A Broward Circuit choose desires the trial for the suspect accused of committing a mass capturing at a highschool in Parkland, Florida to start in 2020.
Choose Elizabeth Scherer stated at a listening to on Thursday that she intends to set a definitive trial date quickly for Nikolas Cruz. The 20-year-old allegedly opened fireplace at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive on Feb. 14, 2018, killing 17 individuals and wounding 17 others — a criminal offense to which investigators say he confessed.
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“I am asking either side to take that into consideration. Tempo yourselves,” the choose stated. “I simply ask you to maintain that in thoughts as a aim transferring ahead.”
Assistant State Lawyer Jeff Marcus stated prosecutors and protection attorneys are working as quickly as attainable to establish and interview witnesses, type by means of proof and start planning what would possible be the most important trial in latest Broward County historical past — if not ever.
“It does give us a spot to work towards,” the assistant state lawyer stated of the 2020 aim.
Attorneys for Cruz have stated the previous Stoneman Douglas pupil will plead responsible in return for a life jail sentence, however prosecutors have refused that supply.
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Investigators allege Cruz, who’s additionally accused of assaulting a jail corrections officer whereas in custody, confessed to the capturing the day he was arrested. Prosecutors launched cellphone video of Cruz describing beforehand precisely what he deliberate to do on the college.
Contemplating he allegedly confessed, Cruz’s trial would most certainly focus extra on his psychological and emotional issues, in addition to his fascination with violence, weapons and dying. These points additionally would play a central function in whether or not a jury chooses to impose the dying penalty.
The Related Press contributed to this report.