Florida jury sworn in to determine school shooter's penalty
The jury that will decide whether Nikolas Cruz should get the death penalty for killing 17 people in the 2018 shooting rampage at a Parkland, Florida, high school was finally selected Wednesday, after a painstaking, stop-and-start process that took nearly three months. The defense wound up using all 10 of its peremptory challenges, eliminating candidates for any reason other than race or gender, while the prosecution used four. On Wednesday, the defense used its final strikes to eliminate a retired insurance company executive and a banking executive who had been tentatively on the panel when court adjourned Tuesday.news.yahoo.com
Final jury selection begins in Florida school massacre trial
The final phase in the selection of 12 jurors who will decide whether Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz should receive the death sentence got underway Tuesday, the conclusion of a nearly three-month effort that began with 1,800 candidates. Each side can try to persuade Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that a particular candidate is biased. The jury will decide whether Cruz, 23, receives the death sentence or life in prison without parole for the murders of 14 students and three staff members at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.news.yahoo.com
Defense attorneys in Florida school shooting try to withdraw
The public defenders representing Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz tried to withdraw from his death penalty trial after the judge ordered them to move forward with jury selection even though one member of their five-member team has COVID-19.
Defense attorneys in Florida school shooting try to withdraw
The public defenders representing Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz tried to withdraw from his death penalty trial Monday after the judge ordered them to move forward with jury selection even though one member of their five-member team is sick with COVID-19. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer rejected the withdrawal motion by Cruz's lead attorney, Melisa McNeill, who said she might return Monday afternoon with a motion to dismiss the judge from the trial as being unfair. The defense also filed a motion to delay Cruz's trial indefinitely, saying the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 dead has reawakened emotions in Broward County over Cruz's murder of 17 at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Feb. 14, 2018.news.yahoo.com
Jury selection in school shooter's trial upended by T-shirt
The already slow slog of picking jurors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz hit a new stumbling block Monday when a potential juror's T-shirt honoring those killed and traumatized in the 2018 massacre resulted in the dismissal of her entire group of 10. The woman, a 58-year-old high school teacher, was wearing a T-shirt in the burgundy and silver colors of Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that read “Teacher Strong.” Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty in October to murdering 17 and wounding 17 others.news.yahoo.com
Florida judge was assigned to school shooter case at random
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer was assigned the case of a former Florida student who gunned down 17 people in 2018 despite never having overseen a death penalty trial or one with much publicity. The random selection process is used throughout much of Florida, but not by some other states. Jury selection is now underway in Cruz's penalty trial for the massacre of 14 students and three adults at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.news.yahoo.com
Florida school shooter’s jury selection to start over
The judge overseeing jury selection for a man who murdered 17 people at a Florida high school declared that the process will start over Monday, conceding that she should have questioned 11 potential jurors who said they would not follow the law before she dismissed them. In granting the motion filed by Nikolas Cruz's prosecutors over the strong objection of his attorneys, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer nullified two weeks of work by prosecution and defense lawyers, forcing them to begin the entire process anew Monday. As a result, almost 250 potential jurors who had said they could sit for a four-month trial will not be called back next month for further questioning.news.yahoo.com
Florida massacre families to get millions for FBI's inaction
Federal officials have confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice has reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the families of most of those killed and wounded in a 2018 Florida high school massacre over the FBI’s failure to stop the gunman even though it had received information he intended to attack.
Manuel Oliver, father of Parkland shooting victim, climbed D.C. crane to call for federal action on gun violence
Oliver, whose 17-year-old son Joaquin was killed four years ago in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, dropped a banner with a message for President Joe Biden.cbsnews.com
Is burgundy maroon? Gunman's lawyers argue they're different
Attorneys for Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz told a judge Monday that detectives made false statements to get the search warrants allowing them to seize evidence from his cellphone and bedroom, including an argument over whether burgundy and maroon are the same color. The attorneys want Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to bar prosecutors from showing jurors the videos, photos and messages found on his phone and guns, ammunition and other items seized from the friend's home where he was living when he murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. Cruz, 23, faces trial starting in January to determine if he will be executed or receive a life sentence without parole for the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre.news.yahoo.com
Activist dad of school shooting victim joins anti-gun group
The father of a 14-year-old girl killed in the 2018 Florida high school shooting massacre is joining the top ranks of an anti-gun violence group to promote like-minded political candidates around the country ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
School shooting suspect becomes upset during brawl trial
The preliminary stage of jury selection in the trial of the Florida school massacre suspect on charges that he attacked a jail guard concluded Wednesday, but not before attorneys clashed over whether Nikolas Cruz should be allowed to draw using colored pencils to avoid getting upset. More than 100 prospective jurors over two days said they could fairly try Cruz on charges that he attacked Sgt. Raymond Beltran in November 2018, nine months after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 dead. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said that was a sufficient pool to pick six jurors and some alternates when selection is finalized Oct. 18.news.yahoo.com
Florida school shooting suspect faces trial for jail brawl
The suspect in the 2018 killing of 17 people at a Florida high school is finally going on trial — but not for the slayings. Jury selection begins Monday on charges Nikolas Cruz attacked a Broward County jail guard nine months after the Feb. 14, 2018, shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, brawled with Sgt. Raymond Beltran after being jailed on charges of killing 14 students and three staff members and wounding 17 others.news.yahoo.com
Parkland school shooting suspect can't be called 'animal'
The former student accused of murdering 17 people at a Florida high school cannot be called derogatory terms such as “animal” or “that thing” by prosecutors or their witnesses at his upcoming trial, but calling the killings “a massacre” is legitimate, the judge has ruled. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said in a ruling released Friday that it's impossible to create a complete list of words that jurors shouldn't hear to describe Nikolas Cruz when he's tried for the Feb. 14, 2018, killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.news.yahoo.com
Lawyer: Parkland suspect shouldn't be called 'the killer'
Attorneys for the former student accused of murdering 17 at a Florida high school want prosecutors and their witnesses barred at trial from referring to him as “an animal,” “a thing,” “the killer” or in any manner they believe is derogatory. Nikolas Cruz's lead attorney also argued Wednesday that prosecutors and their witnesses should be barred at trial from calling the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland “the massacre,” “the schoolhouse slaughter," “an execution” or other “inflammatory” terms. Assistant public defender Melisa McNeill told Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that Cruz should only be referred to by his name or as “the defendant" at trial and the shooting should be called “the incident,” “the tragedy,” the “mass shooting” or other neutral terms.news.yahoo.com
Judge: School officer who hid during shooting facing charges
The former school resource officer accused of hiding during a South Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead will have to convince a jury that he wasn't criminally negligent, a judge ruled Thursday. Broward Circuit Judge Martin Fein declined to dismiss the child negligence charges against former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, the Sun Sentinel reported. Peterson, 58, had worked as a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.news.yahoo.com
Former Parkland deputy: 'I did the best I could"
The former school resource officer accused of hiding during a South Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead said after a hearing Wednesday that he never would have sat idle if he had known people were being killed. Former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, 58, appeared in court, where his attorney argued to dismiss child negligence charges against him, the Sun Sentinel reported. After the hearing, Peterson lost his composure and fought back tears as he described how his life has changed after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.news.yahoo.com
Video shows Florida massacre suspect attacking jail guard
Accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz rushed at a jail guard and was briefly able to wrestle him to the ground during a 2018 altercation before he was subdued, according to a video shown in court. Cruz, making his first in-person court appearance since before the pandemic, sat quietly in an orange jump suit and shackles during the 30-minute hearing over battery and assault charges stemming from the Broward County Jail altercation. It happened nine months after the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.news.yahoo.com
Florida high school shooting defendant wants hearings closed
Attorneys for the man accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school in 2018 want a judge to close all future hearings to the media and the public to ensure a fair trial. A motion filed Thursday by lawyers for Nikolas Cruz says news coverage of pretrial hearings could instill bias among prospective jurors in the death penalty case. For example, they say, the hearings could discuss evidence later found inadmissible at Cruz's trial.news.yahoo.com
Parkland sheriff gets job reviewing red light tickets
A former South Florida sheriff who was removed from office by the governor because of his agency's response to the Parkland school shooting that left 17 people dead has found a new job reviewing the footage of red light cameras. Former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel was hired this month by the Davie Police Department as a traffic infraction enforcement officer, the Sun Sentinel reported. The fulltime job involves Israel reviewing the city's five red light cameras and appearing in court if anyone challenges a ticket.news.yahoo.com
On Parkland anniversary, Biden calls for tougher gun laws
President Joe Biden used the the occasion to call on Congress to strengthen gun laws, including requiring background checks on all gun sales and banning assault weapons. The president used the occasion to call on Congress to strengthen gun laws, including requiring background checks on all gun sales and banning assault weapons. "For those of us who lost loved ones that day, it's pretty much like any other day. Even before the Parkland tragedy, there was already plenty of anguish in Florida over gun violence. “Today, as we mourn with the Parkland community, we mourn for all who have lost loved ones to gun violence,” he said.
3 years later, Parkland school shooting trial still in limbo
And yet, with Valentines Day on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, marking the three-year milestone, Cruzs death penalty is in limbo. Yet, with Valentine's Day on Sunday marking the three-year milestone, the trial of 22-year-old Nikolas Cruz is in limbo. But prosecutors won't budge on seeking the death penalty at trial. Ad“Going for the death penalty will not bring our loved ones back to us. His defense isn't focused on his guilt or innocence; it's more about sparing him from the death penalty, his lawyers have said in court.
Couple apologizes for sheltering accused school shooter
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. A Florida couple regrets ever taking in a disturbed teenager in the months before he was accused of the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We thought we could handle this troubled young man, unfortunately, we were wrong, the Sneads said in a public apology revealed Tuesday. The families of those killed in the Parkland high school shooting released the letter Tuesday during a conference call with the newspaper. Cruz had spent several years at a special school for students with serious behavioral disorders and had been labeled emotionally disturbed." The couple still say they thought Cruzs guns were secure in a locked cabinet and only they had the key.
Court: Mental provider not liable in Florida school shooting
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. A mental health provider cannot be held liable for the actions of a man accused of a 2018 Florida high school massacre, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. Henderson Behavioral Health Inc. treated Nikolas Cruz off and on from 2009 to 2016, court records show. Cruz had multiple mental issues, including a fascination with violence, weapons and death, but was eventually mainstreamed into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. That school was where Cruz is accused of fatally shooting 17 people and wounding 17 others in the Valentine's Day 2018 attack. The court also noted that the final decision on mainstreaming Cruz was made by the Broward County School Board, with input from Henderson and others.
Man gets more than 5 years in prison for harassing Parkland victims
A California man was sentenced Monday to more than five years in prison for cyberstalking families of Parkland, Florida, school shooting victims. Fleury was convicted by a jury in October of three counts of cyberstalking and one count of transmitting a kidnapping threat. On Fleury's electronic devices, authorities also found thousands of saved images of Bundy, images of the targeted victims and screenshots of the messages that he had sent the victims. Meanwhile, Cruz, 21, faces the death penalty if convicted in the Parkland shooting. His lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected the offer.cbsnews.com
Parkland shooter's death penalty trial set to begin in January
(CNN) - Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's death penalty trial is set to begin in January 2020, according to a court order issued Thursday by Florida Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer. The Broward state attorney is seeking the death penalty. Pretrial motions will be heard on January 13, and jury selection is set to begin on January 27, the court order states. The question at trial is not about his guilt -- Cruz has confessed to the crime -- but about whether he receives the death penalty. His defense team has offered a guilty plea in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole, but only if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table.
Top 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)The world received news Saturday of a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Less than a day later, another mass shooting happened in a popular Dayton, Ohio, neighborhood. The shooting in El Paso has now become one of the top 10 deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history. The deadliest mass shooting took place on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, when Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It is the fourth deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
2 more deputies fired for inaction after school shooting
Two additional deputies have been fired as a result of an internal affairs investigation into the response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people, the Broward County sheriff said Wednesday. At a brief news conference, Sheriff Gregory Tony said deputies Edward Eason and Josh Stambaugh were fired Tuesday for their inaction following the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting. A state investigative commission found that Stambaugh was working an off-duty shift at a nearby school when he responded to reports of shots fired at the school. Two other deputies were fired earlier this month for neglect of duty. The sheriff said no action was taken on three other deputies who were involved in the investigation.chicagotribune.com