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Forensic psychologist testifies in lead up to Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz penalty trial

Parkland shooter sentencing trial
Parkland shooter sentencing trial 02:30

FORT LAUDERDALE - The penalty phase for Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz is now into its third month.

Last week, 12 jurors - seven men and five women - were sworn in along with 10 alternates.

Last October, Cruz pleaded guilty to the murders of 14 students and three staff members at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, 2018. He also pleaded guilty to 17 counts of attempted murder.

The jury will decide whether Cruz, 23, receives a sentence of life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection. They must be unanimous for Cruz to get the death penalty. If at least one votes for life, that will be Cruz's sentence.

The trial is set to begin on July 18th.

Leading up to the start of the trial are a number of motions before the court about what testimony and evidence will be admissible.

On Wednesday, well-known forensic psychologist Dr. Brannon was put on the stand. The prosecution had called on Brennan to analyze different statements that have been given, records, and online searches conducted by Cruz. 

Brannon was asked by prosecutors what his diagnosis was concerning Cruz.

"Anti-social personality disorder is a diagnosis that fits. We're talking about the diagnostic and statistical manual fifth edition text revised. I think also attention deficit hyperactivity disorder fits as an appropriate diagnosis. I think there is also a diagnosis of an eating disorder. I think there is also a learning disability, especially regarding receptive language. I think there are also borderline personality traits," he said.

Brannon also testified that, based on his opinion, he felt that Cruz had faked psychotic episodes.

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