolyn Deakins stated. pic.twitter.com/CP9hItAVCZ
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) August 22, 2022
For her part, Danielle Woodard said Nikolas Cruz was in their mother’s “polluted womb.”
Danielle Woodard says she was living with maternal grandma and then went back to live with Brenda the summer before 6th grade. She says Nikolas Cruz was in her mother’s “polluted womb”. #ParklandShooter @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/gJ2dmIYvop
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) August 22, 2022
[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]
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