PARKLAND, Florida — Nikolas Cruz is the victim of CIA mind control, autism or Grand Theft Auto, if you read some of the weirdest filings submitted in the case against him.
While Florida attorneys continue to move towards the trial phase in the capital homicide case against Cruz for allegedly killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the court has had to review correspondence from people trotting out crackpot theories.
There’s the one with “FLORIDA MASSACRE PARKLAND” written on the FedEx express package addressed to Judge Elizabeth Scherer, the Broward County circuit court judge presiding over the case. Asjad Khan wrote that Cruz potentially may be a victim of government technology used for psychological warfare because Cruz told investigators that “demon” sounding voices instructed him to carry out the attack.
Khan wrote that a “Voice of God” weapon designed to pull a “false flag” on your brain by projecting a voice into your head to make you think that God is talking may have been used on Cruz. Khan also wrote about how sound frequencies could be tailored at unsuspecting “TIs” or targeted individuals who may be controlled with embedded microchips.
In another brief, a woman who says she’s a mother with autism experience claimed Cruz is a “vulnerable and disabled little boy inside a teenager’s body” showing, “the classic signs of autism,” saying, “If the parents of the slain children are true, loving parents. They can forgive him. It’s what God would do, I beleive.”
Permanently disbarred Florida attorney John B. Thompson filed a brief in March, writing that there is a direct link between violent video games and mass shootings as demonstrated in other similar cases.
Thompson asked the judge presiding over the Parkland case to grant him access to experts so he may brief the court on “the science, the medicine, and the law that mandates a consideration of the possible effect of obsessive, addictive murder stimulation on Nikolas Cruz.”
“I want the court, in this criminal proceeding, to be aware of the causative factor and to take it into account in the guilt and penalty phase of the trial,” Thompson told The Daily Beast. “The motion is also a wake-up call to the defense to consider making the murder simulation a part of the defense...If the defense does not, then they are laying the groundwork for an ineffective assistance of counsel reversal of any verdict and sentence.”
“The reason that they're filing these briefs is that they have some other issue that they're trying to advance,” a Texas lawyer told The Daily Beast. “And so they're using an issue in your case to try and push something else and you want to cut that off.”
Thompson was labeled a “vexatious litigant” by the Florida Supreme Court in 2008 for “demonstrating a pattern to bring...as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes,” among other issues such as “sending courts inappropriate and offensive sexual materials,” and creditualous accusations made publicly.
The Florida Supreme Court quoted a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Thompson’s case that said, "Every paper filed with the Clerk of this Court, no matter how repetitious or frivolous, requires some portion of the institution's limited resources. A part of the Court's responsibility is to see that these resources are allocated in a way that promotes the interests of justice.”
The correspondence, called amicus briefs, are legal documents filed in court cases generally from individuals or institutions that have no direct business with the case, but have a strong interest or knowledge base with the subject matter, such as the ACLU.
In this case, the Broward County clerk’s office has to review and deliver the brief to the judge, who in turn, has to review and sign off on the brief, which then has to get filed, scanned, and added to the docket and copied to both the prosecution and defense.
A criminal defense lawyer, who wished not to be named, told The Daily Beast that frivolous briefs can become problematic when individuals are granted hearings to present evidence or testimony to a specific court. “If the judge grants these types of hearings, it can be a nightmare.”
A “ultra-cautious” judge might grant these types of hearings to prevent the decision from being overturned later in a appellate court, where ruling could determine that due diligence was not taken in a specific case, the lawyer said.
“Outside courtroom legal work isn’t that hard to manage with amicus, inside court work can be, where you have somebody that doesn’t know the rules of evidence, doesn’t know the rules of procedure, doesn’t even know which courtroom to be in,” the lawyer said.
“Everything just stops,” the lawyer said.
The other problem with these amicus briefs is they are all clearly false.
While Cruz was diagnosed with neurological disorder autism, Michael Alessandri, a clinical professor of psychology at the University of Miami, told the Miami Herald that Cruz’s diagnosis of autism should not be viewed as a cause for the attack.
“It is a social communication disorder, not a violent disorder,” Alessandri said.
As for violent video games, there’s no reason to suggest they are behind mass shootings.
A 2015 report from the American Psychological Association found no evidence to show that violent video games can increase aggression, there was insufficient evidence to show that the games led to criminal behavior.
“It's hard to attribute video games to any kind of violence in society," said Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University in Florida told NBC News after the Parkland shooting. "We're not able to find any evidence to support this idea."
As for mind-control and microchips, Khan cited the case of Rohinie Bisesar, who was charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 death of Rosemarie Junor, a 28-year-old newlywed stabbed in Toronto’s financial district. Bisesar testified that external forces were controlling her by electronic devices implanted within her body and that “if the device or devices were removed, she’d be fine.”
Khan made no mention of Dr. Ian Swayze, who testified that Bisesar is “psychotic, acutely psychotic,” and suffers from hallucinations, schizophrenia and “disordered thinking.” Bisesar would be found unfit to stand trial. This would later be overturned as Bisesar continued to petition the court that she was fit to stand trial. The court agreed on the condition that she continue her court-ordered therapy.
Khan cited a May 2004 MIT technology article and a May 2001 New York Times article about focused beams of sound called holosonics that he said can be used for warfare. Dr. Joseph Pompei, the man cited in both articles told The Daily Beast that Khan is wrong.
“They don’t understand how the technology works,” said. Pompei. “We get one to two emails a week from people who say there are voices in their head.”
Pompei developed Audio Spotlight, a device that projects a concentrated beam of sound like a theater spotlight projector. It’s used in libraries, hospitals and stadiums.
Long Range Acoustic Devices used by the U.S. military and law enforcement to broadcast messages or disperse crowds, which is different from Audio Spotlight and also cannot control minds, Pompei said. “It’s basically a loud speaker with a high-frequency.”
“Sound doesn’t equal mind control,” Pompei said.