Deliberations continued Wednesday in the trial of former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, but the jury gave no indication of whether it was anywhere near a unanimous verdict.
The six members of the jury have been behind closed doors for nearly 15 hours over the last three days, wrestling with a complex set of questions raised by the case. Was Peterson’s failure to enter the 1200 building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the mass shooting in 2018 an act of criminal negligence or a tragically inaccurate assessment of the situation? Was he a “caregiver” under the law, which would make his alleged child neglect a felony? How could he have known for certain the shots were coming from inside the building, and how could he not?
The mass shooter, Nikolas Cruz, is serving a life sentence for each of the 17 victims he killed on the Parkland campus and another life sentence for each of the 17 victims he wounded. Peterson, a 32-year law enforcement veteran, is the only other person charged criminally in connection with the tragedy. Deliberations are set to resume Thursday morning at 9 a.m.
Rafael Olmeda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4457.