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Woman who cited ‘sugar daddy’ to get out of Nikolas Cruz sentencing jury receives $8,000 a month

The judge initially appeared confused by the woman’s claim

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 12 April 2022 17:19 BST
Jury Selection In Parkland Shooter's Sentencing Trial To Begin Monday

A possible juror in the Nikolas Cruz sentencing trial left Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer baffled after appealing to the needs of her "sugar daddy" to justify skipping out on the trial.

On Monday, a juror who has come to be known as "Ms Bristol”, told the court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that she had too many commitments to serve on the Cruz sentencing trial.

The woman told WPLG that she receives $8,000 per month from her “sugar daddy” and that she relies on the money.

“It’s all day for six-months and what’s my hardship? I need my sugar daddy money. I said to the judge, ‘I have a sugar daddy and I’m married and I have a husband,’ just like that,” the juror told the local news station.

Cruz murdered 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on 2018. He pleaded guilty in November, and the case moved onto the sentencing phase. Enter Ms Bristol.

"First of all let me clarify myself, July second is my birthday, July fourth is my son, and the 18th is my other son," she said after Ms Scherer asked if anyone had concerns about their responsibilities as jurors. "And again, I need to figure out something. I have my sugar daddy that I see every day."

"I'm sorry?" the judge asked.

Ms Bristol repeated "my sugar daddy”, which left the judge looking visibly confused. She told Ms Bristol she was "not exactly sure what" she meant.

"Well I am married and I have my sugar daddy. I see him every day," Ms Bristol said.

Ms Scherer, still baffled, told the woman that they would come back to her. She was ultimately excused from the trial.

Video footage of the exchange was shared on social media and gathered a mountain of amused responses.

"Florida court clerks are going to have to add the sugar daddy exception to jury service," former state prosecutor Mark Hartig wrote.

Another called it the "best excuse I've ever heard”.

While the encounter between the judge and potential juror was amusing, the circumstances that brought them together are not.

The jurors that were selected will decide Cruz's fate. He faces a potential death sentence. In Florida, a jury must be unanimous in its recommendation for death. Otherwise, Cruz will face life in prison without parole.

Cruz's defence attorneys will argue that his mother's alleged drug and alcohol abuse during his pregnancy caused him brain damage, that he has been sexually abused and bullied, and that he has a history of mental health disorders.

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