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Fla. School Shooting Suspect Arraigned on Attempted Murder Charges

On the one month anniversary of the deadliest school shooting in Florida history, the 19-year-old charged with killing 17 students and staff inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School appeared in a Broward County courtroom.Nikolas Cruz, who police say went into the Parkland school he once attended and opened fire on February 14th, was formally arraigned on charges of first degree murder and attempted murder for the 17 people who were killed and the 17 injured in the shooting. Students Walk Out of US Schools, Call for Stricter Gun Laws Cruz, surrounded by deputies and wearing an orange prison outfit, sat quietly with his head bowed throughout the hearing in the packed courtroom.His brother, Zachary Cruz, was among those in the courtroom, which included some family members of the victims. 14K Shoes Placed Near US Capitol for Child Gun Victims Cruz was indicted last week on all charges by a grand jury and had previously waived his right to appear at court hearings, but he appeared Wednesday in front of Judge Elizabeth Scherer.Cruz is “standing mute” in the case after withdrawing his not guilty plea last week. Scherer entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf on all 34 counts. Kerr Urges Youth to Keep Working for Change on Gun Violence The latest court hearing comes one day after prosecutors in the case announced they will seek the death penalty against Cruz in the case. Cruz’s attorneys have said he would plead guilty if the death penalty was not pursued in the Valentine’s Day shooting.The office of Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz filed the formal notice of its intentions Tuesday. The action by prosecutors Tuesday does not necessarily mean a plea deal will not be reached.The only other penalty option for Cruz is life in prison with no possibility of parole.Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office is representing Cruz, has said there were so many warning signs that Cruz was mentally unstable and potentially violent, and that the death penalty might be going too far.
Source: NBC San Diego

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