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Judge places Parkland shooter’s hearing on hold as jury selection hits snag

Nikolas Cruz
FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2018 file photo, Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz listens during a status check on his case at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said at a hearing Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, that she won’t delay Cruz’s trial, expected to start Jan. 27 with jury selection. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

FORT LAUDERDALE- Jury selection in the sentencing trial of confessed Parkland killer Nikolas Cruz was paused by Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Monday morning.

The lead attorney for the team defending Cruz is sick and undergoing medical testing, prompting Judge Scherer to put the proceedings on hold.

Last Monday, Scherer reversed a decision she’d made to redo jury selection after defense attorneys raised concerns that she had improperly dismissed 11 potential jurors before they could be vetted.

Rather than start jury selection over, Scherer ordered the previously dismissed jurors to return to court for questioning.

Of the 11 who were called to return to the courtroom on Monday, only 10 showed up except for one potential juror who is planning on moving out of the area.

That person will be questioned at a later date, and 9 others were dismissed after questioning.

The next court date for Cruz is now May 9 with testimony scheduled to begin on June 21st.

At stake is the possibility of Nikolas Cruz facing the death penalty for killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School in 2018.