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Defense wants Parkland trial judge disqualified after courtroom outburst

Pool Image via AP

Defense lawyers are demanding the removal of Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting trial, saying she took her criticism of their team too far when they rested their case without warning earlier this week.

In a motion filed Friday, the Broward Public Defender’s Office accused the judge of holding a longstanding animosity for lead defense lawyer Melisa McNeill, an animosity they say “has infected this entire trial.”

Hostility between the judge and the defense reached a boiling point Wednesday morning when the defense announced, with no explicit warning, that it was resting its case seeking mercy for confessed gunman Nikolas Cruz. The jury is tasked solely with determining whether Cruz should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Read more from our news partner at the South Florida Sun Sentinel.