Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to 2018 Parkland school massacre

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to 2018 Parkland school massacre 5

Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering 17 people during a rampage at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving a jury to decide whether he will be executed for one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.

Relatives of the victims who sat in the courtroom and watched the hearing via Zoom broke down in tears and held hands across families as Cruz entered his pleas and later apologized for his crimes.

“Today we saw a cold and calculating killer confess to the murder of my daughter Gina and 16 other innocent victims at their school,” said Tony Montalto. His daughter was 14 and sitting outside her classroom when Cruz shot her at close range numerous times. “His guilty pleas are the first step in the judicial process but there is no change for my family. Our bright, beautiful, and beloved daughter Gina is gone while her killer still enjoys the blessing of life in prison.”

The guilty pleas will set the stage for a penalty trial in which 12 jurors will determine whether Cruz, 23, should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. Given the case’s notoriety, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer plans to screen thousands of prospective jurors. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Jan. 4.

Cruz entered his pleas after answering a long list of questions from Scherer aimed at confirming his mental competency. He was charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for those wounded in the Feb. 14, 2018, attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, located just outside Fort Lauderdale.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Total
0
Shares
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related Posts
Total
0
Share
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x