School shooting suspect remains silent in court

A high school student in California said he heard his teacher deny another student of what he wanted - to opt out of the school's observance of the nationwide gun violence protest.

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. Most of the walkouts were scheduled to last for 17 minutes in a symbolic tribute to the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas.

Cruz is expected to appear in court on Wednesday for formal arraignment on the 34-count indictment. In the audience were several parents of shooting victims as well as Cruz's younger brother, Zachary.

Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office is representing Cruz, said the move didn't come as a surprise, and he reiterated his client's willingness to plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table and agree to a life sentence in prison instead.

Mr Cruz has confessed to authorities that he was the gunman who opened, according to a probable cause affidavit that was released soon after his arrest.

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Prosecutors argued in court filings that the release "would be detrimental to the fair presentation of evidence to the grand jury, and jury hearing this matter at trial, and potentially the due process rights of Nikolas Cruz".

Satz, the Broward county prosecutor, is said to be convinced that the prosecution can show that Cruz's murders meet the standard for the death penalty. "Son of a bitch", one said as Cruz was led from the courtroom. Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer then entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. He asked commissioners at a public hearing Tuesday to act because the National Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit against the new law.

Cruz's attorneys have said he would plead guilty if the death penalty was not pursued in the Valentine's Day massacre. Finkelstein has said it would be wrong to execute Cruz when officials missed so many red flags leading up to the shooting, which "should never have happened".

"This was a highly calculated and premeditated murder of 17 people and the attempted murder of everyone in that school", Satz said.

"The video speaks for itself", the Sheriff's office said in statement that also included the surveillance video. Peterson, through an attorney, pushed back at Israel's depictions of his actions, though he has not commented publicly since.

  • Megan Austin