parkland school shooting

State Reveals School Shooter Defense Psychologist Doesn't Believe His Claim Of Hearing ‘Voices'

In a new motion revealed Friday, prosecutors revealed the killer’s own defense psychologist does not believe he is hearing a voice tell him to kill people, as he claims.

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With jury selection now complete in the death penalty phase of the Parkland school shooter trial, prosecutors are starting to reveal how they plan to convince those jurors to return a death verdict.

In a new motion revealed Friday, prosecutors disclosed the killer’s own defense psychologist does not believe he is hearing a voice telling him to kill people, as he claims.

The state says he’s just an anti-social, hateful killer and prosecutors want the jury to see swastikas, racist writing and other evidence to rebut the defense claim that Nikolas Cruz suffers from emotional or intellectual disability.

From the moment of his arrest on Feb. 14, 2018, he claimed he heard “demons" and “voices,” police body cameras show.

Now, more than four years later, he’s tried that line on Dr. Heather Holmes, a forensic psychologist used by his defense, and she’s not buying it, the state’s motion revealed.

A dozen people – seven men, five women – have been sworn-in as primary jurors tasked with deciding the fate of convicted Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz.

He told Holmes of a “voice he hears that he calls ‘Swas,’ which is short for ‘swastika’ … and tells him to pretend (a radio in his cell) is a gun and to shoot the guard,” prosecutors wrote, adding “Swas” also “wants to get shot in the back of the head in the brain stem.”

Holmes doesn’t buy it, telling the state in a deposition she is “100 percent certain he is not psychotic … I took it as kind of nonsense.”

The state said it's malingering – faking mental illness – in hopes at least one juror will believe that outweighs the cold, calculated, premeditated way he gunned down 17 innocents at their school.

They’ve combed his social media and found “it’s quite full of hatred, references to Hitler, the n-word in reference to killing people,” prosecutor Jeff Marcus told the court Wednesday.

Those writings and posts revealed a desire to “kill black people, kill animals, promote Germany, attack immigrants and Muslims, promote white power and hatred of liberals,” the motion states.

And to further their point that hate – not mental illness – drove the killer, they want to show the jury swastikas carved into his assault rifle’s magazines and the boots he wore during his killing spree, as well as drawn on a backpack he wore when he was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, along with a handwritten message for the Black community: "f – you."

The defense next week will argue why the jury should not see those hateful materials and has already said the state should have had the judge rule on its admissibility before a jury was chosen, so that it could question jurors about those issues.

Judge Elizabeth Scherer called that a difference of opinion and the state noted the defense was aware of the swastikas for years.

Taken together, the state argued the material shows he doesn’t have the mental issues his defense claims, but rather anti-social personality disorder.

His own expert said in a 2008 death penalty case that “antisocial people are people who do what they need to do to get ahead in the world, again, on a continuum.”

A continuum may at one end include cheating on a test; to the other extreme, it could be seeking infamy as a school shooter, with no regard for lives taken or families destroyed.

The state said it is not going to present that evidence during the first phase of its case, called the case in chief, but wants the judge to rule they can use it in cross-examining defense experts and later in the final phase of the case, called rebuttal.

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