One of the lawyers at the center of the case against alleged Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz is a young cancer survivor from the UK.
Jodie Woodward was seen sitting with 19-year-old Cruz during a brief court appearance on Monday.
Cruz has been charged with murdering 17 students and teachers at Stoneman Douglas High School, just outside Miami, on Valentine’s Day.
Jodie Woodward was seen sitting with 19-year-old Cruz during a brief court appearance on Monday
Woodward, who is working a death penalty internship at Broward County Public Defender’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, is providing Cruz with legal support
She founded a charity, Uplift, for young breast cancer sufferers following her diagnosis
After the short hearing on Monday, Cruz shuffled out in his red prison jumpsuit. He was handcuffed and shackled. Behind him in the left image is Woodward
Cruz did not look up at all and spoke only to his attorney, public defender Melissa McNeill (left), and another representative from the public defender’s office
Woodward, who is working a death penalty internship at Broward County Public Defender’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, is providing Cruz with legal support.
She is a criminal barrister at 15 New Bridge Street in London, where she regularly represents clients in court.
Woodward, who wrote about surviving breast cancer in 2016 after being diagnosed aged 31, has also worked as a defense lawyer for the News International executive Rebekah Brooks during the phone hacking trial in the UK.
She only began her internship in the US last month.
Her chambers profile explains she has a strong commitment to ‘representing defendants vulnerable through age, mental health and other incapacity’.
She founded a charity, Uplift, for young breast cancer sufferers following her diagnosis.
It exists to support young women who have ‘specific emotional and practical needs that existing support networks, challenged to serve a wide range of patients, find difficult to meet in full’.
‘What I wanted, and felt I needed, was a forum where it was a positive environment, where I could speak to other people in the same situation,’ she wrote.
‘The only things I found, although supportive, seemed to concentrate on the prognosis; I couldn’t bring myself to be involved in these forums as I have always strongly believed in positivity.’
During the Monday hearing in Florida, Cruz was joined by his sympathetic public defender Melissa McNeill.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer granted their defense’s request and said the document was ‘solely’ to do with them having access to Cruz
She last week put her arm around his shoulder as he faced a judge and described him as a ‘broken person’.
The hearing was at the request of his defense and was to do with documents which the defense want to keep sealed.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer granted their request and said the document was ‘solely’ to do with them having access to Cruz. She did not say what the files contained.
As Cruz appeared in court in Fort Lauderdale, funerals for his victims continued near the school.
PICTURED: Fourteen students, geography teacher, coach and athletic director shot dead in Florida high school massacre
Jaime Guttenberg, 14, (left) was described by relatives as a ‘kind-hearted, sweet’ girl. She attended the school with her younger brother who survived and rushed home afterwards. Senior Nicholas Dworet (right) was a gifted swimmer who had his sights set on 2020 Tokyo Olympics success. His devastated college student girlfriend is among those grieving his death. Friends said he was not just a talented athlete, but a ‘good guy’ who will be missed
Martin Duque, 14, (left) was missing for hours on Wednesday and his frantic family desperately appealed for him to get in touch on social media. On Thursday, his older brother Miguel confirmed his death. Martin was a freshman. Meadow Pollack, 18, (right) was preparing for college. Her father was at the school on Wednesday and showed her photograph around in the hope that she would be found alive
Cara Loughran (left) was missing on Wednesday afternoon. Her mother Denise and her father rushed to the designated hotel where parents were told to go to be reunited with their children in the hope that she would be found alive. Her grieving neighbor confirmed her death on Thursday. Alyssa Alhadeff, 15, (right) was eulogized by her mother who said she was a talented soccer player and creative mind. ‘All she had to offer the world was love… I just sent her to school and she was shot and killed,’ she said
Luke Hoyer, 15, (left) was described as a ‘precious’ child by his grandparents who confirmed his death. They found out about the shooting on television. They said he was a ‘good kid’ who ‘never got in trouble’. Joaquin Oliver, 17, (right) was also killed. Joaquin was a Venezuelan immigrant who came to the US with his family for a ‘better future’, they said on Thursday
Gina Montalto, 15, (left) was described as a ‘light and joy’. She and Jaime, another victim, volunteered at a local project called The Friendship Initiative where they acted as buddies for children with special needs. Gina’s mother Jennifer shared pleas to find her on social media on Wednesday. Alaina Petty, 14, (right) was also killed. Her Mormon church confirmed her death, saying she was a ‘valiant’ member
Carmen Schentrup, 16, (left) was also killed in the shooting. Carmen was a gifted student who last year was named as a semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. It includes students who score above average in their SATs or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. ROTC student Peter Wang, 15, (right) also died. His parents speak little English and relied on their neighbor to post social media appeals looking for him. They went to the Marriott hotel with other parents to wait for news of him on Wednesday night and have since confirmed that he was among those killed
Alex Schachter, 14, (left) was also killed. His mother died when he was a child and he attended the school in Florida with his brother, who survived. The teenager’s father Max said he was a ‘sweetheart of a child’ who ‘just wanted to do well and please his parents’. Helena Ramsey, 17, (right) was described by relatives as a ‘reserved’ and studious girl who was due to go to college next year
Geography Scott Beigel, 35, (left) was shot dead as he tried to lock the door of his classroom again after letting a group of fleeing students in to hide. They were running away from the gunman. Aaron Feis, 37, (right) died acting as a human shield. The track coach had thrown himself on top of the kids to stop the bullets from hitting him. He was a former student and was also a security guard at the school where he had worked for eight years
Athletic director Chris Hixon, 49, was also killed shielding students