The previous pupil accused of the February 14, 2018 taking pictures rampage at a college in Parkland, Florida, will plead in charge to murdering 17 folks, his legal professional informed a courtroom Friday.
Nikolas Cruz, who was once 19 on the time, took a legally bought AR-15 attack rifle into Marjory Stoneman Douglas Prime Faculty, his former college, killing 17 scholars and personnel individuals.
The Valentine’s Day assault was once the worst college bloodbath in the US because the horror at Sandy Hook Basic Faculty in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, which left 26 useless.
Now 23, Cruz was once charged with 17 counts of premeditated homicide and 17 counts of tried homicide for the ones he wounded within the assault.
“It’s our intent to go into a transformation of plea as to each circumstances, to all fees,” Cruz’s legal professional David Wheeler informed a pass judgement on, indicating that Cruz would drop his preliminary blameless plea each for the murders and for bodily attacking a prison officer after his arrest.
The taking pictures shocked the rustic and sparked new efforts, led through scholars from the college itself, for harder gun controls — even supposing the polarized US Congress has but to enact significant gun reform.
– Fixated through firearms –
Cruz purchased the weapon legally, regardless of having been in native information as having a historical past of psychological well being issues.
Expelled from college for disciplinary causes, Cruz was once recognized to be fixated through firearms — and had reportedly been known as a possible danger to his classmates.
The FBI showed it was once alerted a number of months previous to a message posted on YouTube, wherein a person named Nikolas Cruz vowed: “I’m going to be a qualified college shooter.”
At the day of the assault he arrived on the college in an Uber, briefly entered and started taking pictures, and left the scene 9 mins later, leaving at the back of a scene of carnage.
Pictures recovered from his telephone confirmed he had filmed his plans to assault his former college, pronouncing his objective was once to kill “no less than 20 folks.”
He informed a detective after his arrest he heard demons ordering him to “purchase guns, kill animals and break the whole thing.”
– Dying penalty factor –
When he was once arraigned on March 13, 2018, a “no longer in charge” plea was once entered for Cruz as prosecutors mentioned they might search the dying penalty.
On the time his attorneys let or not it’s recognized that he would supply a in charge plea if the dying penalty was once taken off the desk.
It was once no longer transparent Friday if this type of deal were reached.
In response to the scoop, Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was once killed within the assault, referred to as on folks to “bear in mind the sufferers.”
“Consider Jaime,” he wrote on Twitter.
– Mentally competent –
Cruz gave the impression in a 2d courtroom consultation Friday to go into his plea at the prison officer attack fees after state legal professionals confident the Broward County circuit pass judgement on Elizabeth Scherer that he were decided mentally competent.
Cruz gave the impression slight with quick hair and dressed in a Covid masks, and wore a blue pullover overlaying a white button-down blouse, tucked into khaki slacks.
“I’m alright,” he mentioned when Scherer requested how he was once feeling.
“I don’t consider I’ve any problems,” he mentioned to a query about his psychological well being.
Requested if he understood the 4 fees associated with the attack, he responded sure, and showed he was once pleading in charge to every.
Scherer mentioned the attack fees may just carry no less than 14 months and most of 26 years in jail if served consecutively, regardless that noting he would get credit score for the greater than 3 years already spent in detention.
The courtroom set a proper plea listening to at the homicide fees for October 20.
After that the courtroom would start opting for jurors to discuss the penalty, which might center of attention at the selection between execution or existence in jail.