Prosecutors To Seek Death Penalty For Accused Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz

Main photo: Nikolas Cruz [Broward County Sheriff's Office]

BROWARD COUNTY, FL — State’s attorney Michael J. Satz has announced that Florida will seek the death penalty against Nikolas Cruz, 19 — the suspect accused of killing 17 people last month in a mass high school shooting.

Related: “I’m Going To Be A School Shooter” — FBI Was Warned About Nikolas Cruz

On February 14, Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where he had been a student. Once inside, Cruz allegedly pulled a fire alarm and then shot at exiting students and staff members to horrific and fatal results.

Cruz has been indicted on 34 counts: 17 of premeditated murder in the first degree, and 17 of attempted murder in the first degree.

Satz said that Cruz qualified for capital punishment as the state could prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the suspect “knowingly created a great risk of death to many people” during a crime that was “especially heinous, atrocious, [and] cruel.”

Related: Kermit The Funeral Therapy Dog Comforts Survivors Of Florida School Shooting

Last Thursday, Cruz withdrew his initial plea of not guilty.

Howard Finkelstein, a public defender on Cruz’s legal team, has expressed a desire to cut a deal, saying that his client is “ready to immediately plead guilty.” Finkelstein added:

“We are not saying he is not guilty, but we can’t plead guilty while death is still on the table.”

While negotiations are now expected that may result in a plea bargain for life in prison, Cruz officially “stands mute” on the allegations.

Related: Teen Shooter Who Murdered Boy Kissed His Pet Bunny Good-bye After Killing His Dad

Cruz is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow for an arraignment hearing — the same day that many students nationwide are expected to walk out of class in a demonstration against gun violence.

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Read more:
New York Times
CNN
Sun Sentinal
WPLG

Main photo: Nikolas Cruz [Broward County Sheriff’s Office]

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