NEW: Parkland Shooter's Birth Mom Had Violent, Criminal Past

posted by Nathalie Rodriguez - 

An investigation by the Miami Herald reveals that the birth mother of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz had an extensive criminal background and a history of drug abuse. While Cruz grew up in an ideal suburban setting, his birth mother, Brenda Woodard, is described as sometimes-homeless and a panhandler who was arrested 28 times.

Woodard was arrested for buying crack cocaine while pregnant with the boy who would go on to murder 17 people at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

Cruz never knew his birth mother, but her history may be a factor as lawyers for the teenager try to keep him off death row.

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