Judge: Florida school shooting prosecutor won’t be removed

Florida

FILE- In this April 27, 2018 file photo, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz pauses during a delay in a hearing for Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Satz announced Tuesday, June 4, 2019, that he will not seek re-election in 2020 after more than four decades in office. (Taimy Alvarez/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A judge has rejected a request by defense attorneys in the Florida high school massacre case to remove the state’s prosecutors because they won’t reconsider seeking the death penalty.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruled Thursday that she was denying the defense motion to disqualify Broward State Attorney Michael Satz from prosecuting the case. Scherer wrote that a defendant must show substantial misconduct or actual prejudice to remove a prosecutor, which defense attorneys didn’t.

The motion filed earlier this month by attorneys for 21-year-old Nikolas Cruz says Satz informed them he will consider no evidence that would argue against capital punishment.

Cruz is charged with killing 17 people in February 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. His lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence.

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