Parkland prosecution stays case as jurors hear from last family members – NBC 6 South Florida

State prosecutors wrapped up a dozen days of tearful testimony and gruesome evidence in the sentencing trial of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz on Thursday.

Seven family members and friends of victims Peter Wang, Helena Ramsay and Chris Hixon were the latest to explain how they were affected by the murders of 17 people and the injuries of 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

Perhaps the fewest words expressed the most pain when a well-dressed Corey Hixon sat next to his mother Debbie Hixon on the witness stand.

“I miss him,” said Corey Hixon, who has Down syndrome.

“Every Saturday we went [for] donuts,” he said, hugging his mother and crying.

Chris Hixon was a U.S. Navy Desert Storm veteran turned high school coach, athletic director, and safety instructor who mentored students, bought them food and school supplies, and even took two people to his home for prevent dropping out of school.

His eldest son Thomas has joined the US Marine Corps and testified via Zoom on Thursday about the ripple effect his father’s murder continues to have on family, friends and the community.

“Although he should always be here with us creating memories, he will always be remembered for his courage, bravery, leadership, humility and humor,” said Thomas Hixon.

Jurors in the trial of Florida school gunman Nikolas Cruz toured the still bloodstained building where he murdered 17 people four years ago. The 12 jurors and their 10 alternates were transported Thursday to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland along with the judge, prosecutors and Cruz’s attorneys.

Widow Debbie spoke of plans they had made that would never come to fruition.

“I’m blessed for the life we ​​shared,” she said. “I am heartbroken, our plans ended too soon.”

Jurors also heard from two cousins ​​and a friend of 15-year-old victim Peter Wang, who was a member of JROTC at Stoneman Douglas.

“I remember the day Peter was killed. I was in complete denial,” her cousin Aaron Chen said. “I thought if I could find him and bring him home, everything would be fine.”

Anne Ramsay spoke lovingly of the wit, talents, intellect, compassion and thoughtfulness of her 14-year-old daughter, Helena.

After the 2016 PULSE nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Helena and her friends went to a benefit concert to support the victims.

“As Helena’s mother, I was very impressed with Helena’s wisdom and strength of character as a young girl,” she said.

Helena was murdered on her father Victor’s birthday.

“That day will never be a party,” said Anne Ramsay. “Now it’s filled with pain, like every day.”

Earlier Thursday, jurors toured the Stoneman Douglas building where the shooting took place.

Jurors in the trial of Florida school gunman Nikolas Cruz toured the still bloodstained building where he murdered 17 people four years ago. The 12 jurors and their 10 alternates were transported Thursday to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland along with the judge, prosecutors and Cruz’s attorneys.

The sentencing trial will be adjourned until August 15, when attorneys will discuss which experts will be called to testify and what evidence will be presented to Cruz’s defense.

The jury returns on August 22 when the defense team are expected to argue for a life sentence for the 23-year-old convicted killer. A death sentence would require a unanimous jury vote.

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