Parkland School Shooting Suspect Nikolas Cruz Waives Right to Speedy Trial

His lawyer says Nikolas Cruz would plead guilty if guaranteed a sentence of life without parole, but prosecutors seek the death penalty

What to Know

  • The hearing Friday afternoon is expected to deal with several procedural issues, possibly including the setting of an initial trial date.
  • Cruz's public defender also is likely to ask to waive Florida's speedy trial rule.
  • Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the Feb. 14 massacre

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz waived his right to a speedy trial during a court hearing Friday. 

The hearing Friday afternoon was expected to deal with several procedural issues, including possibly setting an initial trial date. 

Cruz's public defender asked to waive Florida's speedy trial rule, which generally requires that a felony defendant go to trial within 175 days of arrest, in favor of more time to compile discovery. Cruz, who kept his head down during the entire 6-minute hearing, is due back in court on May 25. 

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The 19-year-old Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

His lawyer says Cruz would plead guilty if guaranteed a sentence of life without parole, but prosecutors seek the death penalty.

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