The defense for Nikolas Cruz, the 21-year-old charged as the Parkland mass shooter, is scheduled for a court appearance via Zoom on Monday. Court begins at 11 a.m. ET.
Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida on February 14, 2018, prosecutors said. 17 people died: 14-year-old student Alyssa Alhadeff, 35-year-old teacher Scott Beigel, 14-year-old student Martin Duque Anguiano, 17-year-old student Nicholas Dworet, 37-year-old assistant football coach Aaron Feis, 14-year-old student Jaime Guttenberg, 49-year-old athletic director Christopher Hixon, 15-year-old student Luke Hoyer, 14-year-old student Cara Loughran, 14-year-old student Gina Montalto, 17-year-old student Joaquin Oliver, 14-year-old student Alaina Petty, 18-year-old student Meadow Pollack, 17-year-old student Helena Ramsay, 14-year-old student Alexander Schachter, 16-year-old student Carmen Schentrup, and 15-year-old student Peter Wang.
There’s no dispute from the defense that Cruz responsible. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, and the defense has been trying to save him from that.
“Allowing the State to proceed on its notice of intent to seek the death penalty, which does not actually notify the defense of which aggravators the state intends to prove and believes it can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, will result in the defense having no opportunity to meaningfully challenge said evidence through either effective cross-examination or presentation of contrary evidence,” said the defense in a filing obtained last year by Law&Crime.
Video shows Cruz confessing to Broward County Sheriff’s detective, but he also claimed that a voice (a “demon”) in his head told him to act violently.
“Personally, I think you’re using the demon as an excuse,” Detective John Curcio said.
In the confession video, Cruz said he previously planned on shooting up a park the week before the attack on the high school.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]
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