FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — One of the nation’s main fetal alcohol researchers testified Tuesday that Florida college shooter Nikolas Cruz’s start mother drank extra throughout her pregnancy than any girl he’s ever seen documented.
Dr. Kenneth Jones stated medical and different data present Brenda Woodward nicely exceeded the requirements that grossly endanger a fetus: six drinks per week for 2 weeks or three drinks in a sitting twice. A pal additionally testified earlier that Woodard, a Fort Lauderdale prostitute, heavily drank fortified wine and malt liquor throughout her pregnancy with Cruz earlier than placing him up for adoption. She died final year.
“I know I have never seen so much alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman,” stated Jones, a former University of California, San Diego, medical college professor who did among the pioneering analysis on fetal alcohol abuse 50 years in the past.
Cruz, 23, pleaded responsible final October to murdering 14 college students and three employees members on Feb. 14, 2018, at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. His trial, now ending its second month, is barely to find out whether or not he’s sentenced to loss of life or life with out parole.
His attorneys try to indicate that Woodard’s alcohol abuse throughout pregnancy put Cruz onto a lifelong path of erratic, weird and sometimes violent conduct that culminated in the shootings.
Jones informed the jury that whereas there may be disagreement over whether or not Woodard abused cocaine throughout her pregnancy — witnesses stated she did, assessments point out she didn’t — that wouldn’t have made a major distinction given her alcohol abuse.
“You can take all of the illicit drugs you can think of — heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine — and wrap them up in a single bag and they don’t hold a candle to alcohol for its effect on a developing baby,” Jones stated.
He stated his examination reveals Cruz falls into fetal alcohol spectrum dysfunction — a broad class — however doesn’t have the extra narrowly outlined fetal alcohol syndrome. He stated the latter has sure bodily traits that pediatricians can acknowledge resembling skinny lips, slim eyelid openings and a clean philtrum — the ridge between the nostril and mouth.
He stated that lack of bodily traits can really be detrimental because the youngster gained’t get the right early remedy for the harm the alcohol has finished to the brain. He stated adoptive moms like Lynda Cruz may additionally be afraid to report back to docs what they find out about a start mother’s alcohol abuse due to the stigma it could connect to their youngster.
Jones stated indicators of fetal alcohol harm to a baby embrace irritability, critical mood tantrums and important behavioral issues. He stated like Cruz, they’re usually recognized with consideration deficit hyperactivity dysfunction, lack management in school and are aggressive towards their moms and academics. Earlier testimony has proven Cruz demonstrating all these points.
Jones is predicted to complete his testimony later Tuesday, together with cross-examination. His testimony adopted neuropsychologist Paul Connor, who stated Cruz by means of his life has proven indications on assessments that he has alcohol-related psychological points.
Cruz’s public defenders try to persuade a minimum of one of many 12 jurors to vote for all times — a loss of life verdict should be unanimous.
They try to beat the prosecution’s case, which centered on Cruz’s bloodbath as he stalked a three-story classroom constructing for seven minutes with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. Lead prosecutor Mike Satz performed safety movies of the taking pictures and confirmed the rifle Cruz used. Teachers and college students testified about watching others die.
Satz confirmed graphic post-mortem and crime scene pictures and took jurors to the fenced-off constructing, which stays blood-stained and bullet-pocked. Parents and spouses gave tearful and offended statements about their loss.
After the protection concludes its case in the approaching weeks, the prosecution will current a rebuttal case earlier than the jury’s deliberations start.
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