Nikolas Cruz, 20, who gunned down 17 people in the Parkland massacre, is due for court appearance on Tuesday
- Nikolas Cruz, 20, is set for a court hearing in Florida on Tuesday
- Hearing is due to be mainly procedural in nature
- The case is expected to go to trial later this year at the earliest
- Cruz fatally shot 17 people during massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018
A status hearing is set for Nikolas Cruz in the Florida school massacre that killed 17 people last year.
The hearing Tuesday is likely to be mainly procedural in nature, with many months to go before the case gets close to trial.
A tentative trial date has not yet been set.
The presiding judge has been closely monitoring the state’s release of evidence to the defense and the pace of Cruz attorney interviews of dozens of potential trial witnesses.
A status hearing is set for Nikolas Cruz in the Florida school massacre that killed 17 people last year. Students and faculty are seen above being led out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the shooting on February 14, 2018
The 20-year-old Cruz faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
His attorneys have said he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Last month, a report on the massacre called on police to investigate seven deputies it claimed did not respond fast enough.
Cruz is seen above after his arrest on February 14, 2018
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission found that the Broward Sheriff’s Office displayed deficiencies in everything from training and command to individual performance in its response to the Parkland shooting.
It has recommended that the sheriff’s office investigate the performance of seven deputies who failed to engage the gunman despite hearing gunshots at the school.
‘Several uniformed BSO deputies were either seen on camera or described taking the time to retrieve and put on their ballistic vests, sometimes in excess of one minute and in response to hearing gunshots,’ reads the report, which was obtained by the Sun-Sentinel.
‘Deputy sheriffs who took the time to retrieve vests from containers in their cruisers, removed certain equipment they were wearing so that they could put on their vests, and then replaced the equipment they had removed all while shots were being fired, or had been recently fired is unacceptable and contrary to accepted protocol.’
‘Deputies should have immediately moved towards the gunshots to confront the shooter.’
The draft report, which was released Wednesday, noted that there was also ‘abundant confusion’ over the location of the sheriff’s command post.
‘This stemmed from an absence of command and control and an ineffective radio system,’ the report reads.