A heated exchange between a Broward County public defender for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz and the presiding trial judge, who accused the attorney of a lack of professionalism, left at least one legal ethics expert “stunned” by their response to the pressure of the high-profile case.

Melisa McNeill, the chief assistant public defender in the major crimes division, told prosecutors and Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that she intended to call 80 witnesses for Cruz, who faces the death penalty.