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Nikolas Cruz, 20, sports new haircut with glasses as he appears in court

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz appeared in court for a status hearing on Tuesday, sporting a new haircut and glasses. 

Cruz, 20, sat silently at the defense table during the Tuesday hearing, his once unruly hair now closely cropped. 

He had also donned oversized glasses. 

At the hearing, Assistant State Attorney Jeff Marcus said the case is fairly uncomplicated despite its notoriety and magnitude. He asked Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to schedule the death penalty trial for Cruz in September.

‘We are coming up on the anniversary of this incident. Justice requires that this case be resolved as quickly as it can,’ Marcus said. ‘It’s a pretty straightforward case that does not require years and years to prepare for.’

He also was wearing oversized glasses

Cruz, 20, sat silently at the defense table during the Tuesday hearing, his once unruly hair now closely cropped. He also was wearing oversized glasses 

Cruz faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges in the Valentine's Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (pictured in November 2018)

Cruz faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (pictured in November 2018)

Judge Scherer, however, said she is reluctant to move that quickly, with Cruz’s lawyers contending they still have large amounts of evidence to review and dozens of witnesses to interview. Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill said there are more than 300 frontline witnesses on the prosecution’s list and added that capital cases in Broward County typically take two years or more to get to trial.

‘We have to do everything we have to do and depose every witness so that we are effective in our representation of Mr. Cruz. There’s higher standards of due process,’ McNeill said.

Scherer instead set another status hearing for Feb. 21 and urged both sides to work as quickly as possible.

‘We need to keep moving forward,’ she said. ‘I just want to work though this as efficiently as we can.’  

His attorneys have said he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected that offer. 

At the hearing, Assistant State Attorney Jeff Marcus said the case is fairly uncomplicated despite its notoriety and magnitude. He asked Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to schedule the death penalty trial for Cruz in September

At the hearing, Assistant State Attorney Jeff Marcus said the case is fairly uncomplicated despite its notoriety and magnitude. He asked Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to schedule the death penalty trial for Cruz in September

His attorneys have said he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected that offer

His attorneys have said he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected that offer

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.

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.    

Students and faculty are seen above being led out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the shooting on February 14, 2018

Students and faculty are seen above being led out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the shooting 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. 

Cruz is seen above after his arrest on February 14, 2018

Cruz is seen above after his arrest on February 14, 2018

‘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.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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