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Prosecutors seek death penalty in school shooting case as defense seeks life sentence

Posted: 12:54 PM, Apr 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-27 14:54:23-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – A judge is seeking to get things moving in the death penalty case against Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer at a hearing Friday set a May 4 deadline for defense lawyers to file a demand for evidence from prosecutors.

Scherer also granted a request by Cruz’s public defender to waive Florida’s speedy trial rule. The rule generally requires that a felony defendant go to trial within 175 days of arrest unless it’s waived.

The 19-year-old Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

His lawyer says Cruz would plead guilty if guaranteed a life without parole sentence, but prosecutors seek the death penalty.

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