Two attorneys representing Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz could not hold back their tears while victims’ grieving parents read their impact statements in court on Tuesday.
Assistant Public Defenders Tamara Curtis and Attorney Nawal Najet Bashiman had to remove their face masks to wipe their eyes with tissues while sitting beside their client as parents read victim statements in Broward County court in Cruz’s sentencing trial.
The waterworks began when Tom Hoyer, the father of slain 14-year-old Luke Hoyer, told the court that his family is irreparably broken, WPLG reported.
“I don’t know that I will ever find real peace,” Hoyer said.
Luke Hoyer was one of 17 people killed by Cruz during the Feb. 2018 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Bashima also teared up on Monday during testimony from Fred Guttenberg — father of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg who was also killed during the shooting, according to the outlet.
Curtis requested last year that the victim statements only be read to the court, arguing the statements could “infect the proceedings with unfairness so as to deny Mr. Cruz due process.”
The defense additionally requested that there only be one statement per victim, that statements remain brief and that they be read by a “neutral party.”
Prosecutor Carolyn McCann refuted that “victim impact evidence is supposed to be presented to the jury for their consideration. The fact that it might be overwhelming to the jury because of the sheer number of murders committed is not a reason not to present it to the jury,” the station reported.
The judge ultimately sided with the prosecution.
The emotional testimony comes days after several of the survivors took the stand and recalled the horrors from the day, with some displaying their scars from their gunshot wounds.