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Judge tells lawyers to prepare for September start date in Parkland school shooting trial

Nikolas Cruz could face death penalty if convicted
Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer in December 2019
Posted at 5:14 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 17:15:48-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer told lawyers Thursday that she expects the trial for confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz to begin in September.

Although Scherer didn't set a specific date during Thursday's hearing, she notified attorneys that the courthouse will be ready by then to accommodate the trial.

"That gives plenty of time to accomplish everything we need and, if it doesn't, we can address it at that time," Scherer said. "But I want you all to look toward September as our goal as far as starting jury selection and pretrial motions."

Nikolas Cruz in court in December 2019
Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz appears at a hearing Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Cruz is accused of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Dougla High School.

The trial was supposed to start last year but was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cruz, 22, did not attend the hearing.

He has confessed to fatally shooting 17 students and staff members and injuring 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine's Day in 2018.

If convicted, Cruz faces the death penalty.