‘Repent for your sins, Nikolas, and burn in hell’: Families unleash on Parkland shooter, defense, and jury in heated hearing

The two-day sentencing hearing for mass murderer Nikolas Cruz, responsible for the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, began Tuesday and family members of the victims were finally able to speak their piece and offered emotional statements to the defense, jury, and killer alike.

On October 13, the jury was unable to come to unanimous consent that the murderer deserved the death penalty for his crimes and, as result, is expected to be sentenced to life in prison Wednesday. Ahead of that sentence, those who survive the 14 students and three adults who were slain were provided the opportunity to speak their frustration and contempt as one grandmother said, “burn in hell.”

Frustrated that the evil committed Feb. 14, 2018 was deemed unworthy of a death sentence, Theresa Robinovitz, the grandmother to 14-year-old victim Alyssa Alhadeff, stated, “You should write a book on how you and your defense counsel beat the judicial system and got away with murder.”

“I’m too old to see you live out your life sentence, but I hope your ever-breathing moment here on Earth is miserable and you repent for your sins, Nikolas,” she concluded, “and burn in hell.”

Her husband David Robinovitz also spoke, refusing to say the name of the killer, “Parkland murderer, there’s going to come a day–it could be a week from now, it could be a month from now, it could be 40 years from now–you are going to die. When you die, it is my fondest hope that they take you and burn you and take your ashes and throw them in the garbage dump. You know why? Because garbage to garbage. And at that time Parkland murderer it is my hope that you go somewhere to meet your maker of whatever it is and Parkland murderer I hope your maker sends you directly to hell to burn for the rest of your eternity.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) who was elected the November after the tragic shooting had expressed his own distaste for the split jury and has since stated that, upon reelection, he would see that the next legislative session would address the current law that prevented the state from administering final justice.

Not all who spoke cared what happened to the murderer next as Deborah Hixon, widow to athletic director Chris Hixon, expressed, “After today, I don’t care what happens to you. You’ll be sent to jail, you will be getting your punishment. You’ll be a number and for me, you will cease to exist. You wanted to see the families suffer–well, no more. We will not just survive, we will thrive and we will honor Chris and the other 16 beautiful people that you took from us with positive action and wonderful memories.”

Her sister-in-law Natalie Hixon said much the same, “After tomorrow nobody cares about you or what is going to happen to you. You will die as nothing because you are nothing.”

Deborah also said of her late husband, “He was stolen from us by an unimaginable act that you planned and executed,” a sentiment similarly expressed by father to slain Alex Scachter, Max Scacther who said speaking to the jury and defense, “This murder was well planned out, researched, planned, premeditated. He wanted to do this. This was an act of pure evil. This wasn’t someone who fell through the cracks, and you know it.”

“He is a sociopath who does not deserve to live amongst us,” Scacther went on.

Cruz’s defense attorney Melissa McNeill objected to statements from the survivors specifically as they pertained to her doing her constitutional duty. “I did my job and every member of this team did their job, judge. And we should not personally be attacked for that, nor should our children. They know this isn’t proper. They know that attacking defense counsel, attacking the judicial system and attacking the jurors is not permissible. It sends a message to this community that if you sit as a juror and the verdict you’re not in agreement with, that you will be chastised and you will be degraded.”

Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer dismissed further discussion to that end and stated, “Ms. McNeill, stop suggesting that I know that something is impermissible, and I’m allowing it to happen. You’re finished, I’ve heard your objection, it’s noted.”


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