As trial nears, hearing set in Florida school shooting case

Florida
NIKOLAS CRUZ

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – APRIL 27: Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz quickly glances up at the prosecutors during a hearing on April 27, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cruz, 19, is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the February 14, 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas […]

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — As his death penalty trial draws closer, a hearing is set for Florida school shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz in the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people.

The hearing Oct. 23 concerned the setting of timelines leading up to the planned January trial of the 21-year-old Cruz. It was supposed to involve a discussion of the possible use of the insanity defense, however, nothing was said on that topic during the hearing.

Although Cruz has pleaded not guilty, his lawyers say he would admit to the crimes in exchange for a life prison sentence. Prosecutors say they are pursuing the death penalty.

Cruz is accused of the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He faces 17 first-degree murder charges and 17 attempted murder charges.

Jury selection in his trial is set to begin Jan. 27.

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