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A potential juror for the conviction of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz asked the judge to dismiss her earlier this week, saying she didn’t have enough time to fulfill her civic duty because she is both married and has “a sugar daddy”.
Selected jurors will eventually determine whether Cruz faces the death penalty or life in prison. He killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he was once a student, on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
The jurors would have to agree to the death penalty unanimously for him to receive such a sentence. Otherwise, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTER NIKOLAS CRUZ CONVICTION PHASE OF TRIAL BEGINS WITH JURY SELECTION
Hours into the jury selection process, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer asked if she had overlooked anyone with concerns or questions.
“Do you have a question?” she asks in the video of the proceedings, pointing off-camera to one of the prospective jurors whom she ultimately identifies as “Miss Bristol.”
“It’s quite a month,” said the woman. “First, let me clarify, July 2 is my birthday, July 4 is my son, and 18 is my other son.”
The judge asks him to speak more slowly.
“Don’t talk too fast, we have to be able to understand…so you said that in July, there are dates in July when you are not available? What are those dates?”
PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTER NIKOLAS CRUZ ADDRESSES COURT AFTER GUILTY PLEA: ‘I LOVE YOU’
“July 7, July 4 and July 18… And again, I have to find something,” Bristol replies. “I have my sugar daddy who I see every day.”
“I am sorry?” the judge asks, with a straight expression on his face and tilting his head.
“My sweet daddy,” Bristol repeats.
“Okay, I’m not sure what you’re talking about but we’ll–“
“I’m married and I have my sugar daddy,” she repeats. “I see it every day.”
“OK. Alright,” the judge said. “Ma’am, we’ll get back to you, okay?” Thank you.
Then she asks the jurors whose names are called to complete a questionnaire before the audio feed is cut.
Bristol was not the only potential juror asking to be removed from office. Several cited family commitments, work or travel plans already booked. Some did not speak enough English and others had health problems.
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A total of 12 jurors and eight alternates will be selected. More than 120 of the first 160 to appear before Scherer on Monday have been fired. Bristol was among them.
The sentencing phase of Cruz’s murder trial is expected to run from June to September.
Matteo Cina of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.