Fort Lauderdale, Fla .
Nikolas Cru pleaded guilty to the murder of 17 students in a shooting rampage at Parkland High School, Florida. A jury will decide whether Cruz will be executed.
Relatives to victims, who watched via Zoom the proceedings, shook their heads and wept as Cruz made his pleas. He later apologized.
“Today, we witnessed a cold-minded killer confess to the murders of Gina and 16 innocent school victims,” Tony Montalto stated. His guilty pleas were the first stage of the judicial process, but it is not a change for me and my family. The death of Gina, our bright and beautiful daughter, is a sad day for her family. Her killer enjoys life in prison .”
. A penalty trial will take place in which 12 jurors decide whether Mr. Cruz 23, deserves to be executed or sentenced to life without parole. Because of the high profile nature of this case, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer will screen thousands more potential jurors. The jury selection process is set to start on January. 4 .
Mr. He was accused of 17 murder charges and 17 attempted first-degree murder of those who were injured in the February 2018, attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland (just outside Fort Lauderdale).
As parents looked on, Cruz said, “I am very sorry for the things I did.” I can’t live with myself sometimes.” “I can’t even live with myself sometimes.” He added that he wishes it was up the survivors to decide whether or not he died.
Anthony Borges was a Stoneman Douglas former student. He was wounded and shot five more times.
“He decided to attack the school,” said Mr. Borges. He made the decision to shoot at school. I am not God. It’s not mine decision. I want to make the world a better place for all children. This should never happen again. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It really hurts. So I’m just going to continue. This is .”
After the hearing, Mr. Cruz’s lawyers announced that he would plead guilty.
After Wednesday’s pleas, Mike Satz (ex-Broward State Attorney) retold the details about the killings. On Valentine’s Day 2018., Mr. Cruz murdered 14 students as well as three employees. After a long history of violent, frightening and threatening behavior dating back to pre-school, Mr. Cruz was expelled from Stoneman Doug a year prior.
Stoneman Douglas students started the March for Our Lives campaign to push for tighter gun laws in America. Mr. Cruz’s lawyers offered him a plea bargain in return for a life sentence. This would have spared the community from the pain and suffering of having to relive the incident at trial. However, Mr. Satz refused to accept the deal, claiming that Mr. Cruz was guilty and deserved death. He appointed himself as lead prosecutor. After 44years, Mr. Satz was elected state attorney. However, he remains the chief prosecutor for Mr. Cruz.
His replacement, Harold Pryor is against the death penalty, but has stated that he will adhere to the law. He rejected the defense offer, just like Mr. Satz. This would have made it difficult for him to serve as an elected official in Broward County where Republicans outnumber Democrats by over 2 to 1.
Cruz pleaded guilty to the charges. His attorneys can argue that Cruz took full responsibility during the hearing.
This story was published by The Associated Press.