Attorneys for Parkland, Fl., school gunman, Nikolas Cruz abruptly rested their case Wednesday after a shouting match between the judge and defense lawyers, reports the Palm Beach Post. Cruz's attorneys had told the judge they would be calling 80 witnesses, but when Judge Elizabeth Scherer asked Cruz's attorneys who their next witness was, the defense rested. "I just want to say this is the most uncalled for, unprofessional way to try a case," Scherer said. Melisa McNeill, Cruz's lead public defender, objected to Scherer's insulting her in court. According to Scherer, McNeill blatantly insulted her throughout the trial.
The case of Cruz, who has pleaded guilty in 2021 to killing 17 people and wounding 17 others at a high school in February 2018, has reignited calls for stricter gun laws. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, which requires the jury to vote unanimously. The defense argues for life in prison without parole. Over 11 days of testimony, Cruz attorney's focused their defense on his life story, emphasizing his mother's alcohol abuse that left him with severe behavioral problems. Prosecutors will begin a rebuttal starting September 27, and closing arguments are expected the following week.