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Parkland Shooter to Plead Guilty

Parkland Shooter to Plead Guilty

The gunman who slaughtered more than a dozen people in the February 14th, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida will plead guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of first-degree attempted murder, his counsel announced on Friday.

Taimy Alvarez, Sun-Sentinel/POOL

“It is our intent to enter a change of plea as to both cases to all charges,” 23-year-old Nikolas Cruz’s defense attorney David Wheeler told the Broward County Circuit Court.

In addition to accepting responsibility for the Parkland attack, Cruz confirmed to Judge Elizabeth Scherer of the Seventeenth Judicial Court of Florida that he understands that his admission of guilt can and will be used by prosecutors “as an aggravating factor when they later argue for his execution,” the Associated Press reported.

Cruz has also entered guilty pleas on charges of “attempted aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer of means of protection; and use of a self-defense weapon against a law enforcement officer” for assaulting a sheriff’s deputy inside a Florida jail nine months after the mass shooting, according to CNN.

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“According to the arrest report, the incident began when a jail officer asked that Cruz not drag his sandals on the ground while walking around a dayroom area. Cruz tackled and repeatedly punched the guard, then took his stun gun in a fight, according to the arrest report. As they wrestled over the device, the weapon discharged, the report states. Cruz struck the sergeant several more times until the guard regained control of the weapon, struck at Cruz’s face, and took him into custody, the report states,” the outlet explained. “He faces a minimum sentence of about 14 and a half months for those pleas.”

Read more here and here.

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