Defendant acquitted of omission charge in Parkland school shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff’s deputy was acquitted Thursday of felony child neglect and other charges for misconduct during the 2018 Parkland school massacre, according to law enforcement officials. The first trial in U.S. history for conduct during the case has ended. Taken on campus.

The fathers of two students murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, stared ahead and left the courtroom in a hurry. The jury deliberated for 19 hours over four days.

After the court closed, Peterson, family and friends cheered, screamed and cried as they ran into a mass embrace. Peterson’s private investigator Kevin Bolling went after Chief Prosecutor Chris Killoran and said something. Killoran turned and patted him on the shoulder, saying, “You’re going to be a good winner.” Members of the prosecution team then kicked Killoran out of court.

“I got my life back. rice field. He claims he intended to confront the shooter, Nicholas Cruz, but it was impossible to tell where the gunshots were coming from due to echoes. “It’s been an emotional roller coaster for a very long time.”

He also said people should never forget their victims.

“There was only one person responsible and that monster (Cruise),” Peterson said. “There were no law enforcement officers at the scene. …Everyone did the best they could with the information we had.”

Peterson said he hopes to talk to the Parkland parents and spouses someday. Some of them publicly refer to him as a “broward coward”. He wants to tell them the “truth” that he has done everything he can.

“I would love to talk to them. No problem,” he said. “There he is.”

But Tony Montalto and Tom Heuer, the two fathers who watched the verdict, were not interested in meeting with Peterson. Montalto’s 14-year-old daughter Gina was murdered on the ground floor. Hoyer’s 15-year-old son Luke died next to her. Peterson was not charged in their deaths because the incident occurred before they reached the building. The men believe that Peterson knew Cruz’s whereabouts, but that he prioritized Cruz’s safety over the safety of students and staff.

“No. No, bring my daughter back,” Montalto said of his meeting with Peterson. “We all would do anything to get our children back. Even those who lost a spouse or someone else want them back. Should I speak? He didn’t do the right thing. He ran away.”

Hoyer said he didn’t expect Peterson to tell them the truth.

Peterson, a campus lieutenant at Stoneman Douglas University, was charged with failing to confront the gunman Cruise in a six-minute raid inside a three-story 1200-class building that killed 17 people. .

His charges related to him being shot more than a minute after he approached the building, killing six people and injuring four others on the third floor. Prosecutors did not indict Mr. Peterson in connection with the 11 deaths and 13 injuries on the ground floor before Mr. Peterson arrived. No one was shot on the second floor.

Prosecutors used the novel legal theory that Peterson, as the school’s deputy appointee, was legally the student’s “caretaker,” which is said to be a conviction for child neglect. Florida law defines a caregiver as “a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for the welfare of a child.” If the jury found Peterson to be the caregiver, it would also have to agree that he failed to make “reasonable efforts” to protect the children or to provide the necessary care. It would be

He could have been sentenced to nearly 100 years in prison, but it would have been highly unlikely given the circumstances and his innocent background. He could have lost his $104,000 annual pension.

During the two weeks of arguments, prosecutors called students, teachers and law enforcement officers to the witness stand to testify about the horrors they experienced and how they knew Cruz was in Building 1200. Prosecutors also called a training supervisor who testified that Peterson did not follow protocol when confronting the shooter.

Peterson’s attorney, Aigrash, called several deputies who arrived during the shooting, as well as students and teachers who testified that they did not believe the shooting came from the 1200 building, during the two-day hearing. I put it on. Peterson did not testify.

Aigrash also stressed that the sheriff’s radio system malfunctioned during the raid, limiting the information Peterson heard from arriving sheriffs.

He called the ruling “a victory for all law enforcement officers in this country” and said prosecutors were “political.”

“It’s common for prosecutors to second-guess the actions of honorable and decent police officers,” Aiglache said.

But Democrat Broward Attorney Harold F. Pryor backed the firm’s decision to indict Peterson.

“As parents, when we entrust our children and the schools they care for, we expect armed school resource personnel contracted to care for our children to do the job,” Pryor said in a statement. there is,” he said. “They have special roles and responsibilities that go beyond those of police officers. It’s not political to do.”

Montalto said jurors should let the children’s schools hire him if they thought his actions were appropriate.

Thirty-six seconds into Cruz’s attack, Peterson exited his office about 100 yards (92 meters) from the 1200 building and jumped into a cart with two unarmed private security guards, according to surveillance video. They arrived at the building a minute later.

Peterson stepped out of the cart near the east doorway to the ground floor hallway. Cruz was at the other end of the hallway, firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

Peterson didn’t open the door because he wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest. Instead, he hid between the floors of a nearby building 75 feet (23 meters) away, with his gun still drawn. He remained there for 40 minutes long after the shooting ended and other officers stormed the building.

Peterson worked at the school for nearly 30 years, including nine years at Stoneman Douglas. He resigned immediately after the shooting and was retroactively fired.

Mr. Cruz’s jury could not unanimously agree that Mr. Cruz deserved the death penalty. A former student of Stoneman Douglas, 24, was subsequently sentenced to life in prison. Defendant acquitted of omission charge in Parkland school shooting

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