Prosecutors seeking death penalty against Nikolas Cruz, confessed Parkland gunman

Prosecutors seeking death penalty against Nikolas Cruz, confessed Parkland gunman

Attorneys for Cruz do not contest his guilt, and they have offered to have him plead guilty if prosecutors did not seek the death penalty and instead agreed to a life sentence in prison.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, will reappear in court Wednesday local time facing 34-charges, including 17 counts of first-degree murder over the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.

Satz said he filed a "notice of intent to seek death" in the 17 first-degree murder counts stemming from the February 14 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three adults dead.

Cruz has another formal arraignment scheduled for Wednesday, during which he is expected to be arraigned on an additional 17 counts of first-degree murder.

Cruz, 19, was previously indicted on 17 counts of first-degree premeditated murder by a Broward County grand jury.

A trial date has yet to be set and would depend on Cruz being declared competent to stand trial.

Gordon Weekes, the Chief Assistant Public Defender, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Cruz and his defense attorneys are still prepared to make a plea deal. According to Business Insider, "Standing mute has the same legal effect as pleading not guilty, but in Cruz's case could be part of a legal strategy as his attorneys prepare for a potential death-penalty trial".

Satz's filing included multiple aggravating factors he said warranted a death sentence, including that Cruz knowingly created a risk of death to many people and that the killings were "a homicide ... committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner".

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