Florida prosecutor seeks death penalty for accused school shooter

(Reuters) - Florida prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the case against Nikolas Cruz, the former student accused of carrying out the shooting spree last month at a Parkland high school in which 17 people were killed, according to a notice filed in court on Tuesday.

Michael Satz, the state attorney in Broward County, filed the notice with Judge Elizabeth Scherer of his office's intent to seek the death penalty.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for the attack on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 14 students and three staff died.

After the filing, Cruz's attorneys repeated their offer for Cruz to plead guilty if prosecutors agreed to not pursue the death penalty.

"We still stand ready to immediately plead guilty to 34 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole," Howard Finkelstein, a county public defender, wrote in an email. "If we are not allowed to do so tomorrow we will stand mute to the charges. We are not saying he is not guilty but we can't plead guilty while death is still on the table."

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale; editing by Grant McCool and Rosalba O'Brien)

03/13/2018 14:13

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