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Parkland school shooter's sentencing trial delayed until April

Prosecutors, defense in Nikolas Cruz case need more time for motions, depositions
Confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, 23, sits in a Broward County courtroom on Feb. 2, 2022
Posted at 11:39 AM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 12:54:36-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The high-profile sentencing trial for the man who confessed to killing 17 people at a Parkland high school in 2018 will be delayed until April at the earliest.

The sentencing phase for Nikolas Cruz, 23, was supposed to begin on Feb. 21. However, prosecutors and defense attorneys told Broward County Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Wednesday they need more time to prepare, including arguing motions and conducting depositions.

"We're gonna shoot for the first week of April," Scherer said. "And we're gonna have statuses so that I can keep apprised of the situation."

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Parkland School Shooting

Cruz pleaded guilty on Oct. 20 to 17 counts of first-degree murder for carrying out the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018. 14 students and three staff members were killed in the mass shooting.

Once the sentencing trial begins, jurors will determine whether Cruz should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

Cruz has already been sentenced to 26 years in prison on four charges related to a jail guard attack, to which he pleaded guilty in October.