Nikolas Cruz: Prosecutor delivers closing arguments in Parkland shooting case
The jury reached a verdict in the sentencing phase of the trial of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz. They debated only one day about whether he should be sentenced to death or sentenced to life.
Cruz killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018. Another 17 people were injured during the massacre — one of the worst school shootings in US history.
The verdict will be read at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale at 10:30 a.m. ET today. Jurors have heard months of evidence about the events of that tragic day, as well as an in-depth examination of his childhood and mental health issues.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer presided over the trial, which included highly emotional testimony from the injured, other survivors and the victims’ families. There were also graphic accounts of the attack.
Cruz pleaded guilty to all charges last year – 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder. His defense team argues that his life should be spared because of mental and developmental conditions that led him to carry out the massacre.
Cruz walks into court
Nikolas Cruz, initially wearing a Covid-19 face mask, is led into the courtroom by law enforcement.
He has a conversation with his defense attorney, Chief Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeil, before the proceedings begin.
Oliver O’Connell13 October 2022 15:31
Nikolas Cruz killed 14 high school students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day 2018.
Victims of the 2018 high school massacre in Parkland, Florida
Nikolas Cruz has pleaded guilty to the 2018 shooting massacre that left 17 dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida
Oliver O’Connell13 October 2022 15:27
Family members of the shooting victims have packed the public gallery ahead of the verdict.
Attorneys for both sides are present, but Cruz has yet to be brought into the courtroom.
Oliver O’Connell13 October 2022 15:21
What was said during the closing argument?
The fate of mass murderer Nikolas Cruz will soon be in the hands of a 12-person jury as his sentencing trial finally draws to a close, more than four years after the Parkland massacre.
Closing arguments began in court in Broward County, Florida on Tuesday morning, with District Attorney Mike Sachs making one last impassioned plea for Cruz, 24, to be sentenced to death for his crimes.
The state has described how he planned his attack – researching other shooters online, making extensive preparations for his attack and recording a video where he described his plans.
The defense is asking that Cruz’s life be spared, saying mental and developmental conditions led him to carry out the massacre.
After nearly three months of testimony, jurors are expected to begin deliberations Wednesday where they will decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Rachel Sharp watched the proceedings for The independent.
Nikolas Cruz’s defense pleads for ‘mercy’ after prosecutor appeals for death penalty
Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Wednesday to decide whether to sentence Nikolas Cruz to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Oliver O’Connell13 October 2022 15:14
What happened that day in Parkland, Florida?
Timeline of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
Former student finally faces trial for shooting that killed 17 people and injured 17 others in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018
Oliver O’Connell13 October 2022 15:10
The verdict comes just a week before the one-year anniversary of Cruz’s guilty plea to all charges and more than four and a half years after the brutal murder of the 17 victims.
Oliver O’Connell13 October 2022 15:02
The seven men and five women on the jury deliberated a total of about six hours after taking the case on Wednesday.
Testimony in the trial began on July 18.
Oliver O’ConnellOctober 13, 2022 14:57
The jury has reached a verdict
The jury in the trial of Parkland high school shooter Nikolas Cruz has reached a verdict in the sentencing phase of his trial to determine whether he will receive the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
He had already pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
The verdict will be read at 10.30.
Oliver O’ConnellOctober 13, 2022 14:56