‘Florida high school shooter’ Nikolas Cruz maintains silence in court as not-guilty plea is filed
Alleged Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz had a not-guilty plea entered in court on Wednesday ahead of his trial on 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.
Cruz, 19, chose to remain mute during the arraignment hearing in Broward County circuit court, as Judge Elizabeth Scherer entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf for the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Cruz, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and shackled at wrists and ankles, sat alone and head bowed in what is normally the jury box for his plea hearing, guarded by a dozen deputies.
State prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty in the case. Cruz’s lawyers had said the teenager would plead guilty if prosecutors took away the death penalty option.
Scherer set April 27 for a hearing for lawyers to agree to a trial date.
The same day as Cruz’s plea, Coral Springs city officials released recordings of the 911 emergency calls placed during the massacre, providing one of the most comprehensive accounts yet on what happened that day.