The attorneys for mass shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz, 21, are set to appear in court Thursday in Broward County, Florida. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET.
They’ve previously complained that they don’t have enough time to prepare for the trial date of January 27, 2020, and that law enforcement hasn’t been giving them evidence. The attorneys haven’t disputed that Cruz was the gunman who opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018. Nonetheless, they are trying to save him from the death penalty.
The prosecution denied the defense’s complaints, but nonetheless agreed to the request for more time. In a filing Wednesday, they said “in an abundance of caution” that they have no objection to pushing back the trial date to May 2020.
The state denied the defense’s assertion that the prosecution has not been forthcoming during the discovery process. They suggested that the defense have already done plenty of preparation, and that if there’s any one to blame for interference in prep time, it might be Cruz.
“The defendant’s own actions while incarcerated have arguably affected preparation time,” they wrote in a filing obtained by Law&Crime. “Specifically, his jail calls, his letters, and his violent behavior have been the subject of additional investigations, as well as a new substantive felony case. The defendant’s actions cannot be attributed to the State.”
Cruz was charged last year with allegedly attacking jail guard.
17 people died in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: 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.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]