Nikolas Cruz plans to plead guilty to 17 counts of murder for 2018 Parkland school shooting

Nikolas Cruz plans to plead responsible to 17 homicide counts within the 2018 bloodbath at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College in Parkland, Florida, his attorneys mentioned.

Attorneys for Cruz advised Circuit Choose Elizabeth Scherer Friday that he’ll plead responsible Wednesday to 17 counts of first-degree homicide. The pleas will include no circumstances and prosecutors nonetheless plan to hunt the demise penalty. That will probably be determined by a jury.

Prosecutors gave the impression to be blindsided by the declaration of Cruz’s intentions.

They mentioned Thursday evening that they did not know why the listening to had been scheduled, and that there had been no plea negotiations.

“If he pleads responsible, there would nonetheless be a penalty part,” the Broward State Lawyer’s Workplace mentioned in an announcement. Prosecutors have at all times insisted that Cruz deserves the demise penalty for the slayings.

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of homicide and 17 counts of tried homicide.

Scherer referred to as for him to be introduced there after his attorneys additionally expressed his want to plead responsible to fees that Cruz attacked a Broward County jail guard 9 months after the varsity taking pictures. Jury choice in that trial started earlier this month.

The separate homicide trial has been delayed by the pandemic and arguments over witnesses and proof.

Cruz arrived at Marjory Stoneman in an Uber, simply earlier than lessons had been over on Feb. 14.

Armed with an AR-15, he gunned down 14 college students and three employees members, and wounded 17 others. Then 19, Cruz had been expelled from the varsity the earlier 12 months.

Cruz confessed to the assault, telling investigators he had introduced the weapon and several other loaded magazines stuffed right into a backpack and deliberate to go away them behind in an effort to mix in with fleeing college students, in keeping with a police affidavit.

He was arrested about an hour after the taking pictures.

Cruz had legally purchased the .223-caliber rifle in early 2017 at Dawn Tactical Provide, a federally licensed gun retailer in Coral Springs, authorities mentioned.

Cruz’s attorneys have repeatedly supplied to have him plead responsible in return for a assured sentence of life in jail, however prosecutors have refused to drop their pursuit of the demise penalty. By pleading responsible, Cruz avoids going to trial, however a jury will nonetheless resolve his destiny within the penalty part.

A lot of the penalty part would seemingly deal with Cruz’s psychological situation on the time of the slayings, with prosecutors emphasizing their horrific nature and Cruz’s intensive planning beforehand.

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