Thursday 17 January 2019

Prosecutors seek death penalty for Cruz

Nikolas Cruz at a court hearing (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/AP)
Nikolas Cruz at a court hearing (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/AP)

Jonathan Allen in New York

Florida prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, the former student accused of murdering 17 people in a shooting spree last month at a Parkland high school, according to a notice filed in court yesterday.

Michael Satz, the state attorney for Broward County, filed the notice with Judge Elizabeth Scherer of his office's intent to seek the death sentence, ahead of a court hearing today.

The notice cited multiple reasons under Florida law for the death penalty.

Those included the charges that Cruz "knowingly created a great risk of death" to many people, the shooting was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel," and it was committed in a "cold, calculated and premeditated manner".

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for the attack on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 14 students and three staff died.

After the filing, Cruz's attorneys repeated their offer for Cruz to plead guilty if prosecutors agreed to not pursue the death penalty. Cruz is due to appear in court in Fort Lauderdale today, where he will be asked to plead to the charges.

Irish Independent

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