Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Prosecutors seek death penalty for Nikolas Cruz

Prosecutors seek death penalty for Nikolas Cruz

Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In court filings Tuesday, prosecutors also said Cruz put people at risk of death and hindered "any government function or enforcement of laws".

Cruz will be formally arraigned on Wednesday.

Cruz has another formal arraignment scheduled for Wednesday, during which he is expected to be arraigned on an additional 17 counts of first-degree murder.

This decision means that South Florida will likely see a lengthy prosecution with emotional testimony about what unfolded inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The Broward State proscutor files notice of intent to seek the death penalty for alleged Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz.

The decision came almost a week after a grand jury indicted Cruz on 17 counts of first-degree premeditated murder and 17 counts of first-degree attempted murder for the February 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

A trial date has yet to be set and would depend on Cruz being declared competent to stand trial. Finkelstein said Tuesday that the prosecutor's announcement was not unexpected, but again repeated that his team was ready to have Cruz plead guilty on all counts in exchange for 34 consecutive life sentences without parole.

Cruz now "stands mute" before the charges, having withdrawn a written "not guilty" plea after being indicted by the grand jury.

Standing mute has the same legal effect as pleading not guilty, but in Cruz's case could be part of a legal strategy as his attorneys prepare for the death-penalty trial.

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