Nikolas Cruz Arraigned In Court, Waives Hearing His Charges
Nikolas Cruz was back in a Broward County courtroom Wednesday in front of Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer.
With his head down, Cruz sat silent throughout his appearance.
He was indicted by a grand jury last week on 17 charges of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 charges of attempted first-degree murder. Cruz's legal team told the judge that he didn't need to hear his charges read aloud because he already understood them.
Only 15-year-old victim Luke Hoyer's name was read out loud in the courtroom.
Cruz has entered a not guilty plea for now, though his legal team reminded Scherer that he is willing to plead guilty at any time if the death penalty is taken off the table.
Just Tuesday, Broward State Attorney Michael J. Satz's office announced its intent to seek the death penalty in Cruz's case.
Across the street from the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, high school students participating in National Walkout Day were protesting gun violence.
“I was scared, I was actually scared for my life," Fort Lauderdale High School senior Liam Zeilmann said about the day of the mass shooting in Parkland. "That should not happen, I’m trying to receive an education....I just don’t want this fear going forward.”
Zeilmann said he and his schoolmates were unaware that Cruz had an appearance in court on the same day.
Cruz's next court appearance will be in April, to discuss his assets, inheritance, and whether or not he can afford an attorney over his current public defender.
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