Confessed Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz is expected to plead guilty to all counts of murder and attempted murder from the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to exclusive reporting from WSVN. But, Cruz would still face death.
According to 7News, a court hearing is set for today when Cruz’s attorneys will officially announce their client’s plea.
Rather than going to trial, 23-year-old Nikolas Cruz will plead guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and all 17 counts of attempted murder in the Valentine’s Day shooting that killed 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others.
If Cruz does plead guilty, he’ll avoid a trial and move to the punishment phase, which could lead to the death penalty.
7News’ legal expert, former Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, said Cruz’s counsel believes the admission of guilt and avoidance of trial would benefit him when it comes to deciding whether he should live or die.
“The defense is hoping to get one juror,” said Finkelstein. “If one juror out of 12 says he should live, then that is what the verdict will be.”
7News is reporting that Cruz will plead guilty to battery on a Broward County jail guard back in November 2018. Surveillance video first obtained by 7News showed Cruz rushing and punching Sgt. Raymond Beltran in a brawl that lasted nearly a minute before coming to an end.
The battery trial was delayed last week until next week, but now there will be no trial.
Listen to a special edition of Full Rigor podcast…In court with Nik Cruz.
Karen Curtis talks to renowned talk show host, Joyce Kaufman, who was recently sitting across from the confessed Parkland school shooter in a Broward courtroom as a potential juror. She talks about her experience being so close to a mass murderer and reacts to the news he is expected to plead guilty.