Prosecutors in Broward County, Florida, said Tuesday they would seek a death sentence for Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged with the shooting rampage at a Parkland high school last month.
The announcement came nearly a week after Cruz was indicted by a grand jury on 34 counts of premeditated murder and attempted murder for the Feb. 14 massacre, which killed 17 people and injured the same number.
In a notice filed Tuesday in circuit court, Michael Satz, the Broward state attorney, said the state intended to seek the death penalty for Cruz and would prove that the crime “was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”
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.”
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, centre on monitor, a former student accused of opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, appears in magistrate court via video on Friday, March 9, 2018, from jail for his initial appearance on attempted murder charges that were added by the grand jury, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Howard Finkelstein, the Broward public defender, has said it would be wrong for Cruz to be executed when authorities missed so many red flags and warning signs preceding the shooting. Finkelstein said Tuesday that the prosecutor’s announcement was not unexpected, but again repeated that his team was ready to have Cruz plead guilty on all counts in exchange for 34 consecutive life sentences without parole.
Cruz’s attorneys had last week filed court documents withdrawing a not …read more
Source:: Usa latest news