FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – A prominent fetal alcohol researcher testified Tuesday that a Florida school shooter Nicholas Cruz The mother drank more while pregnant than any woman he saw documented.
Dr. Kenneth Jones said medical records and other show Brenda Woodard They significantly exceeded standards that put the fetus at risk: six drinks per week for two weeks, or three drinks per session twice. A friend also previously testified that Woodard, a Fort Lauderdale prostitute, drank heavily fortified wine and malt yeast while pregnant with Cruz before putting him up for adoption. She died last year.
“I know I’ve never seen so much alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman,” said Jones, a former University of California, San Diego, medical school professor who did some groundbreaking research on fetal alcohol use 50 years ago.
Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty Last October to murder 14 students and 3 employees On February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. His trial, now ending its second month, is only to determine whether he is under sentence of death or life without parole.
His attorneys are trying to show that Woodard’s alcohol abuse during pregnancy set Cruise on a lifelong path of bizarre, bizarre, and violent behavior that culminated in a shooting.
Jones told the jury that although there was disagreement over whether Woodard had used cocaine while she was pregnant – witnesses said she did, and tests suggest she did not – it wouldn’t have made much of a difference given her alcohol use.
“You can take all the illegal drugs you can think of — heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine — and roll it up in one bag and not hold an alcohol candle for its effect on a developing baby,” Jones said.
He said his examination shows Cruz falls into fetal alcohol spectrum disorder – a broad category – but he does not have the more specific fetal alcohol syndrome. The latter, he said, has certain physical features that pediatricians can recognize such as thin lips, narrow eyelid openings, and a soft philtrum – the rim between the nose and mouth.
He said the lack of physical characteristics could actually be harmful because a child would not get proper early treatment for the damage alcohol has done to the brain. He said adoptive mothers like Linda Cruz may also be afraid to tell doctors what they know about a mother’s alcohol use because of the stigma it can inflict on their child.
Signs of fetal alcohol damage to a baby include irritability, extreme temper tantrums, and Significant behavioral problems. He said that like Cruise, they are often diagnosed with ADHD, lack control at school and are aggressive towards their mothers and teachers. Previous testimony showed that Cruz clarifies all of these issues. He also said that these patients often find it difficult to organize and plan their activities.
However, prosecutors showed, under questioning of witnesses, that Cruz spent months planning the massacre.
Jones admitted during questioning by Attorney General Mike Satz that he was unaware that Cruz had spent months researching other mass shootings, how long it took police to respond to a school shooting, what kind of gun to use and how he could conceal it during Entering school.
Jones’ testimony followed Neuropsychologist Paul Connorwho said that during his life Cruz showed signs in tests that he had mental problems related to alcohol.
Public defenders of Cruz are trying to persuade at least one of the twelve jurors to vote for life – the death sentence must be unanimous.
They are trying to get around the prosecution’s case, which centered on Cruz’s massacre while chasing down a three-story building for seven minutes. AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Play Prosecutor Mike Satz Security videos From the shooting showed a used cruise gun. teachers and students Testified about watching others die.
Show SATZ Autopsy drawing and crime scene photos And the Take the jury to the fenced buildingwhich is still stained with blood and shot. Parents and husbands gave tearful And the Angry statements about their loss.
After the defense concludes its case in the coming weeks, the prosecution will file a cassation case before jury deliberations begin.