Murdering 17 people is usually bad enough that no one discusses release date, but that is not the case for Nikolas Cruz.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is so delusional, he believes he will get out of jail at some point in the future, according to a mental health expert hired by his defense team.
Cruz, who pleaded guilty to murdering 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, told Texas counselor Wesley Center last year that he wants to assist those in need after his incarceration ends.
“He had some sort of epiphany while he was in (jail) that would focus his thoughts on being able to help people,” according to transcripts of the jailhouse conversation obtained by the Associated Press.
“His life’s purpose was to be helping others.”
Cruz, 23, has already admitted to the slayings and is now in the penalty face of his trial, where jurors will decide is he gets life without parole or the death sentence.
Either way, he will never be free.
Prosecutors rested their case earlier this month, arguing that the enormity of Cruz’s crime warrants his execution. They immersed jurors in the carnage, showing them graphic footage of the killer’s rampage and calling a parade of shattered family members to the stand.
After a weeklong break, the sentencing trial will resume Monday, when Cruz’s defense team will lobby Judge Elizabeth Scherer to admit testimony from several mental health analysts, including Center.
The counselor fitted Cruz’s scalp with probes for a scan to map his brain at the Broward County Jail last year.
The defense hopes to present the “quantitative electroencephalogram” of Cruz’s brain that they say shows evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome and other deficits.
They intend to use the evidence to bolster their case that Cruz’s traumatic upbringing and badly compromised mental health are mitigating factors in the slaughter, and that a sentence of life in prison is sufficient.
The prosecution is expected to dismiss the tests as inadmissible pseudo-science.
In presenting Cruz as emotionally damaged from a young age, the defense will also highlight that he witnessed his father die of a heart attack while still a child.