By Associated Press
October 20, 2021
Cruz pleaded blameworthy to 17 counts of execution and 17 counts of attempted first-degree execution successful the onslaught astatine Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
Nikolas Cruz pleaded blameworthy Wednesday to murdering 17 radical during a rampage astatine his erstwhile precocious schoolhouse successful Parkland, Florida, leaving a assemblage to determine whether helium volition beryllium executed for 1 of the nation's deadliest schoolhouse shootings.
The blameworthy pleas volition acceptable the signifier for a punishment proceedings successful which 12 jurors volition find whether Cruz, 23, should beryllium sentenced to decease oregon beingness successful situation without parole. Given the case’s notoriety, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer plans to surface thousands of prospective jurors. Jury enactment is scheduled to statesman connected Jan. 4.
Cruz entered his pleas aft answering a agelong database of questions from Scherer aimed astatine confirming his intelligence competency. He was charged with 17 counts of execution and 17 counts of attempted first-degree execution for those wounded successful the Feb. 14, 2018, onslaught astatine Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School successful Parkland, located conscionable extracurricular Fort Lauderdale.
As respective parents shook their heads, Cruz apologized, saying, "I'm precise atrocious for what I did. ... I can't unrecorded with myself sometimes." He besides added that helium wished it was up to the survivors to find whether helium lived oregon died.
Following the pleas Wednesday, erstwhile Broward State Attorney Mike Satz recounted the details of the murders. Cruz killed 14 students and 3 unit members connected Valentine's Day 2018 during a seven-minute rampage done a three-story gathering astatine Stoneman Douglas, investigators said. They said helium changeable victims successful the hallways and successful classrooms with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Cruz had been expelled from Stoneman Douglas a twelvemonth earlier aft a past of threatening, frightening, antithetic and sometimes convulsive behaviour that dated backmost to preschool.
The shootings caused immoderate Stoneman Douglas students to motorboat the March for Our Lives movement, which pushes for stronger weapon restrictions nationally.
Since days aft the shooting, Cruz's attorneys had offered to person him plead blameworthy successful speech for a beingness sentence, saying that would spare the assemblage the affectional turmoil of reliving the onslaught astatine trial. But Satz rejected the offer, saying Cruz deserved a decease sentence, and appointed himself pb prosecutor.
By having Cruz plead guilty, his attorneys volition beryllium capable to reason during the punishment proceeding that helium took work for his actions.